So today, we are concluding our teaching on the believer’s authority entitled “The Son of Man” where we have learned some vital truths regarding the way God has set things up to operate here on the earth. And some of these truths are radical, church. Not radical in God’s eyes, but religion has a hard time swallowing them because it has trained us that we are weak & powerless, and God is the One in charge of everything. But what we have seen is that God, in His sovereignty, has delegated His authority to those created in His image and according to His likeness.
So, we started off talking about this truth—how God gave the earth to the children of men. Yes, when He created man in the beginning, He gave him dominion over all His creation and commissioned him to subdue and keep it. And we learned how this hasn’t changed. Even though Adam signed away his lease agreement over the earth through his sin, mankind still maintained the same authority over this planet.
But we also learned that when Jesus came in a flesh & blood body and fulfilled the righteous requirement of the law, that He justifiably restored to His church the authority Adam lost. Therefore, in Christ, we have been delegated that same authority to rule in His name.
So, we looked at what it means to be the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, and the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We saw how all of this describes the authority that we have in Him and how it is now our responsibility to sack and plunder the kingdom of darkness here on the earth.
Most recently, we looked at how we are to use the same authority that Christ Jesus has and do the same things He did in His name, which was destroy the works of the devil. And what we did was we studied what it truly means to not only do things in His name but to both say & pray in Jesus’ name.
So again, we are on the fourteenth and what I believe to be the final part of this series. And my prayer is that this particular series has been revelatory for you and that it has boosted your confidence in Christ.
Now this week, I want us to conclude this series by looking at another passage of Scripture in the Gospels that beautifully encapsulates this authority that we have been given by the grace of God …
Notice what happened in the event found in Luke chapter 10 …
Luke 10:1-2 says, “After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’ ”
I believe these two verses speak a lot towards what we have coming up over the next 6 months with Hope for the Heart of Georgia. I believe the Lord is sending us, the Seventy, out two by two in the place He Himself is about to come. Therefore, we need to be prayerful for the Lord to send out laborers into this truly great harvest before us. Amen?
Then after giving them a bunch of different instructions as to what to do as well as making other statements in verses 3-16, we see Jesus’ disciples returning to Him in verse 17. And Luke chapter 10:17 says, “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name’.”
So, notice again that this wasn’t Jesus’ “twelve” disciples (i.e., the apostles). No, this was not His chosen twelve but was “seventy” of His disciples. What is the significance in this, you ask? It shows us that it was not just the apostles that the Lord gave this power and authority to. Sure, we have seen several Scriptures already where Jesus commissioned His twelve disciples to go out to heal the sick and cast out demons, but here, it was not just the “twelve” He sent out; it was the “seventy.”
You see, so many Christians believe that it was only the twelve apostles that had been given authority by Christ over the kingdom of darkness, but in this verse, it was the 70 disciples that exercised authority over the devil. So, we could say that it was not just the “apostles” who had been given authority and power; it is all the “disciples” of our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen! Therefore, what we can take away from this is that apparently any follower of the Lord Jesus has been given the authority to heal the sick and cast out demons, and not just the church leaders.
You see, there are some Christians who believe that we still have authority today, but it’s only been given to specially anointed men or women of God. But how could that be true if this other group (i.e., the seventy) cast out demons in His name. You see, all of us that have chosen to follow Jesus and have been chosen by Him to be His representatives have the God-given right to exercise authority over Satan’s kingdom in Jesus’ name. Yes, authority belongs to every born-again child of God! It is not just for a select few chosen believers that God has given some special power to! No! God has given each and every one of us that same “special” power”—and His name is the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!
And I believe this is one of the reasons why the seventy returned rejoicing like they did … It was because these results exceeded their expectations!
You see, like us, they weren’t that surprised that Jesus’ closest disciples got results when they prayed for the sick and cast out demons, but they were evidently surprised to get the same results themselves. Why? Because they were not the “select elect!” In other words, they were not the chosen twelve apostles; they were just an average disciple.
On top of that, like the twelve apostles at this point, they were not born again, nor were they filled with the Holy Spirit yet. No, they were just common followers of Christ who were still dead in their sins & trespasses; yet they had the name of Christ! And His name is how they got the results that they did!
So, we need to understand that even if we do not “feel” like we are the spiritual ones, we can still get exceptional results because we have the same name that they had and we are doing these works in Christ’s name, not our own name!
Now notice what the seventy returned with joy saying to Him— “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name.”
The word “subject” is certainly an authority term. It means “to be submitted” or “to be made subordinate.” Therefore, for one to be in subjection to someone else means that they are under their authority. And if you recall, it was a similar word used in Genesis by the Lord when commissioning Adam to “subdue” His creation.
So how were the demons subject to them? Again, they said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us (or, are under our authority) in your name.” Therefore, their authority over demons was due to the name of Jesus!
Saints, the name of Jesus is what all our authority is wrapped up in. And as we have come to understand, the name of Jesus is certainly powerful when it comes from our mouth, but it is also powerful when we learn to operate from His name by living in His place, position and authority. In other words, we have both the name to speak, and we also have the name to operate from. Amen!
Now notice Jesus’ response to His seventy disciples’ jubilation: In Luke 10:18 we are told— “And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven’.”
So, Jesus’ response to their excitement over the demons leaving when they took authority over them in His name is a little perplexing. I mean, why would He say that He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven? What does this have to do with what they said to Him?
Well, the event Jesus was referring to here was when Satan, being an angel in heaven named Lucifer, tried to rebel against God because his heart was lifted up in pride to be like Him. The Scriptures teach us that he was able to deceive a third of the angels in heaven to war against the Lord of hosts.
And can you imagine how that went down? Jesus told us right here what happened when He said that He was there to witness Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Now as we know, when it comes to lightning if you blink, you’ll miss it.
So, this shows us that if we were to have ordered this so-called “War in the Heavenlies” on pay per view, then we wouldn’t have gotten our money’s worth. LOL! It was no match, whatsoever! Just like when He was being accused of casting out demons by Beelzebub, Jesus said that He was casting them out by the “finger of God” (Luke 11:20).
So here is what I imagine happened. Lucifer and all his angels ganged up, roaring as they came against the Most High God and the Lord just simply “flicked” him with his finger and the devil fell like lightning from heaven!
No, don’t be deceived, brethren! This wasn’t like the main event at Wrestlemania, where you get a good back and forth 20-minute match! No, if you would have paid to see this, the only thing you would have been impressed by was the knock-out ability of our God! Hallelujah!
So, I believe that Jesus was attempting to communicate to His disciples that what they had experienced was not as spectacular and miraculous as they thought. Why? Because He saw Satan lose His place of authority when He was cast out of heaven some time before that. In other words, it was really no big deal that the demons were responding to His name—because their leader had already been cast out of heaven before by that same authority! Amen!
Then in verse 19, Jesus gives His disciples an awesome statement that reinforces what they had just experienced through His name: He said in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
First of all, notice the word “Behold” that Jesus begins this statement with. This word is very significant in that it reveals to us the tone in which Jesus was saying this in: The word “Behold” literally means to “Look” but in all actuality, it means to look with an exclamation point on it (i.e., Look!). So, it is a word of emphasis, similarly to how if we saw something exciting about to happen, we would raise our voice and say, “Look at that!”
So, with this word prefacing what Jesus was about to say, we can see that Jesus was wanting His disciples to see something exciting. In other words, since they were already jubilant regarding the demons being subject to them, Jesus was basically saying, “Hey guys! If that floats your boat, check this out…!!!” Praise God!
You see, this is a good example of the “gospel”—for while the gospel is simply and most commonly defined as “good news,” it is a very unique word that means not just good news, but news too good to be true! In other words, it is “over the top good news,” “news that exceeds expectations” and “good news that don’t get any gooder than this.” Amen!
And the first piece of this exciting, too good to be true, news was— “I give you the authority …”
Church, do not be mistaken—the authority that we have in Christ is not a wage that is earned; our authority is a gift that this given. In other words, like our salvation, redemption and sanctification, our authority is not something that we can work for. It is yet another product of the grace of God in our lives! Amen!
Now I know that the older King James version uses the word “power” here, but again, the more literal translation would be “authority” because the Greek word exousia is used. So we are, in fact, talking about the authority that we have in Christ’s name here—which is (again) “the channel through which this power operates.”
So, what has Jesus graciously given us the authority to do? He starts off by saying, “to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy …”
Now, first of all, notice the word “trample” here: Does that sound like we are struggling with something or are wrestling with it? No, for us to “trample” on something denotes that we are far above and bigger than the thing we are trampling upon! Amen?
Again, this is why we are told that all things are under His feet—because we are His body, and all the power of the enemy is to be trampled on by Christ’s church! Amen!
Now it is important to note that these “serpents and scorpions” that Jesus spoke of here fell under that category of the “creeping things that creep upon the face of the earth.” And we learned earlier in this series that we have been given authority over all these creeping things!
You see, the Word of God used physical creatures such as “serpents and scorpions” (Compare “cobras and lions” in Psalm 91:13) as examples to illustrate how these natural things that were considered harmful to them in their day wouldn’t even be able to hurt them. In the geographic area that they lived in, snakes and scorpions were two of those most common things that hurt and killed people. So, Jesus was using these two “creeping things”—not as an exhaustive list of things that they would be protected from—but as examples of their authority to trample on anything that is hurtful in the natural.
But then Jesus didn’t stop with these harmful things of this physical world. He then adds- “…and over all the power of the enemy.” So now He is covering all that is harmful in the spiritual as well. Amen!
The word “power” here is actually a good translation as it comes from the Greek word dunamis. So, Jesus is saying here that His disciples (His seventy) had been given authority over all the power or ability of the enemy. Therefore, there is no spiritual force that has the power or authority to hurt us as well. Amen to that!
Finally, Jesus went on to say, “and nothing shall by any means hurt you!”
Nothing! Nothing harmful in this natural realm! Nothing harmful in the spiritual realm! Nothing shall by any means hurt or harm us! Glory to God! And the words “by any means” is an emphatic “no, not at all” in the original Greek language. This means that Jesus was saying, “Nothing! I mean nothing at all, will in any way hurt you.”
This is why we see in Mark 16:18 that listed in the middle of all of these signs that will follow the believer is “… they will take up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them ...”
This, of course, does not mean that we are to start handling snakes or drinking strychnine for fun. No, that would be tempting God and be simply foolish. All it means is that, for example, if we happen to be bit by a poisonous snake doing the Lord’s work like the apostle Paul was on the Island of Malta in Acts 28:1-6, that we will “suffer no harm” (Acts 28:5). Amen.
Now another qualification to this is our faith in this truth. For example, if you are fearful and do not trust in this promise, it certainly might harm you. Just as when the apostle Paul had this viper fasten on his hand, he didn’t panic! He simply shook the viper off in the fire and went about his business. How could he respond this way? It was because He understood this truth—that nothing shall by any means hurt or harm him! Amen!
So basically, what Jesus was saying here was that He has given us authority over both our natural and spiritual enemies. It doesn’t matter if we get bit by a copperhead snake or if we accidently drink something poisonous! It doesn’t matter if the devil sends a spirit of infirmity to cling on us or any other spiritual affliction! We have authority over all things that would attempt to harm us, both spiritually and naturally, according to Jesus! None of it has the right to hurt us! Amen!
REJOICE IN THIS
But I want to conclude this message today with Jesus’ “nevertheless” in verse 20: In Luke 10:20 Jesus said, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus then brought a different perspective to His disciples. Again, we’ve seen how they had returned with joy over the fact that the demons were subject to them. But here we see Jesus, in essence, saying to them— “Don’t get excited about the fact that evil spirits have to obey you, but rather get excited about the fact that your name is written in heaven.” Amen!
Saints, there is a great spiritual principle contained in this: Do not let your joy be rooted in simply getting results! Why? Because what if you fail to get results? Are you going to lose your joy then? Well, if you are deriving your joy from the fruit you experience, your joy will be up and down.
You see, our joy & rejoicing must always be based in what God has already done for us by grace. These are things that can never be taken away from us. Therefore, when our joy is rooted and grounded in this, the devil cannot steal our joy through fluctuating circumstances. And if the devil cannot steal your joy, he cannot steal your goods either. Amen!
Church, having our name written in heaven means that we have gained citizenship in heaven and, through gaining our citizenship in heaven, we have authority over devils along with many other benefits as well. Therefore, having our name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life is the source of all those other spiritual privileges that we have which includes authority over demons.
You see, Jesus started out by saying that He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven and then ended by telling us that we shouldn’t get excited that demons are subject to us, but we should get excited that our names are written in heaven. Therefore, He spoke of where Satan fell from and where we are elevated to, heaven—which is the King’s castle, the ultimate place of authority and dominion!
So, Jesus wanted His disciples to focus on the root of their authority rather than the fruit of their authority. The root is that we are the children of the King; the fruit is that we get to rule and reign as the King’s kids. Amen!
Romans 5:17 says, “For if by one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
The word “reign” means “to rule and reign as kings”. Where are we supposed to rule and reign as kings? In life! Friends, understanding the “abundance of grace”, which is “God’s willingness to use His power on our behalf even though we don’t deserve it” and understanding “the free gift of righteousness,” which is right standing with God at no cost to us, we can truly rule and reign in this present evil age as kings!
Do you want this to be true for you today? Well, if you are in Christ, it is true for you. Now you just must believe that it is yours because you are Christ’s.
This is why we need this spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him to enlighten the eyes of our heart. We need our eyes opened to this wonderful and glorious truth of the power and authority that is ours in Christ Jesus! We need to know that this power is the very power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead! We need to know that Christ has been given the name above every other name and is now seated far above all the principalities, powers, might and dominion!
All of this is our reality in Christ all because, as we believe on the name of the Lord, our names are written and registered in heaven, and we are positionally seated together with Christ at the right hand of God. Yes, all of this authority is now ours through the power of His resurrection! Amen!
Therefore, we can rejoice with exceedingly great joy, knowing that our names are written in heaven, and we have been registered among those who have the name above all names, Jesus!
So, I ask you today: Is your name written in heaven? Is your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Are you recognized in heaven as being Christ’s very own?
My friend, this is the only way to go to heaven and it is the only way to experience heaven on earth. This is where all of our authority, power and dominion is rooted—by being raised together with Christ! So why would you live another day not knowing whether or not you are known by God? Be raised up to a new life in Him today and begin to partake of the fruit of His authority! Amen!
Saints, I can assure you—the enemy has and will fight this subject tooth and nail because He understands that the believer who knows their authority in Christ is the biggest threat to His kingdom.
You see, the devil doesn’t want Christians to learn about the authority that was given to them because he wants to continue to control and dominate our lives whenever and however he wants to. He knows that the believer who understands and walks in their God-given authority is one less Christian that he can walk over.
So, this is why he will fight this subject so intensely—because he cannot have his way in our lives anymore when we find out that he is under our feet. We have the right to dominate him and to enjoy total victory every time.
Church, as I’ve said over and over, I believe this topic is one of the most important and misunderstood subjects in church today. Religion has taught us a lie that we are weak & powerless and are simply living subject to whatever God wills for our lives. But this is simply not true. We have authority over what happens on this planet and if the enemy is running rampant over the earth, it’s not God’s fault; it’s mankind’s and especially the church’s fault.
Saints, we’ve been given all the keys to the kingdom of heaven! We have the new birth! We have the Holy Spirit! We have the Name of Jesus! We have it ALL! It’s time we use it to push back the kingdom of darkness and see His kingdom come and His will be done on the earth as it is in heaven! Amen!
Recently, we began looking at how we are to use the same authority that Christ Jesus has and do the same things He did in His name. And what we did was we studied what it truly means to do things in His name.
You see, as we made the point of last week, this issue of doing & saying things “in the name of Jesus” has been a topic of great misunderstanding in the Body of Christ. Most Christians believe that to pray in Jesus’ name is simply to tack on “in Jesus’ name” to the end of their prayer and to cast out demons in Jesus’ name is to bombard those evil spirits with a bunch of “in Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ name!”
Church, we need to understand that doing things “in the name of” someone else does not simply mean to tack on the phrase “in the name of …” to the end of a statement. It means more than that. We saw that it is more of us acting in the Lord’s place, stead, or authority as we’ve seen in our example. Therefore, it is not just tacking on some magic words to the things we say, pray, or do, but it is actually doing these things “in the place” of the Lord Jesus, as His representative. In other words, it is being cognizant of the fact that every word we say and every work that we do is to be done as His representatives, His ambassadors and His soldiers. Amen.
We then looked at Acts chapter 3 at one of the great examples we have of this—which just happens to be the first healing / miracle we have in the Book of Acts. And we saw how it was faith in the name of Jesus that gave that crippled man perfect soundness on that day. Likewise, our faith in the name of Jesus will bring this perfect soundness in our lives and in the lives of those we minister to. Amen?
So while we looked specifically at doing these things in His name a couple of weeks ago, I want us to now look more into both saying & praying things in His name.
SAYING IN THE NAME OF JESUS
You see, church, as we learned from in the story of the Centurion, when one understands this subject of authority, they will understand that simple commands like “Go & Come” or “Do this & Do that” are enough to see mountains moved. That’s because there is indeed power in the tongue—to both create life and to bring destruction. And when we speak from that position of authority even the simplest of commands get results.
But what we find in the Body of Christ is that most believers only respect the power of prayer to move mountains and have zero revelation that their faith-filled words can move mountains as well. In other words, there is time to pray, and there is a time to say. And far too many times we are praying to God about the obstacles in our life, begging Him to do something about them. But the Lord said that we are to speak to the mountain. Let’s look over at Mark chapter 11 …
We know the story: how Jesus cursed the fig tree, and then when they passed back the next day, they saw it dried up from the roots. So, when Peter said, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away,” Jesus answered with— “Don’t try this at home … because I am the Son of God, and you are not…” No, that’s not what He said! He answered with— “Have faith in God!” Now the literal rendering in the Greek language says, “Have God’s faith.” So, while it is certainly important for us to put our faith in the Lord, and that absolutely has its place, Jesus was telling us to have faith like God has it. In other words, have His very own faith and practice it like He does. Amen!
Then, Jesus goes on to further explain how we have the faith of God by saying in verse 23, “For assuredly (Now that means that you can be confident in this. It’s a sure thang!), I say to you, whosoever says to this mountain (So, we see here that we are not talking to God about the mountain; this is us talking to the mountain itself), ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” Notice that in this verse, the word “says” is mentioned three-times, and the believing aspect is only mentioned one. I believe that this means that the saying part is super significant.
So, in Mark 11:23-24, we see Jesus teaching us that speaking to the mountain when we pray is a valid part of the Christian life. But what I find most Christians doing at best is talking to God about their mountain in a spirit of fear and desperation. Church, that is neither saying or praying in His name.
No, we have to learn that there is a time to, as the Lord told Ezekiel, prophesy the dry bones around us. There is time to speak to the storms of life like Jesus did when He stilled the raging seas. And yes, there is a time to speak to the other obstacles (i.e. mountains) that are in our path like Jesus did—things like fevers, fig trees, etc.
But it’s not just about saying things; it’s saying them in His name. And that’s where a lot of people fail. They are not declaring these things from that standpoint of confidence, knowing in whose place they are saying them. Therefore, there’s usually not a lot of boldness in what they are confessing. Sure, they are saying the right thing, but what we say is not always as important as how we say it.
Take water baptism for instance: You know, a lot of people get hung up on what name we use when we water baptize people. But the truth of the matter is that is just being religious and ignorant. You know why? Because it is not just about what we say when we put someone under water. It is what name—place, authority, and stead—we are baptizing people in. In other words, is the person being water baptized truly identifying with Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection? Is the person doing the water baptizing understanding the same? That’s what is important, saints—not simply what we utter in that sacred event.
Now I do believe it’s important to say HIS name when we do this, but there are a lot of people who have both water baptized people and been water baptized themselves who did not understand what I am talking to you about today, and because of that, they might have missed one of the most important parts of water baptism.
AUTHORITY TO PRAY
Now we’ve spent a little time talking about the authority we have to make professions & declarations, but I believe it is important to understand something else … Not only do we have the authority to “say,” we also have the authority to “pray.”
You see, I think sometimes those of us who start getting this revelation of the authority we have in Christ Jesus can get into the ditch of only confessing things and devalue the role prayer has. Let me explain …
In our modern day charismatic, word of faith circles and grace camps, I believe we have taken certain truths (that are indeed truths) and developed unscriptural doctrines out of them. Yes, within the past few decades, we have increased in our understanding that we are not waiting on God to do anything. We have come to find out that He has already done everything He is going to do through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And while these are truths that need to be understood, we have somehow minimized the importance of prayers and supplications at the same time. We have not learned to balance the asking part with the believing part.
In most of the radical teachings that have come out concerning faith and grace, it is implied that asking is unbelief because you are somehow not believing He has already done it. But if that were true, then that would nullify countless Scriptures in the New Testament that specifically tell us to ask. Let me give you just a few of them …
Now that is quite a few New Testament Scriptures concerning asking, isn’t it? So it is apparent that it is certainly appropriate to ask for some things while it is also true that speaking to the mountain has it’s place.
But I think a good question to ask is—why is asking even necessary? Like, for example, in Matthew 6:8, Jesus says, “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”
You see, a good question is—If God already knows what we have need of before we ask Him, then why do we even have to ask? Why doesn’t He just do it? This is a good question, and one that we need to understand in our charismatic circles …
But it’s important to understand that the Greek word used for “ask” has several different derivatives in its definition such as “to beg, request, plead, desire, crave, and demand.” So, you can see from this definition that asking can mean anything from “begging” to “demanding.”
Now biblical asking is not in any way “begging or pleading.” We are told to ask in faith, which is being firmly convinced that what you are asking for is God’s will and/or that He loves you enough to give you the desires of your heart. To “beg” God is a totally unscriptural and ineffective way of asking.
On the other hand, when we ask we are not to get in the other ditch and start demanding things from God like we are bossing Him around. Some have gotten over into this and are void of honor and respect for their God. While it is Scriptural and necessary to remind God of what He has said (not that He has forgotten, but because it is good for us), we are not to do it in a disrespectful manner.
So where is the balance? We are to ask in faith—understanding the will and heart of our Heavenly Father, but we are also to ask in a humble and respectful way because He is our God as well as our Father.
With all of this said, the basic meaning of this Greek word for “ask” is what you normally think of when you think of “asking.” As a matter of fact, if you look up every time this Greek word is used in the New Testament, you will find that in instances in the Gospels and the Book of Acts it just simply meant to make a request. I say all of this lest we try and over-think what this word “really” means in order to back up our pet doctrines. It means what you would think it means.
So, since we have a scriptural precedence for “asking” under the New Testament, we need to ask ourselves some questions: When is it appropriate to ask? What are we supposed to ask for? How do we ask for it?
So, let’s start by answering the question that we started out this teaching with: Why do we have to ask? The reason why we need to ask even though God already knows what we have need of before we ask is because it is a matter of legalities. Let me briefly explain …
As we have seen already, when God created this world He then delegated His authority to the first man, Adam. Psalms states that the heavens are the Lord’s, but the earth has He given to the sons of men. Adam, through willful disobedience, handed over that authority to the enemy, but Jesus came to win back that authority for all of those who are in Him. So, God, through Jesus Christ, has freely given to the church His authority. And since He has given us the dominion on the earth, it is up to us to see His will come to pass on the earth. He has set it up so that if His will is going to come to pass it will have to come to pass through human beings. Therefore, things come to pass that are His will when physical human beings exercise their right to ask, demand, and command. This is why we must ask for things. It’s because God has put us in the driver’s seat. Tell me He’s not a faith God.
In Matthew 18:18, Jesus told us that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. And if you look at the following verse, prayer is the understood subject.
So, from this we can see the authority that has been freely given to us by God on this earth. Whatever is bound on earth is what will be bound in heaven. Whatever we loose on earth is what will be loosed in heaven. Notice that in both cases, Jesus starts with what we bind & loose on earth and then heaven follows suit. This is how God has set it up! He has given us the authority on the earth and so whatever we bind and loose through prayer is what will be bound and loosed in heaven.
You see, when Jesus said, “Knock and it shall be opened to you” He was showing us this same principle: We have to knock in order for the doors to be opened. Why doesn’t God just open doors on His own? Why do we have to knock first? It is because of this structure of authority God has set up on the earth …
Another good question then is—Why would He have set things up this way? I believe one of the main reasons is because it is simply His nature to do this.
You see, God is the epitome of a gentleman. This is demonstrated the best in the fact that He has given us the free will that He has. God is not one to intrude and make anybody do anything they don’t want to do. Therefore, He wants us to invite Him into our lives. He wants us to invite Him to do what He already desires to do for us. You see, God’s greatest desire is to be desired. And one of the greatest ways that we invite Him is through simply asking (or you could say petitioning Him).
So this is why asking is necessary. It’s because God has given the authority over this earth to the sons of men. Therefore, He desires to be invited by His creation—both by us speaking things into existence and asking for God to do the things we cannot do. So, saying (i.e. confessing, declaring, prophesying, etc.) is no substitute for praying.
So, when we pray, yes, we need to go into it knowing our need for God, but we are also supposed to be going into it from this authority mentality to where we understand that God needs our participation too. Amen? Yes, He needs us to ask, guys!
PRAYING IN HIS NAME
So I’m here to tell you today that prayer is also a gift of this authority that we are learning about—particularly when you look at the correct protocol for prayer.
Just look at the Model Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 (or, the Lord’s Prayer, as many call it): In that example that Jesus gave answering His disciples’ request to teach them how to pray, we see how authority in intertwined in many of those things.
For example, the very first requests that Jesus taught us to make are— “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Again, why would the Lord teach us to request this? Isn’t God the One who determines when, where, and how His kingdom will come on earth? Isn’t it totally up to Him whether His will is done here as well? No, this is what religion teaches us, but simply by virtue of the fact that Jesus taught His disciples to request this shows that we evidently have a part to play in how, when, and where His kingdom comes and His will is done. Amen?
But we can also see the authority we have in prayer by understanding the correct protocol of prayer: Didn’t Jesus teach us in the New Testament that prayer is to be offered up to the Father “in His name”? Let’s look at a few Scriptures …
In John 16:23-24, Jesus said that in that day, we will ask Him nothing, but whatever we ask the Father in His name, will be given to us. And in John 14:13-14, Jesus said that He will do whatever we ask in His name. And finally, in John 15:15-16, Jesus said that He was no longer calling us “servants,” but “friends.” And because of Him choosing and appointing us as His friends, we are commissioned to go forth and bear fruit—receiving whatever we ask the Father in His name.
So all of these Scriptures that revolve around prayer and petition place a great emphasis on praying “in His name,” right? And we understand that praying in the name of Jesus is not simply to add His name to the end of our prayers. Rather, it is us praying to the Father with the understanding that we are praying in Jesus’ place, in His stead, in His authority. In other words, we are praying to our Heavenly Father from the standpoint of it essentially being like Jesus Himself were the One doing the praying. This teaches us the importance of prayer and petition being done “in His place, as His representative, and through His authority.” Therefore, a major key to seeing answers to our prayers is understanding whose place we are approaching God in, namely the Lord Jesus Christ.
You see, if I approach God with things like, “God, I know I’ve screwed up. I am unworthy and undeserving, and I know I am low down dirty worm, but I just ask …” Well, I just prefaced my petition by approaching God “in my name,” not “in His name.” Why? Because I came to Him talking about who I was and what I had done. No, saints, we need to approach God “in Christ’s name” by talking about all that He is and what He has done. Now, this does not mean that we always have to rehearse all that He has done every time we pray, but simply that we come to Him with the mindset that it’s all about who we are through His blood and His Spirit. Amen?
So when I am praying, I don’t say the phrase “in Jesus name, I pray …” for my own benefit—like it’s some magic phrase that makes my prayers work. If I am doing that, then I am not praying in Christ’s name. No, most of the time the reason we want to add Jesus’ name to things we are praying & saying is for those around us. For example, when Peter & John healed the man at the beautiful gate, they told the man to rise up and walk “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” Have you ever wondered why they added that Jesus was “of Nazareth”? It’s not that adding those two words is going to cause the miracle to happen. No, it was because those around them needed to know that the One they were doing this in the place of was from Nazareth. In other words, since these were Jews, knowing which “Yeshua” they were representing was important.
So my point is that more often than not, using the words in the name of Jesus is done for the person we are ministering to and for those witnessing it. But it really doesn’t need to be done for us—unless of course we need to remind ourselves whose name we praying in.
You see, I personally like to include in my prayers a time of praise & thanksgiving for all that Jesus has done for me by His grace. I like to say something to the affect of— “Father, I come to You in the grace of Your Son, where His blood has cleansed me and I have been clothed in His righteousness. Thank You Father for all that I have in Him and for all I can do in Him. This is the name I am praying in …” I do this because I like reminding myself that this is grace, mercy, and favor is what I am praying in and not anything else. Amen?
So praying in the name of Jesus is obviously an important aspect of our authority. Amen? We must understand whose authority we are asking in. We need to know whose place we are approaching the Father in. Failing to understand this can result in us praying in another name, and that doesn’t get results.
So, church, let’s make sure we do everything we do in His name and not in our own. This understanding whose authority we are praying & saying in is critical to seeing the results when we speak. Amen.
Now over the past couple of weeks we have been looking at the example of Jesus when it comes to our authority in Christ, and we have learned that the Son of Man had a way of dealing with the kingdom of darkness that we can certainly learn from.
We saw how he resisted the devil personally in the wilderness and how His example shows us how to resist the temptations the devil throws at us. We learned how He used the Word of God, using this sword of the Spirit, to retaliate against the devil’s ploys to get him off track. Likewise, we are to follow His example of resisting the devil with the whole armor of God and that includes the sword of the Spirit, which is the spoken Word of God.
Last week, we looked at some of the ways we see Jesus handling the kingdom of darkness in His ministry. We learned that it was much simpler than most people have made it out to be over the years.
For example, oftentimes we see Jesus using very few words to cast out demons. In fact, He was said to cast them out “with a word.” Other translations say that he did this with a “simple command” or with “one single word.”
So, what we learned was that Jesus did not have long, drawn out discourses with demons. No, He was simple and to the point with just about all of them—telling them to shut up and get out!
Which was another major point we made—that when the enemy is speaking to us in our minds, feeding us with all the lies that he does, we need to verbally “rebuke” him by telling him to be quiet and get behind us. Amen?
We also learned how “rebuking the devil” is not just saying “I rebuke you, devil.” No, it is actually rebuking him like we would rebuke another human being. Amen?
So, what we learned from this is we need to not just follow the religious verbiage we’ve always used but actually have an understanding as to what we are saying. However, we also learned that we don’t want to get hung up on the technicalities of all these things—for what’s important is not just what we say, but how we say it.
But in the midst of these practical ways that Jesus dealt with the devil, we also learned some important things about demonic possession and how one can open themselves up to being demonized.
You see, church, I am convinced that there are a lot more things that we come into contact with and experience that are demonic in nature. Yes, there is a real spiritual world out there and it is filled with all kinds of unclean & evil spirits that affect us on a daily basis. So, learning how to recognize and “expel” them is a much bigger part of Christianity than most realize.
IN MY NAME
Now this week, it’s time for us to move into how you and I do these same works Jesus did by going back over the Great Commission. Yes, in Mark chapter 16 we need to camp on three very significant words listed in this Great Commission—because understanding them is integral to understanding this subject of our authority in Christ …
Now if you recall, the Great Commission of sharing the good news and making disciples is closely tied together with this subject of spiritual authority. In fact, one cannot really separate evangelism with the signs that are supposed to follow it—namely, casting out demons.
Notice in Mark 16:17, after Jesus said, “And these signs will follow those who believe…,” He said, “In My name they will cast demons; they will speak with new tongues, they will take up serpents…”
You see, the very first sign that Jesus mentions that’s supposed to follow the believer is this casting out of demons. No, it’s not speaking in tongues or laying hands on the sick, but it’s dealing with the demonic. Therefore, I believe this needs to get elevated in our list of things we are responsible for doing in our Christian walk.
However, the key to understanding how we are able to have all of these signs following us including casting out demons is in the first three words Jesus used to describe these signs. Jesus said that all of these things are to be done, “In My name …”
Now I’d assume most of us know this, but us doing & saying things in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ is a big part of Christianity. We are told that our prayers are to be prayed in His name. We are told that we are to operate in His spiritual gifts in His name. In fact, we are told to do everything we do in His name. But what I have found is that a lot of people are ignorant as to what it means to minister in the name of Jesus.
You see, this issue of doing things “in the name of Jesus” has been a topic of great misunderstanding in the Body of Christ. Most Christians believe that to pray in Jesus’ name is simply to tack on “in Jesus’ name” to the end of their prayer and to cast out demons in Jesus’ name is to bombard those evil spirits with a bunch of “in Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ name!” Church, we need to understand that doing things “in the name of” someone else does not simply mean to tack on the phrase “in the name of…” to the end of a statement. It means more than that.
However, let me also say that this does not mean we need to stop saying “In Jesus name” when we pray, etc. There is indeed great power in saying the name of Jesus itself—plus it is good to keep ourselves in remembrance of whose name we are praying in. So, I am not saying, lets eliminate saying His name, but what I am saying is that we need to have the proper understanding of what it really means to pray in Jesus’ name. That’s all.
The way the Lord taught me this was by watching a movie called “Gladiator” …
There was a point at the end of the movie where the Roman soldiers were coming to arrest one of the gladiators, the star of the movie, and this band of gladiator slaves had locked the soldiers out of where they were staying. So, the head soldier said, “Open the gates in the name of the emperor!” When I heard that line from the movie, I saw what the phrase “in the name of” truly means…
You see, when those soldiers were saying, “Open the gates in the name of the emperor!” what they were declaring was that they were commanding them to open those gates in the authority of the emperor himself! In other words, their command was to be heeded as if it were the emperor himself commanding it. Amen! So, since the emperor himself had already given the command to go arrest these men, the soldiers were able to affirmatively say, “Let us in on the authority of the emperor’s command!” Amen!
And so, all of these words declared by the King of kings Himself to cast out demons, heal the sick, etc. are able to be enforced by us, His delegated authorities, as we go about doing things in the name of Jesus. Amen! So, like those soldiers of Rome, we likewise are doing things in the name of our “Emperor”—the Lord Jesus Christ—and so when we say— “Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors!” then the King of glory may come in! (Psalm 24:7) Why? Because His soldiers have spoken in His name! Amen!
You see, when you look up this phrase “in the name of” you see that it describes representing someone or something else, and also using the authority given by someone or something else.
I found a great description of this through a ministry called “Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.” They describe doing things “in Jesus’ name” like so: “The phrase ‘in Jesus’ name’ is associated with the authority of Jesus imparted to a person where that person performs an action as if it were Jesus actually doing it. For example, a person might heal someone ‘in Jesus’ name,’ or cast out a demon ‘in Jesus’ name,’ or pronounce forgiveness of sins “in Jesus’ name,” etc. The action is accomplished by someone, but the power and the right to accomplish it is not one’s own. Instead, it is that which belongs to Christ and is associated with the individual who performs the action.”
So doing things in His name is more of us acting in the Lord’s place, stead, or authority as we’ve seen in our example.
Now of course we know that this “doing things in the name of Jesus” includes our prayer life and these other spiritual & ministerial things we do, like casting our devils. But did you know it includes much more than this?
For example, in Colossians 3:17, the Apostle Paul said, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Now this Scripture says to do everything that we do—from what we say to our every deed— in the name of the Lord Jesus. This obviously does not mean to add “in Jesus’ name” to every statement that comes out of our mouth. Nor does not mean to let everyone around you know that every little thing you do, you did “in the name of the Lord.” No, all this means is that in everything you say or do, simply say or do it in the place of the Lord Jesus, as His representative. In other words, we need to be cognizant of the fact that every word we say and every work that we do is to be done as His representatives, His ambassadors and His soldiers. Amen.
SUCH AS I HAVE
Now one of our greatest illustrations of doing things in the name of Jesus is found in Acts chapter 3. Yes, this story of the healing of the lame man at the gate called beautiful shows us both how one does things in His name and the wonderful results that come as a result. So, I want to end today by us looking at it …
Let’s begin in verse 1-3— “Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.”
So, the picture we have here is of the apostles Peter & John entering the temple and this crippled man, seeing them, asking them for alms. So, in this case, the man initiated this miracle. We don’t have any reason to believe that Peter and John would have “seen” him if he didn’t ever “see” them first. We see this principle in the example of Moses & the burning bush. The Bible teaches us that when God saw that he turned aside to see the bush burning, that the Lord called out to him (See Exodus 3:4).
So then verses 4-6 go on to say, “And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’ So, he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’ ”
Now there are some powerful points in these verses—namely, how Peter and John “fixed” their eyes on this man. I’ll tell you, church, learning to fix our attention on the thing God has called us unto is super important—for when we become laser focused, our effectiveness goes through the roof! As the apostle Paul said, “This one thing I do …” He didn’t say, “These twelve different things I’m doing.” I know we like to pride ourselves on being multi taskers, but I believe if we want to do one thing excellently, then we need to “fix our eyes” on that one thing. Selah.
Then we see Peter saying to this man, “Look at us.” Wow, I’d have figured that men of God of this stature would have said, “Look at the Lord,” not “Look at us.” But the fact is Peter was trying to get this man’s attention just like he had given his full attention to him.
So, we see the man giving Peter & John his undivided attention, “expecting to receive something from them.” I’ll tell you, church, this guy was in position to receive his miracle—for giving them his attention and expecting to receive something are two of best practices of a person who needs to get their miracle.
So, Peter said to him, “Silver and gold I do not have …” which some people take as Peter describing his poverty as a servant of the Lord, but that’s not what he was saying. No, the Greek language actually indicates that Peter and John did not have any silver and gold present or at hand. So, what Peter was actually saying was “I don’t have any money on me right now.” So, you could translate this— “I left my wallet at the house. So, at the present time, I don’t have any money on me.”
But notice that Peter then said, “But what I do have I give you …” So, there was indeed something that Peter and John had in their possession that they could give to this man. Yes, they possessed something at that moment, just not money. And this example of monetary versus spiritual things is the way we need to see the spiritual things God has put into our spiritual bank account. We have the name of Jesus! We have the Holy Spirit living in us! We have the healing power of God at hand and available for us to draw on! Yes, these things are ours, just like we have money in our bank account that we can withdraw whenever we desire.
So, the first thing we have to do is know what is ours. This might happen by looking in our account electronically or by looking at our bank statement. Like F.F. Bosworth is quoted as saying, “Faith begins where the will of God is known,” likewise, “a withdrawal begins where your account balance is known.” So, once you know what is yours, what do you have to do to put a demand on and withdraw that money from your account? You go up to the banker and say, “I need some money. Please give me a withdrawal slip.” Then what do you have to do? You fill in the amount (both numerically and in written form), put your account number on it, and finally, sign it. From the spiritual sense, you have to say specifically what you want, and sometimes it is a good idea to write it down just like you want it. That’s why the bank wants you to write down the amount numerically and also by writing it out. So, we have to be clear and specific when it comes to what we are asking and believing God for. Then we have to know what account its coming from, and no, in this situation it isn’t your account. Whose account is it? It’s His! Then, finally, we have to sign that withdrawal ticket. And again, we don’t sign our own name. Whose name do we sign? We sign the name of Jesus—for it is in His place, position and power that all of these promises have been made available!
Then in Acts 3:6, Peter went on to say, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
Now as I’ve said, we need to understand that doing things in the name of Jesus is not always saying “in the name of Jesus,” although it can be. Again, to do things “in the name of” someone is to literally do things in the place, stead or authority of that person. And in this very event, we have a great example of this:
Notice what Peter said to this lame man— “rise up and walk.” That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Those are the very words we saw the Lord Himself utter when healing people. So, what we are seeing here is Peter using the same verbiage that Jesus used when healing lame people—thus, doing things in the place and stead of Jesus.
But I love how Acts 3:7 shows us that Peter didn’t just speak words, but he acted on those words. It says, “And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up.” And this was not some casual, sheepish thing either. No, the word used for “took” here was generally used for seizing someone like if they were arresting them. So, this was literally a “taking” of this man by the hand—denoting authority. And then this verse goes on to say, “and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” The word “immediately” denotes “right away or instantly.” Again, this was a bonified, notable miracle! This man had never walked, being lame from his mother’s womb!
So, just like Jesus would tell certain people to do the things that they seemingly couldn’t do like “rise up and walk,” we have to act on our healing and “rise up” and do the things that healed people do.
Now beginning in verse 11 we move on to “act two” of the story. Now we see the aftereffects of this lame man’s healing, where the people ran together to Solomon’s Porch to see what was going on. Then Peter gives the people a great sermon and explanation of what they just witnessed. So let me point out a few important things:
Now I love the questions Peter asks them in verse 12: ““Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” Do you know what this should do? It should dispel any notion that we have in the church today that these miracles happened because they were apostles and, therefore, miracles don’t still happen today because they are no longer with us. Nope! Peter said here that this healing did not occur through their own “power or godliness.” The word for “power” here is dunamis, which describes ability as much as it does power. So, Peter was essentially saying that this miracle did not occur through their own abilities. And I would add that it didn’t happen because they were educated either.
You see, in Acts 4:13, we see that Peter and John were “uneducated and untrained.” So, it doesn’t matter your education or any other training; it only matters whether you’ve been with Jesus. Church, spending time in His presence is what equips you with power, wisdom, etc.
The word “godliness” describes being like God and denotes “holiness.” Again, Peter said that it was not how holy, godly, saintly he and John were that produced this miracle. And guess what? Healings and miracles don’t happen through you because of your own power or godliness either! No, God does not heal people through you and I because of our own abilities or because we are walking in a certain level of holiness. Nope, He does it through us because He is able, because He has the power, and because of who He is, not because we are able or because of who we are. Never forget: God is looking for the available, not the able.
Now it needs to be said that even though it is not our own power or godliness that causes these miracles, our own holiness & godliness (or lack thereof) can cause us to disqualify ourselves. This happens as we condemn ourselves and our heart loses confidence because we know that our behavior is not where it needs to be. So, yes, our own works do play a part but not because they have to. It’s just the natural way our own heart can condemn us when we are not doing the things we know we ought to be doing.
But then, after explaining that it was not through he and John’s own ability and godliness, Peter gives a brief description of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, and subsequent resurrection in verses 13-15. Then he goes on to tell them how this miracle did indeed occur in verse 16: “And His (Jesus’) name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong whom you see and know.”
So, Peter makes it clear that it was not he and John’s name that produced this miracle; it was the name of Jesus! The Greek literally says it was “upon faith in His name.” In other words, this miracle was based on faith in the name of Jesus. And, no, just speaking the magic words of “in Jesus’ name” are not what accomplished this miracle; it was the person, power, and presence of Jesus Himself that made the difference. Amen! In other words, it was not who Peter and John were; it was who Jesus was, is and evermore shall be that got this man healed.
However, this leaves a question mark: If it is because of who Jesus is, and who Jesus is alone, then why doesn’t everybody get healed? Peter answers that question when he goes on to clarify that it is not just Jesus’ name, but it’s faith in His name, that made this man strong.
You see, the seven sons of Sceva uttered the name of Jesus but it didn’t turn out well for them. So just simply using Jesus’ name is not where the power is; no, it is found in our faith in that name.
You see, here is the balance of grace & faith. Jesus is the grace of God. He provided it all through His death, burial and resurrection. But faith must be mixed with what He has done. This is the only way that man can be saved—which includes healing, etc.
Then Peter obviously felt the need to reiterate this point when he went on to say, “Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”
Notice in this statement that Peter said it was the faith which comes through Jesus. Did you know that this is the only real way to have faith? It’s by the Word—for faith comes by (or, through) hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Another way of saying this is faith has its origin in the person of Jesus Christ. When one believes on Him, faith can abound in that person’s life. That is why personal relationship with Christ is critical to being a person of faith. That is why hearing Him speak to you is a vital part to possessing faith. It is not just by reading red words on white pages that yields faith. It all comes through a personal and intimate relationship with the Word Himself. Amen?
And notice that this results in “perfect soundness.” This is the only time this Greek word is used in the New Testament, but it means to be unimpaired in the body to where all one’s members are healthy and whole. Therefore, it is being complete and in no want; to be whole and entire lacking nothing physically.
Church, this is what doing things in His name will accomplish! And when there is faith in that name—from both the minister and the receiver—these are the glorious results! Yes, we can both give & receive “perfect soundness” in our lives to where there is no demonic control over any area of life—spirit, soul, and body. This is what faith in His name will accomplish!
Next week, we will move into both praying & saying in His name and the results that has on us accompanied with a powerful testimony. Be blessed!