The House Of The Lord
Revs. Bob & Charlotte Torango
April & May, 1996 Vol. N, Article 23
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
In this, the second part of our study on “Empowerment”, we want to try to shine a light on some of the shadowy areas of our concepts of power. What is power? Who has it? How can I get more of it? Our hope and prayer is that we will all be able to gain an authority in our life that will free us from the ghosts of our past and give us a clear vision of the world of powers and dominions that are operating in us and around us.
That they are operating even now in our world is something that most people have never been able to bring themselves to believe. The present church system has mostly preached of two powers, God and the devil. If you were under bondage to something, it was either God’s power or the devil’s power. As we studied last month, there are two main Greek words used for the word “power” in the King James version of the bible. They are, “dunamis” and “exousia”. Dunamis means “miraculous force; might; ability” and exousia means “authority; privilege, i.e. (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely, magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence”. Simply put, dunamis is the ability to do something, exousia is the right to do something. What is so important for us to grasp is that ability does not always win out in the realm of powers and dominions. The privilege, the freedom, the authority, the delegated influence to do something always wins out over dunamis.
The question for us to ponder then, is what rights do we have in God purchased for us through the Lord Jesus Christ? Let me warn you, some of these rights may surprise and shock you. They are not just the rights that allow you to live, but you also have the right to die. In deed, you have a commandment to die. But the commandment is not enough. Given a commandment we will keep dodging death through an instinct to live. I have related this story a number of times while preaching. God showed me in a vision how I was thwarting His process of death in me and making it a painful and laboring ordeal. I saw the sword of God positioning itself over my heart and I heard God quote this verse to me.
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.
Notice that the Greek word for power in this verse is the word, “exousia”. Life is not taken from us, it is offered by us. God has not only commanded this of us, but He has given us the right, privilege, authority, competency, freedom to do this. When God spoke this verse to me in the vision, I steeled myself for the sword to pierce my heart and end my life. However, a terrible thing was happening to me! Every time the sword would start it’s thrust, I would anticipate it and jerk to the side away from it, causing it to wound me instead of killing me. This happened over and over again.
I will now humble myself to you, my dear readers, and confess that I am a true coward when it comes to pain. A trip to the dentist turns me into a sniveling baby. The very thought of a needle being jabbed into my mouth, or a drill whirring away at my poor teeth makes me queasy and light headed. Recently, while getting my teeth worked on, my body did things in that dentists chair that was entirely humiliating, and involuntary on my part. I squirmed all over that chair like a worm on a hot skillet. It got so bad, the dentist had his wife come into the room and hold my hand. She ended up holding me by my shoulders just to keep me off the floor. The dear dentist, noticing my discomfort, asked me to just signal him when I was in pain. This resulted in a pitiful display of desperate actions by me to stop the pain as soon as possible. A typical signal when I started feeling the slightest pain was both feet flying straight up in the air accompanied with a wild flailing of my arms followed by a high, almost girlish squeal coming from my throat that had a sickening pleading tone to it. It shames me, but I take comfort in the knowledge that many of you are even now rubbing your mouth while reading this and getting sweaty hands over the thought of your next visit to the dentist.
We all flinch in some area of our life. This comes from believing those preachers who tell you, “God is wanting to bless you and give you your hearts desire”. What they didn’t tell you, is that before He does that, He is going to kill you. God must kill us. We have an appointment to die, just like our next dentists appointment. His sword of truth is poised over our heart and He is wanting to bring to an end our limited, suffering life, so that we can have true life, His life. Glory to God! Do you see the complexity involved here? We want to live. God wants us to live. However, the life that we identify with, this life in the flesh, is in the eyes of God a walk throught the valley of the shadow of death. To God, we are already dead. So, in order for us to live, we must die to our dead life. Whew! I told you this was going to be complicated. Let us look at this closer.
We are born dead. We were alive in God before we took on flesh. When we did take on flesh through our conception and birth, we were actually buried in sinful flesh. Our birth, that we call life, was in actuality, a burial into death. We existed in a death-life. Later, when Christ Jesus awakened in us a consciousness of His salvation and we entered into a relationship with Him, we became part dead, and part alive. By this I mean that before our re-acquaintance with God, we walked solely under the influence of our deadness. When we confessed Him by faith to be our Savior and King we started walking under the influence of His liveliness, being mixed, however, with our deadness. In this complex state of being that we find ourselves in, coming alive does not mean we are no longer dead.
This is the most dangerous stage of our passing from death unto life, and is found in the segment of society that calls themselves “religious”. The majority of Christianity today exists in this half-dead, half-alive state. They are the living-dead. Sounds like a horror movie doesn’t it? It is. The living-dead ar3e the most dangerous people on this planet. They have a mixture of life and death, having come alive but still living primarily under the dunamis of their dead nature. The living-dead are those that crucified the Lord Jesus. The dead (un-regenerated sinners) didn’t bother Jesus. He ate with them, healed them, and was at ease with them. He did, however, spend most of His ministry being persecuted by the living-dead (the Pharisees and Sadducees).
What the church calls “saved” and “born again” is put forth as meaning the same thing, that is, by our confession of faith that we are both saved and born again. This is not true. Neither term is an accomplished term. We are both being saved and being born again, or, as the Greek says, being born from those things above. This lack of understanding of this complex situation is why the church is living powerless! Power is enriched by knowledge and understanding. This is why that verse that I listed above is so important. Why didn’t Jesus just have power (exousia) to take His life back again? Why did He need the authority to lay it down? Because that is where the real effort is needed. One doesn’t take place completely without the other. Something must be laid down before it can be taken up again. For every door that is opened to us, there must be the shutting of a door behind us. Otherwise, we just have a bunch of doors opened but no entrance made for us. We need an entrance into this great day of God! Oh hear me sweet ones, revelation just opens a door, but the walking out of that revelation means that we close out the old and walk into the new. So many are latching onto this “new and living way” but are failing to close out the former glory. As a result, we have a lot of mixture in this word and it will get worse as we go along. Me nust become EMPOWERED, clothed upon by a clothing of authority. We cannot become empowered without a process of becoming naked first. A stripping of old grave clothes precedes the clothing of priesthood garments. It is not enough to deny death, denounce death, rail against death and so on. We must DIE to death. That is what brings it under our feet, the posture of having true exousia over something. Certain things dictate by their language the order of the events involved. You can’t have resurrection without having a burial, you can’t have life without having a death, you can’t start something unless you finish something. If we leave one part of this equation out, the result is an awful mutation of mixed life. That kind of life spawns like kinds of life. Mixture begets mixture.
I want to restate this thought. We must die to death. We must quit thinking as dead people think. Quit thinking dead, quit acting dead, quit living dead. You are alive in God! He has become your life. Any other kind of life is death. There is only one true life, and that is in the Father. We are being empowered with His life, and we are taking authority over our death process. Get your minds off what you see with your eyes. Your body is not the battleground, your inner being is where the battle lies. We will lose this mortal body one way or another. It must be swallowed up, either through the grave or through a death to death while on this side of the river. Jesus saved us through death, not just His life.
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power (kratos) of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Notice that the Greek word for power in this verse is “Kratos”. Strong’s lists the definition for this word as “vigor”. The American Heritage Dictionary gives this definition of the word “vigor”.
1. Physical or mental strength; energy or force.
2. Strong feeling; Enthusiasm or intensity.
3. Legal effectiveness or validity.
From the Latin word, vigere, meaning “to be lively”.
Synonyms: Vigor; Dash; Punch; Verve; Vim; Vitality.
The central meaning shared by these nouns is “a
quality of spirited force or energy”.
As you can read, Jesus delivers them who are subject
to bondage all of their lifetime because of a fear of
death by going “through” death and as a result He
destroys the one that has the “vigor” or legal
effectiveness and validity of death.
Power in life means we have power over death. We have power (exousia) to lay our life down, we have power (exousia) to take it back again. This certainly is not a normal Christian walk, but if you want to be in the company of sons that will walk this earth in the image and likeness of their Father, then you will begin to understand how much we have wearied ourselves fighting against the wrong things. Let us take care, lest we find ourselves fighting against God and not the devil. We all want life, but are we ready to get rid of death? Help us O God!
I received much mail over the last few articles and I enjoy reading the many letters that are so graciously sent to us. One letter of note that I received this month was from Fran Heitz who resides in
.. She writes: “The current issue on “Empowerment” is so very helpful for some of us who have been feeling that the glory has faded and we are weak and powerless. Meanwhile, the so-called “
blessing” seems to be everywhere bringing joy and mirth to others. Yet some of us no longer desire “rain” such as this which comes of Pentecost, but we long for the Holy Fire to hasten its work of consuming the dross and igniting us with Kingdom strength. I feel “Empowerment” will cause me to pick up my thoughts out of the dust, where they have been for awhile in paralysis, and begin to think and speak what is the real truth concerning this vessel named Fran. (The enclosed poem came bubbling forth after reading “Empowerment”)
Somewhere in us, beneath the dust,
A hidden sceptre lies,
And all the power of its strength
Must yet in God arise.
Let heavens shake and earth be still,
Though night full-cycle runs,
The Daystar comes, and all fulfills
In those forenamed as sons.
Awake, O Strength! Behold, He lives
Whose rulership anoints;
And when He speaks, authority
Shines forth like lightning-points,
And shadows shrink away in shame,
And healing bathes all things,
And deep in us, hid now in dust,
His sceptre makes us kings.
I truly sense a new heart beat in God’s people. We are no longer threatening God and telling Him to bless us, or else. There is a unifying cry sounding forth from the Body of the Lord. Change us!! At any cost, in any way, give us life today! Nothing else matters. All is lost without His life. We are sick to our stomachs at a false, religious, masquerade that the church is displaying to the world. We want power, exousia, the freedom and the right to pursue God and to be led by Him into the narrow, hard to find, path of life. Shake yourself, free yourself, quit the game and grab the prize of the high calling. We may look like something the cat drug in right now, but our aim and purpose is to die to death and live unto life. Before we gain His life, we lose our death-life. If we lose it, we gain it, but if we try to save it we lose not only that death-life we have now, but we delay our gaining of the life to come.
I pray that the Lord will give you true exousia, authority and power through the invested power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Darkness of night take notice, forces of evil take heed. There is a new thing happening in the hearts of this people. We will walk through the valley of the shadow of darkness, and we will fear no evil. He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. All things are in our hands! Within us reigns a King that will not be denied, and we are His hands and His feet in the earth. Rise up O Mighty Men of Valor and take the land! (To Be Continued)
By Bob Torango