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!