“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
The next two chapters will deal with the same basic topic. This chapter will deal more with the source of the power or authority and examples of that authority. The next chapter will deal with the blessing of the power coming upon us. What Bible students often miss is that some things are done through authority and some through power. The spiritual realm is managed with a government of authority. There are layers of this authority as we read here, “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.” (Eph 6:12) In our Affirmation Jesus declares what is restated here, “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his [Jesus] feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” (Eph 1:21-22) The very same opponents we wrestle against, as the verse said above, are the very same Jesus conquered and dominated through his perfect life, death and resurrection. “… he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb 2:14b-15) Jesus destroyed Satan and his power. He did this by; “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; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col 2:14-15)
Our Daddy gave Jesus the power to accomplish the goal of overcoming evil and sin. Our Lord has given us the same power and goal. Before we cover that, I want to review the authority given the disciples before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, when they received powerful gifts from on high. Jesus tells us; “And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” (Mat 12:26-28) Yes, the kingdom of God has come and with it authority, this authority is found in Jesus’ name. His name represents His “Authority” & “Power.” Before that great day of Pentecost, that day of power, found in the books of Acts chapter 2. The disciples were given authority over the spirit realm. “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;” (Mar 6:7) Jesus also gave this authority to at least 70 other disciples. “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Luk 10:1-2) Then we see how they responded when they returned to Jesus, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” (Luk 10:17) Not only that, we then also read that others, which Jesus did not send were using the authority of His Name to cast out demons; “And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.” (Mar 9:38-40) This authority is eternal; the authority of Jesus is not conditional upon an outpouring of spiritual gifts, or a moment of time. It is a constant, absolute, at all times, in all situations. If it weren’t so, then there is no hope for the children of God. The great news it is so, and we can count on it, and if we walk in His way and keep his words, we will always receive the benefits of His complete authority. I should clarify that all power is based upon the spiritual realm. God is Spirit. When I say some things are done with power, and some in authority. You should understand it is all based within the power and authority of Gods might. This never changes. I am specifically talking about being on the receiving end of the equation. Not every believer receives all gifts of power. However, all believers can claim the authority of Jesus name for He is our Lord. Therefore, for the believer something’s are accomplished with authority and something’s are done with power. From the viewpoint of the throne of God, all things are being enforced spiritually.
I know there are two camps concerning the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. One side says “yes” it is still active today; we can still do all things shown us in the scripture. Miracles are still a part of the churches toolbox. I fall into this group. Then the other side says “no,” the Holy Spirit only came until we had the Scriptures. Miracles no longer take place in the manner shown in scripture. Here is the great thing; it does not matter what side you fall on when it comes to spiritual warfare. For it is through the authority of the name of Jesus we cast out demons and fight this spiritual war. So, unless Jesus no longer has authority and permanence in all things including the spiritual, then we still have the authority to cast out demons! We can still go as He commands, “…make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you.” (See Mat 28:18-20) Without the authority of Jesus, we could not preach the gospel to the world.
Just as our Daddy gave authority to Jesus over all the forces of darkness, Jesus gives it to us. “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luk 10:19-20) This was given in the middle of Jesus’ ministry before His death. Then we find after His resurrection that this authority is restated with even more added to it, now He endows us with even greater authority and promise of power; “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” (Mar 16:15-19) Now we see the full mix of authority and power. Jesus in the book of Acts tells them when they were to receive this power, “But ye shall receive power, 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.” (Act 1:8) Let’s read the fulfillment of the reception of power, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Act 2:4) Praise God! Also, something that is worthy of note is The Holy Spirit was given at least to some degree right after His resurrection when He first appeared to the disciples, “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:” (Joh 20:22) Jesus was faithful and kept His promise “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (Joh 14:16-18)
We have authority and power in Jesus Christ. We are not victims, we are victorious. We walk this life as conquerors. The victory has been won and we will see the fulfillment of our faith when our Lord and Savior appears in the glory of the Father, on that last great day! Let’s review how blessed we are through Jesus, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;” (Heb 3:1) “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” (Eph 5:8) “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” (2Pe 1:3) “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (Col 1:11-14) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Eph 1:3) Then the Family of God shouts, “AMEN!”
Let’s Pray “Daddy, just as You gave Jesus authority to live victorious; through Your will He has given us this authority. When I think of how awesome Your blessings are, and the gifts of power You have bestowed upon us. The only response worthy of Your kindness is a loving devotion. I ask that Your goodness stirs in me repentance that is renewed every day. Let it also make me move with compassion to a fallen world, and share the hope You have given me. Thank You for everything You have done.”In Jesus’ precious and holy name we pray, Amen!
~We Shall Be Like Him – 1 John 3:2~