“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Hebrews 13:15 ESV

We have learned that a second witness has been key all through history for the purposes of contracts between two people, when considering matters of law, and how Jesus himself said that when two or more gather in his name whatever is asked is done.

We looked at the relevance of agreements when we have Satan on one side of us speaking death and destruction, shame and condemnation, loss and failure, versus the voice of the Lord on the other side of us speaking life and hope, love and gladness, justice and mercy. We realized that we create the second witness, we decide within which camp (ie: God’s Kingdom or Satan’s dominion) we will live.

Last month in Chapter 41 titled, Lex Rex, we looked at this from the starting point, where humans gave themselves over to laws of sin and death and how we are humanly speaking stuck in Satan’s dominion. This is in contrast to freedom when we come under the law of life as established by God and the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. We, by our actions, judgments, decisions, attitudes, and emotions are choosing every day whether we are living unto the law of sin and death or unto the law of grace and life.

And we looked at our agreements in terms of sin and religion (the way of the enemy and the wide way that many choose) versus the way of grace and love where God does the work of holiness and redemption in and through us.

Here too we saw that if we agree to sin or religion (our self-effort to manage sin) that our lives will result in much destruction. But, if we agree to the narrow way, this way of Christ as the sacrifice for our sins and as our Saviour, that we then live in agreement with grace and life — we are no longer under the laws of condemnations, no longer stuck in sin, but freed by the grace of God to live in holiness and joy and peace and so much more.
Today, we are going to focus in even further to some very specific topics and the common distortions of the enemy versus the truth and heart of God as evidenced in scripture. We will begin by looking at the dominion of Satan versus the Kingdom of God. We will then look at common trouble topics in the body of Christ; we will look at what the dominion of Satan says about Church, about Women, and about Tithing. All of these topics are explosive in nature. They elicit many strong reactions from us and so I suggest that as you begin this study that you stop to pray a particular grace and covering of the Lord.

As we go forward in this conversation, see if you can discern the stark difference between the dominion of Satan and the Kingdom of God. When we think about our agreements, we must consider, “Who are we agreeing with?” and we must ask ourselves, “What is the evidence of our lives?”

The dominion of Satan and the kingdom of God can be considered with any topic or subject in mind. In this way we can begin to zoom in and narrow down our focus to see just what we are believing and just what is the evidence of our lives.

Prayer

“God, as we come together today to look at these very tricky topics within the body of Christ we ask your particular covering, grace, wisdom and dialogue over us. We stand in the name and the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and we silence all lying, deceiving and confusing spirits to silence and ineffectiveness. To any spirit that is not of the Lord, we say ‘No! be silent,’ in the name and the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, would you lead us, guide our conversation, and settle our fears and concerns as we look at these topics. Thanks Lord. Amen.”

  1. In General
    Consider the differences:

Under the Dominion of Satan In the Kingdom of God

Appease the Gods, bring a sacrifice Jesus says, “I am your sacrifice”
Make yourself big and important Come in service, BE for others
Claim the glory for yourself Give the glory to God
Make a lot of noise to get the god’s attention God says, “Find me in silence and rest.”
Obey people, obey leaders (as if children) Obey God, focus on what He is saying
Be ashamed and in condemnation God is the lifter of our heads
Be embarrassed about your brokenness God is making all things new
Sin controls you God’s grace frees us to holy living
Exacting measures where you are never good enough God says, ‘rest in me’ I am in and through you
Cursing each other Blessing each other
Reject the outcast Jesus, friend of sinners
Increased law – always more rules Come into the freedom of salvation
Keep it for yourself Give it away
Controlled by fear God removes our fears

  1. MORE SPECIFIC
    For instance, Let’s look at the topic of women for a moment:

WOMEN

Under the dominion of Satan In the Kingdom of God

Use women for your pleasure Co-heirs of Christ
She is your slave Fellow servant / partner in the Lord
Helper = as servant Helper = best wisdom for your days
Keep her low Lift her up
Beat her, show her who is boss Be gentle
Abuse her Serve her
Blame her Be the head, take 100% responsibility
Take from her Receive from her (submit to her)
Ignore her needs Die for her as Christ died for the church
Have many women Be faithful to one woman all your days
She is your property She belongs to God

Now, let us look at our assumptions about church:

CHURCH

Under the dominion of Satan In the Kingdom of God

Use the people to fund your lifestyle Live simply, serve the people
Demand a tithe from them Use the tithes to improve THEIR lives
Take from widows (seed gifts) Give to widows, care for them
Keep people in shame Declare the freedom of the Lord
Be the BIG person Take the role of servant to the body of Christ
Keep the knowledge to yourself Teach the body of Christ
Deceive people by false theology Make the word of God plain to the people
Use scripture for your own means Allow scripture to expose your own sin
Be powerful Be in service to your community
Pay your spiritual mentors Receive from your spiritual mentors
Tell others what to do and how to be Lead by example, SHOW us how to live
Be THE priest between you and God for them Lead them to THEIR priest, Jesus Christ
Be the only one who can pray Teach the people to pray
Be the only one who can teach Teach the people to preach and teach
Be the only one who can hear God Teach the people to hear God for themselves
Be in control, you command We all answer to God for our own lives
Keep the people weak and needy Satisfy their desires with the goodness of God
Sell prayers and healing Freely give what has been given to you
Preach without any preparation Study to show thyself approved
Only the big people can heal Everyone can heal in the name of Jesus
There must be special ministers Everyone is a minister in Christ – equip THEM


Next, let us consider this very sticky topic of tithing:

TITHING

Under the dominion of Satan In the Kingdom of God

Your tithe secures your protection God says, “I have you”, now live generously
You must bring a sacrifice Jesus says, I am your sacrifice
You must pay for your sins Come eat without price
You must tithe 10% Give me your entire life
Give so God will give to you God has your life, give out of this
Give in guilt and shame and fear Give with a glad heart
Give out of what you do not have Give out of what you have
Give even if your children starve Take care of your family first

As I mentioned these are some pretty divisive topics, and we can see why. The subtleties in motives and actions are quite profound. We can see how easy it is to be one step to the left or right of God’s intention in any of these areas. We can see how we might be thinking we are right in our approach and yet be off and NOT in accord with the heart of God and His Kingdom.

Now, let’s look at things a little more personally. This same exercise can be used to discern our own specific beliefs about anything in our own lives. For instance, I had a prayer client back some time ago who was struggling with a chronic illness. He had been aware of this condition in his body for some years and had been working to realize his future in light of the illness. I had him go through this exercise in terms of his illness.

  1. PERSONALLY SPECIFIC
    This comparison can be done with anything personally affecting you:

(the following comparisons are examples only and would differ in beliefs from person to person)

CHRONIC ILLNESS

Under the dominion of Satan In the Kingdom of God
(What Satan Had been Saying) (What God Says)

This will ruin your life I am the keeper of your life
You will not have a future I have a future for you
You will not be able to take a wife I fulfill your hearts desires
This illness makes you imperfect In me all things are new
Be afraid for your life I hold your life in the palm of my hands

What about our failures and brokenness:

FAILURES AND BROKENESS

Under the dominion of Satan In the Kingdom of God

Be ashamed I am using every part of your life
You are broken I shine out of your brokenness
You are disqualified You share me like few others
Your failure cannot be used I bring healing to others out of your failures
Stand down and be quiet Stand up in me, I am your strength
Sit at the back Lead my people in the wisdom you have gained
This cannot be redeemed All things work together for those in God
God cannot use you now Bring me every part of your life and I will do amazing things

Through all of these examples we can see that Satan on one side of you is saying one thing, and God on the other hand is saying another. The enemy is trying to convince us of one way of being and acting, one way of attitude and perspective, while the Lord is simply stating by his heart and life and the ministry of Jesus Christ a completely other perspective. Our agreements with either God or Satan come in the form of words, attitudes, thoughts, emotions, and actions.

It is important to note that while our words might be saying one thing (especially if we have learned the ‘right’ things to say) our actions may be saying something completely different.

And if we have our actions in line with God’s truth (especially if we have learned the ‘right’ things to do) our emotions and attitudes may still be agreeing with the enemy.

It is therefore important that all of who we are, our words, attitudes, thoughts, actions and emotions are increasingly lining up and agreeing with the truth of God that we find in scripture. For, without the agreement of our words, attitudes, thoughts, actions and emotions, we will have a divided heart and mind as we read about in James,

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:5-8 NLT

A divided heart and mind brings us nothing. Where do we know this to be true? Think about healing, about money, about relationships, about ministry, about service, about leading, about many things. If you are seeing few results, little good fruit, this may be an indication to a divided heart and mind. Consider this verse,

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:3 NIV


A divided heart and mind shows up in the secret places of our hearts, in our actions and the choices we are making, and in the words that we speak. If I act one way but am believing another way little will come of my ‘beliefs’, even if my actions are correct. For instance, if I pray healing for people this is good. If I pray healing for people and yet do not believe that God heals then I will be divided in my heart and mind in this issue.

As we begin to see there are many such things to critically think through and come to conclusions about.

We want to bring our entire being, heart, mind, spirit, and body, into alignment, into agreement with God and His Kingdom. 23 We do not want a divided heart and mind. We want to be fully convinced in God and living out His Kingdom on this earth. It is why we must bring our whole hearts to God for only then can our whole hearts be captured by God’s love and brought into the life-giving Kingdom of God. We must wrestle through which beliefs really belong to God and which ones are lies of the enemy. James instructs us further about this,

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.” James 4:7-9 NLT

The study of our agreements and the motives of our hearts and the resulting realization of how deceived we have been should bring us to our knees before God. Here, in holy repentance and sorrow we allow the Spirit of our Living God to sear our consciences and our thoughts and actions of this life. We find new freedom and healing as we confess our divided hearts and minds. We come into the full life of our Lord as we bring our hearts and minds fully into agreement with Him and his Kingdom ways.

All in all, who are we agreeing with today? In small intimate ways, who is our life giving testimony to, the enemy or God?

APPLICATION

In response to The Kingdom of God there are two things I want you to do.

  1. First, take some time to think through and to prayerfully consider, writing down even, a subject that you have been confused about, or wanting to have greater clarity on. Write down the subject at the top of a fresh piece of paper. Below that heading, write on one side of the paper, Kingdom of Satan, and on the other side, Kingdom of God. (this can also be done verbally with another person)
  2. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal your thoughts and beliefs. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal things to you, that you did not know were in your heart.
  3. Now, begin filling in your thoughts and beliefs about that subject and where they belong. Identify something that you think or believe about the subject or topic, then put it in the Kingdom of Satan column, or in the Kingdom of God column.

For example:

Family

_____________________________________

Dominion of Satan vs. Kingdom of God

– they are to make me look good – I am here to serve them and grow them well

– they are keeping me from the things I want – they are teaching me service and love

Keep in mind that this is to be a working document. Your thoughts and beliefs might change as you go through this exercise. And this is exactly what is supposed to happen. This application exercise is meant to challenge our assumptions and beliefs. Allow it to challenge you, to grow you, to bring clarity to your thinking and life.

Then, over the weeks and months and years ahead, keep doing this exercise over and over again with different topics and subjects as they come to you.

  1. Then, I want you to come to the Lord with your beliefs that are agreeing with Satan and not God.

Use the healing prayer model 24 of confessing, repenting, renouncing, breaking, cancelling, claiming and sealing to declare yourself out of agreement with satan and into agreement with God.

For instance, suppose as we were looking at these lists that you realized that you have been believing that your failures disqualify you from going forward in the Lord and in ministry. Suppose that, since you believe this, you have been hiding your failures and keeping secret your shame. But in this, both your shame and your guilt have only been growing within you. And now you know that this is the assignment of the enemy over you and is not of God.

Here is how to come out of agreement with the lies and assignments of the enemy and into agreement to the Lord’s grace and future for you.

NOTE: This is just an example, use the process for anything that the Holy Spirit highlighted to YOU:

0. SET THE SPACE: “I come to you Lord in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ. Lead me as I pray today God. I invite you and you only. I silence all lying, deceiving and condemning spirits declaring they must be silent in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ. I only want to hear from you God and I declare my dependance on your leading.”

1.2.3. CONFESS, REPENT, RENOUNCE: “God I come to you today in the name and the blood of Lord Jesus Christ, confessing that I have been believing that my failures have disqualified me. I realize that I have been giving my failures a bigger voice in my life than you. I am sorry for this. Today I say no more the voice of failure over me, and I give you my failures for your glory and honour. “

4. BREAK: “I reach back into my past with the strong arm of my Lord Jesus Christ and uproot failure and it’s voices of shame and condemnation and disqualification – I pull all of this up from where it became planted in my life. No more! I remove these chains of failure, of shame, of condemnation, and of disqualification from around my heart, mind, body, and soul, and I declare every link severed in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ.”

5. CANCEL: “I cancel all authority, curses, and assignments of the enemy that have been over my life because of these failures and the voices of shame that came with them. Today I say no more. I declare in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ that all things of the enemy in regards to my failures must go to the place where the true Lord Jesus Christ chooses to send them.”

6. CLAIM: “And today, I receive from your heart and hand Jesus, all that you would have for me in place of failures and the voice of failure and shame over my life. In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ I gladly take into my life your future and the hope that you have for me. I say YES to life renewed in you and I give you my life today for your glory and your honour and for my future and delight in you.”

7. SEAL: “I seal this work of your heart and your hands in my life, for your glory and honour. I give you 100% of the glory and I declare the blood covering of the Lamb over my life. I receive the love of the Father pressed down and through my entire being and life. And I breathe the breath of the Holy Spirit into my days for your glory and honour. With all praise to you God, Amen.”

Now, take this basic format and apply it to whatever the Holy Spirit has been revealing to you. Bring your agreements with Satan to the cross of Christ and give them over, renounce them, rip them up (through this process), and take on a new agreement with the truth of God’s word and the life of Jesus Christ.

Take the time to explore and allow the Holy Spirit to continue to reveal your agreements. This is critical to your future, to the future of your family, and your ministry. Out of your personal experience with this, you will be able to move forward into declaring the Kingdom of God over others.

KEY: The deeper you go with God for yourself, the greater your spiritual authority will be for your family, your community and your nation.

Trust God to lead you in this process.

SUMMARY – THE AGREEMENTS WE MAKE

We experience the Kingdom of our choice by our:

  • thinking / beliefs
  • emotions
  • attitudes
  • actions
  • words

We bring each of these things into alignment with the kingdom of God so that we do not remain with a divided heart and mind

________________________________

23 Note that eliminating our divided hearts does not mean that everything will go exactly as we want it to go, but it does mean that our own self / ego will increasingly be out of the way so that we can increasingly experience new things within our lives and ministry.
24 Introduced in Module One, Chapter 6, FREEDOM, pages 30-33, AND as Module Two, APPENDIX, page 180

=> Let’s move forward to our lesson on Spiritual Authority Resume

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