24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.
25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Power. Something that we all want more of but something that we all know so little about. The scriptures are full of references to the word “power” and in this writing we will attempt to study the Greek words used for power in the New Testament, endeavoring to not only learn what true power is, but how to manifest it in our lives.
The scripture mainly uses two Greek words to express the meaning of power. They are, Dunamis, #1411 in the Strong’s Concordance, and Exousia, #1849 in the Strong’s Concordance. Most people are more familiar with the first word, Dunamis, through various writings and teachings on the subject of God’s power. Dunamis is defined in Strong’s as:
1411 dunamis (doo'-nam-is);
from 1410; force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself):
KJV-- ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.
1410 dunamai (doo'-nam-ahee);
of uncertain affinity; to be able or possible:
KJV-- be able, can (do, + -not), could, may, might, be possible, be of power.
As you can see, the word Dunamis implies power as a force of miraculous power, and comes from the root word, Dunamai, which means to be able or possible. Dunamis deals with the ability, or potential, to do miraculous things. Jesus was raised from the dead by Dunamis. 1 Cor 6:14 “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power (dunamis).” Jesus comes to us in dunamis.
24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power (dunamis) and glory.
For our rapture friends, do not think this is saying that He is coming in a rapture. Read down a little ways and Jesus proclaims that that generation would not pass until all of this was fulfilled. The stars that fall and the powers (dunamis) that are shook in the heavens are speaking of principalities and invisible forces that will be shook and defeated when Christ comes in His saints. We will cover a little more of that later on.
As you can see, dunamis is used when raw miraculous force is meant. The second Greek word used for power is Exousia, and it is the most important one for us. Why, you may ask? Because it is the missing power of the body of Christ today. Look around you and you will see a powerless people. I’m not talking muscles here, I’m talking authority, Exousia. Dunamis is strength, ability, might. Exousia is authority, freedom of action, right to act.
The scripture says that there is only one source of dunamis. Rom 13:1 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” There is only one true dunamis, all other powers are controlled by God’s dunamis. If there is any other miraculous force, or ability, it is an invested power that has been given by the dunamis of God. Do not think that God has been thrown from His throne simply because there are other powers at work in the world. The key phrase in this study of power is the phrase “power with God”, not just simply the “power of God”. We have resident within us all the dunamis of God that can ever be available. He dwells fully within us right now. It is impossible to get anymore of God in us than is in us at this precise moment. Every one of us are containers of the fullness of God and His dunamis.
Exousia is the key to tapping into the reservoir of God’s power in us. Exousia is dunamis expressed through an authority given to us by God. The early church was given authority to operate the dunamis of God. It was an age of miracles and signs and wonders. The early church was filled with an ability to raise the dead, heal the sick, cast out devils, etc. Still, this early church was limited when it came to operating the exousia of God, the authority and the right to act as God in the earth. Notice the following scripture.
1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power (exousia).
8 But ye shall receive power (dunamis), after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
It was given to them to act through the dunamis of God, but not to act as God would act through exousia. The dunamis power of the early church was an “earnest”, or a portion, of God’s dunamis. It was not given to them to know the “times” and the “seasons” which the Father had locked up into His exousia. This is the crux of the problem that we face today. We want power, but it seems that everyone has their attention on the miraculous power that has been displayed in the charismatic movement. You should be aware that there is another form of power that is coming to us and it is not a force of ability and might, but it is a power that invests us with authority and the right to act as God would act in the earth! It is His dunamis unleashed by an authority that heaven and earth obeys! O halelujah!! We are being faced with things in this day that can not be defeated by brute strength. It is not even a matter of strength, since we know that God is able to defeat our every foe. The crucial element here is not whether God is able, but will He deliver this enemy into our hands?
In the Old Testament David was told by God not to number Israel. Instead, he sought the Lord and if the Lord said He had delivered the enemy into David’s hand then David went up against the enemy. If the Lord said don’t go up, they waited for the authority of God to be given to them. We who are faced with so many things this day must know what the Lord says about this circumstance. We must know that we are chosen administrators of His power and that we have been destined to carry out the acts of God. Jesus had dunamis, but He also had exousia. Dunamis delivered Him from death, exousia gave Him authority over it for eternity, and allowed Jesus to give this dunamis to others that believed on His name.
In Luke the 10th chapter Jesus appointed seventy people to go in two’s and to do the same works Jesus was doing in every city and place. They went and healed the sick and did miracles in His name.
16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
19 Behold, I give unto you power (exousia) to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power (dunamis) of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
The seventy disciples came back with a great joy over the fact that not only were they healing the sick, but the very devils themselves were subject unto them. They are told that they have been given the “right to act” against all the “force, might, and ability” of the enemy, but they are not to rejoice in this, but rather that they have their names written in heaven. There is a key to the kingdom that Jesus is wanting to hand over to us. It is certain that such power displayed by the seventy disciples was the best thing that had happened as yet, since Jesus says that He saw Satan fall from heaven as lightning. However, I don’t believe it was because of the miracles themselves, but because He had proven that God had given Him exousia, the power to empower others with the same authority He had. What I believe that Jesus was warning them over was the thinking that what they were doing is enough. It is not! I thank the Lord for every miracle he has ever performed, and I have been the recipient of several personally, but I still see the need for a much more far reaching power than the healing of the sick, or even the raising of the dead.
I believe that there are a company of people in our midst, right this very hour, that are clothing themselves with an exousia that will cause the very foundations of hell itself to shake and crumble! Believe me dear ones when I say that there is an authority that is empowering us that will do more than just heal the natural body, but the death process itself will be halted and death will be no more. I am not able to rejoice today as some do, content to receive an earnest of the full redemption that God has promised to us. At this hour, I pray with a fervency for those that are sick and afflicted. My soul is compressed in agony over their pain and the possibility of any further pain and perhaps a crossing over to the other side. But I do believe that I will not always pray as I do now. The day is nigh to us when this process of clothing ourselves in the authority of Jesus Christ will be matured and fulfilled and then we will not pray to the Lord, but we will speak as He would speak, with EXOUSIA!! Dunamis is waiting to be released by a people who have been commisioned with an order from the supreme commander of our faith. The chain of command is being set up and we are being given an insignia of His nature. It is this “mark” that Paul said he carried in his body, the dying of the Lord Jesus Christ. We will carry the “mark” of His resurrection!
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power (exousia), but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (KJV)
This insignia, or uniform, of resurrection will be recognized by every other dunamis and exousia. Make no mistake about it, there are powers that exist that are evil and work the works of destruction and mayhem. The problem at hand is that we are seeing too many ministers of the New Covenant get themselves entangled with these displays of evil dunamis. I am specifically speaking of the practice of casting out of evil spirits. That realm is certainly there if you want to get involved with it. However, I don’t believe those that toy with that realm understand the true dunamis that operates behind the scenes. The enemy is like a snake that wants it’s enemy to attack it’s tail and not it’s head. If you ever get hold of the real thing, you better know that you have exousia when dealing with it. We have had experiences in our past ministry where we saw the puking up and the slobbering and the show that is put on in the church that everyone thinks is deliverance, but we have also had personal experiences where we saw the head of the enemy and it is not something that you would like to see every day.
One young man came to our house many years ago and told us that he was sent to us to kill us. He wanted to be prayed for to be delivered from demons. We did pray for him and he literally threw us and a few other ministries from one side of the room to the other for several hours. During this time his physical features changed into a grotesque mask of evil, he spoke in one of the most eloquent tongues that I had ever heard, operated in word of knowledge, foretold the future, and laughed at our efforts to deliver him. As far as I know, the boy never did get delivered. This was the real thing, and we realized that we were powerless over it. In my opinion, the majority of the demonic demonstrations in the church is not true demonic dunamis, but a combination of psychic powers and other powers that we need to be taught more about, which we will perhaps cover in future parts of this subject. The point I want to make is that we are still operating out of a pentecostal view of what deliverance and escape from bondage is. I don’t care how many times you spit up, if the dunamis of the enemy is not overcome by a clothing of God’s exousia upon you, there will be a returning to bondage. There is a deliverance in our midst, but it won’t be done in a deliverance service, it will be done in heaven.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers (exousia), against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (KJV)
The enemy not only has dunamis, the ability to do evil, but he also has exousia, the right to do evil.
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world (age), according to the prince of the power (exousia) of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (KJV)
The Greek word for prince in this verse means “first in rank”.
10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power (exousia) to crucify thee, and have power (exousia) to release thee?
11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power (exousia) at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
It is not a matter of strength, good against evil, but one of exousia, authority and permission. It is not a matter of whether or not you have enough faith to gain life, it is a matter of permission being granted.
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right (exousia) to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
I know that we are products of a society and age that wants quick, simple answers to all of our problems. The truth of the matter is that the answer to our problems can be much more complicated than we have been led to believe by the present church system. “Just believe God!” the preachers of this age proclaim. “No one has to be sick, we are healed by His stripes” is the standard confession. What to do when this doesn’t work for you? Some of us have quoted scripture until we turn blue in the face, we have followed all of the formulas and rituals of deliverance, and we are not changed. Could it be that we need to hear God and wait on the answer? Could it be that life is not so simple that some would make it sound? All we have viewed is things black and white, but I do believe that there are some gray areas that need to be defined and expressed.
The Apostle Paul was caught up to the third heavens and heard and saw things that were not legal for him to relate to others. Indeed, there was given to him a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of satan to buffet him. That thorn had exousia over Paul, since he prayed for it to be removed 3 times and it was not. Paul claimed it was sent to keep him from getting too exalted in revelation. The important thing is that Paul certainly had enough dunamis to deliver himself from this thorn, but exousia won out. We will begin today to end our flailing against the air, and we will begin to walk in authority and empowerment. I am confident that God will give us wisdom in the matters of this age of all ages, and we will operate as priests of God, binding things in heaven, and seeing them bound in earth, freeing things in heaven and seeing them freed in earth.
My heart goes out to the many alcoholics and drug addicts in our midst today. Yes, I said in our midst. The fact of the matter is, with all of our revelation, the people of this word are still dealing with the same problems that the rest of the world is dealing with. Sexual promiscuity, lying, cheating, wife beating, child molestation, homosexuality, all of these things are in our midst. Are we going to keep them swept under the rug? Maybe we should start holding deliverance services in all our churches and deliver the saints of God from all these demons. Who shall we start with first? The pastor and his wife? How about the song leaders? The fact is, you could line every one of us up and pray for us until we felt delivered, but the hard truth is that we would more than likely go back and pick those things up again. Dunamis cannot do it by itself. We must teach the people to operate in exousia. How many alcoholics do you know that seem to be completely delivered one day and the next day they are under bondage again? How many people do you know that are addicted to cocaine that get delivered for a little while and then pick it back up? The sad part is that they don’t want anyone else to know about it because they don’t want to disappoint anyone. The church told them it was a one step deal. You get delivered one night and that’s it. For some, that is true, but for the vast majority a step is missing.
When a person becomes truly addicted to something, no matter what that something is, they have done more than just turned their body over to it. Addiction is more than physical, it is mental and spiritual. I have seen God operate through dunamis for someone, say an alcoholic, and I have seen Him remove all the alcohol from their body in an instant. One minute they were drunk, the next they were completely sober. I have seen God physically cleanse their body of all desire for that drink and I have even seen Him change their mind and give them a new mind. Still, I have seen the vicious cycle repeat itself. No one knows the frustration and the agony of being addicted, or living with someone addicted, unless they have gone through it. Your faith wavers and you honestly wonder if they will ever get delivered. Remember, I am making the same distinction here as I was with the evil spirits earlier. I believe that some people just like to mess with alcohol and drugs and aren’t delivered because they don’t want to be delivered. But there are true addicts that have reached the end of the line, and they cannot find the power to stay delivered.
It is important for us to understand the relationship between the heavens and the earth. The heaven rules the earth. What is done in heaven is reflected in earth. Whatever I have bowed my knee to in my heavenly self, I remain bowed to it in my earthly self. The true deliverance is not in the body, but in the spirit. There is still a bent knee, an acknowledgment that something has dunamis over us. If we try to fight dunamis with dunamis, it will remain at an impasse. We must walk in exousia, the authority that makes everything else illegal and inferior. We must let our prisoners know that you don’t escape this prison house by tearing the prison house down, because we always return and build it up again. In fact, the work doesn’t involve the thing we are addicted to at all. We cannot make the addiction for alcohol smaller, we must become larger than it is. You cannot beat alcohol, you must focus on you, not on it. It is not your problem. If it wasn’t that particular thing, it would be something else. You are without power in your life. You must become EMPOWERED by the exousia that God has granted to you. There is an alcoholic in your house and you must find him and grab him up and EMPOWER him. You have darkness inside of you, but quit trying to grapple with the darkness to cast it out, and begin to call forth the light that is in you. Light has exousia over darkness. It is a law of the spirit of life. Wherever light springs up, darkness flees. Period. End of story. No mas. Hasta la vista baby. It’s outa here! The key is to lift the Lord up high, and let Him show us how to not only cleanse our body, but rearrange our heavens also.
This day is as much of a mental battle as a physical one. Charlotte quoted this poem in our service last Sunday.
“If you think you are beaten, you are; If you think you dare not, you don’t; If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t, It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost, For out in the world you find Success begins with a fellow’s will - It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re out-classed, you are; You’ve got to think high to rise; You’ve got to be sure of yourself before You can ever win the prize.
Full many a race is lost Ere ever a step is run; And many a coward fails Ere ever his work’s begun.
Think big and your deeds will grow; Think small and you’ll fall behind; Think that you can and you will - It’s all in the state of mind.
Life’s battles don’t always go To the stronger or faster man; But sooner or later the man who wins is the fellow who thinks he can.” Author Unknown.
Knowledge is power. The more you know about something, the more power you have over it. The enemy prospers under falsehood and superstitions. Truth strips off the disguise and reveals the masquerade at hand. I am not saying that evil does not have true power, because it does. I am saying, however, that for those of us that are ready to believe God to lead us into new and livings ways of life, we must recognize our own destiny. If the early church only received a down payment of power, then we must know that we are being prepared to know the times and seasons of His kingdom. We must know what God has given us exousia, the right to act, over and what the Lord has told us to leave alone. This is and will be the hardest test for us. As I said earlier, this is a very complicated realm. It is not so complicated when you only deal with healing the sick and the gifts of the spirit, but when you deal with the matters of good and evil, life and death, powers and principalities, thrones and rulers, kingdoms and dominions, times and seasons, dunamis and exousia, things get very complex and can overlap into confusing no man lands. It is in this realm that death is sometimes life and life can become death. Dunamis is dunamis no matter who is operating it. As we venture forth into this multi-leveled landscape in the days to come, let us understand that this is where God operates at. His throne of dominion and dunamis stands in the center of it all. As Colossians so eloquently states:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers (exousia): all things were created by him, and for him: (KJV)
Never, never, lose sight of the fact that these things were created not only by God, but FOR Him. God has something to prove. He alone has true dunamis. He establishes thrones and He pulls them down. He appoints rulers and He ends their rule. He alone has life, and He alone has the power to give life, or to take it.
4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power (exousia) to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
I also say unto you my friends, fear not those powers that can only bring your body under bondage, for your soul is the Lord’s. What else can they do, but take our body? Yet, we live on!
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power (exousia) to lay it down, and I have power (exousia) to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.(KJV)
We don’t have the dunamis in ourselves to lay our life down, but God has given us the exousia to lay it down, and the exousia to take it again. Behold, I am he that was dead, and now I live forevermore! Not by might, not by power (dunamis), but by God’s spirit. No man is taking this life. No religious practice, or doctrine or creed can make me lay my life down, only by the saving grace of our Lord can we have the “right” to lay it down.
God has given to us His exousia to live eternally. Nothing in this world, no principality or power or angel or devil can separate us from the love of our God. We are laying our lives down willingly. Our knee is bent only to our one and true potentate, the Lord Jesus Christ. He has empowered us, given us His vesture dipped in blood. His banner flies over us, we wear His life as a robe of honor, He has placed a crown of life on our head. Somewhere in us, beneath this dusty exterior, there is a sceptre, a rod of iron, that will break the nations, both visible and invisible. We simply MUST put on incorruption. Nothing can stop us. Not even ourselves. We have no power to stop the plan of God from being fulfilled. No force on earth or in heaven can stand against His divine will and purpose for creation. When God is ready for a people to die entirely to self and to live in Him, we will have no recourse but to live! His determination is unquenchable, His will undeterrable. It is God that is working in us. Phil 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”. We are empowered by the authority that was so magnificently displayed in that first Son.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
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;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers (exousia), he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Jesus knew His hour had come. He defied death and the grave and all of the ordinances that held His brethren in chains, and made an open display of their inferior authority when measured against His right to be Saviour of all men. May we also realize our hour is come.
To Be Continued:
By Bob Torango