The Authority to Resist the Devil

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 NKJV

James 4:7 exhorts us to resist the Devil. This does not only pertain to the Devil himself but to all of his works. We are to resist all of his agents and strategies. Since Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil, His command to us is also to resist the Devil. The name Devil is one given to the fallen angel as he acquired a legitimate authority. If the Devil possesses a legitimate authority, the authority to resist him must be legitimate also. Therefore, Christians must first understand the Devil’s authority.

Many people deny the existence of the Devil and demons. This denial is the greatest weapon of the Devil against man. People cannot overcome the Devil because they do not know him. It would not be difficult to overcome the Devil if they clearly knew his identity. For example, a thief who is hiding in the village would escape to another place if the villagers discovered that a thief is in their midst. He would be scared of getting caught. In the same way, if the identity of a demon was revealed, it would tremble and leave immediately.

Before Jesus came into the world, demons worked with legal authority. People could not liberate themselves from their tyranny. But because of the works of Jesus, the demons have lost their authority. Now, the demons can only deceive the people. So not being deceived in itself is overcoming the demons. In order to be free from deception, we must know the truth.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

The angels that fell from Heaven are currently detained in this universe. The universe is like a time bomb; it will detonate and disappear once its purpose has been served. Within this universe, the Devil has the final authority. When he fell from Heaven, he was called Satan. This name belongs to the lawless one who revolted against God. But God allowed Satan to become the Devil. When he became the Devil, his actions within the universe became legal. However, when Jesus was crucified on the cross and resurrected, the Devil was condemned and his legal authority was eradicated.

Jesus came to this world to judge the Devil. Until that judgment, the Devil had oppressed people with his authority. This is why the Bible refers to the Devil as the tempter, murderer, prince of the power of the air, and ruler of the universe. After Jesus came, the works of the Devil became illegal because Jesus dethroned him.

Jesus came to this world not as a commoner but as the King of Heaven. When Jesus came into the world, the Kingdom of Heaven advanced against it also. This is why John the Baptist said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt. 3:2)

The Devil now executes illegal actions. Before the advent of Jesus, the Devil’s illegal actions were perfectly legal, and he ruled the world through them. Thus, people thought the curses that the Devil performed were a normal part of their lives. Under the administration of the Devil, being raised from the dead was unimaginable. However, resurrection is normal to Christians today. We, Christians, believe in the promise of resurrection.

No one understood the concept of resurrection until Jesus died and resurrected three days later. In a world ruled by the power of death, resurrection was impossible. However, Jesus advanced into this world with the powerful law and force called life! He came into the world that denied the power of resurrection, with the law that allowed man to live eternally like God.

The cross was where the ruler of the universe and the King of Heaven finally collided. The Devil killed Jesus with his authority. But God raised Jesus from the dead. Death had always prevailed before, but it was different with Christ. The Devil used his supreme power, but it was useless before Jesus. When the Devil opposed Him, Christ did not defend Himself or retaliate; He just quietly accepted the death sentence. However, God raised Jesus from the dead three days later. Through His resurrection, the Devil was judged, deposed, and his power of death became ineffective. The Devil used his best weapon against Jesus, but it was absolutely ineffective against His resurrection.

Jesus ascended into Heaven and sat at the right hand of God. This “right hand” is not an actual location but a place of authority. To sit at the right hand of God means possessing the royal authority of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit was not yet given before Jesus was glorified (John 7:39). The word “glorified” in this verse means to be crowned with royal authority. Consequently, Christians receiving the Holy Spirit confirms that Jesus has already assumed His position in Heaven, crowned with kingly authority.

In addition, receiving the Holy Spirit means to obtain the official authority from the King who possesses the royal authority of Heaven. For the church that has received the authority of the Kingdom of Heaven, eradicating demons is completely normal. We are ministers dispatched by the King. So we have the authority of God to properly dispose of the condemned Devil.

Even though the Kingdom of God has come, the Devil is still violating the law with his deceptions. He has no right to condemn or accuse anymore. As believers, we have the full authority to stop his illegal activities. The Kingdom of God has already come, so we should no longer acknowledge the authority of the Devil. Though his existence cannot be refuted, the Devil’s authority must be denied.

In the past, the Devil legitimately reigned over the universe, but when the Kingdom of Heaven advanced in, his authority was obliterated. Jesus ascended into Heaven and received the royal authority, and the Holy Spirit descended with His angels into the world with that authority. So the authority that is governing this world is no longer the authority of death but the authority of the Kingdom of God. Christians are the ministers who possess this authority of God’s Kingdom.

Why does God allow people to remain on this depraved earth even after being saved? Why not just take them directly into God’s Kingdom? God sent the Holy Spirit to the saints, giving them the Heavenly authority to cast out demons, heal the sick, and preach the Gospel. In other words, saints are dispatched back into the world as ministers after they are saved. So then, would it be proper for the ministers commissioned by Heaven to fear the Devil or even desire the world?

We have to recognize and acknowledge the official authority we have as Christians. We also have to recognize that the duty to fulfill the ministry commissioned by Jesus is also embedded within this privilege. Christians are ambassadors sent by the Kingdom of God with His official authority. Do not just confess with your lips but use your rightful authority. As saints, you possess this official authority! I pray in Jesus’ name that you will operate with this legal authority in the official ministry of God!

in Know Jesus and Suppress Deceiving Spirits,

Chapter 7 “The Authority to Resist the Devil”