In Christ, Chapter Five
In the previous chapter I was talking to you about the anointing that is in Christ and that we have all been baptized into that anointing. We have been baptized into Christ. Christ is a name that means 'anointed'. Again, in Luke 4:17-18 Jesus said,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
When we were baptized into Christ we were baptized into the anointing of God. That means that we are all anointed with the Spirit of God and those who are anointed of God have authority. John made a very powerful statement in 1 John 4:4,
"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
The same anointing that Jesus was anointed with lives in each of us and it is that anointing that gives us authority over all the works of the devil. In Matt. 10:1, and Matt 10:5-15, Jesus gave the twelve authority and power and said to them,
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power (authority) against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
These twelve Jesus sent
forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any
city of the Samaritans enter not: But go rather to the lost
sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at
hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils:
freely you have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor
silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither
two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his
meat. And into whatsoever city or town you shall enter, inquire who in it
is worthy; and there abide till you go thence. And when you come into a
house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it:
but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorra in the day of judgment, than for that city."
In Luke 10:9 and 10:16 Jesus gave seventy other disciples authority to heal the sick,
"Heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."
"He that hears you hears me; and he that despises you despises me; and he that despises me despises him that sent me."
And in Luke 10:17-20 Luke says,
"And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name!" And Jesus said unto them, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power (authority) 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."
This is what is called by many, the limited commission, as opposed to the great commission that Jesus gave in Matt. 28:19. However, it was only limited as to where Jesus sent them at that time and what they were to say to the people and that was to announce that The Kingdom of God was near to them. Notice, He did not say that the Kingdom of God was here at that time because the Holy Spirit had not been poured out until after He was resurrected. Acts 2.
Through out the ministry of the Twelve Apostles, they were concerned mostly with the House of Israel and the House of Judah Nations. God selected Paul to take the Gospel to the Gentile nations.
In studying the Gospels you must realize that Jesus ministry was to the House of Judah because He came to fulfill the Law and it was the Jews that were under the Law. Jesus operated under the Law and until He was crucified and rose from the dead, there were No Christians. To become a Christian you must believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. So, actually, the books of Matthew through John are a part of the Old Testament.
However, the point I want to make is that Jesus gave His disciples authority and power and this authority and power was given to more than just the twelve. Through out the Gospel that Paul taught He emphasized the power and authority that is ours today if we will just believe. Eph. 1:3 he says,
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:"
And in Eph. 1:17-23 Paul prayed,
That the God of our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, (calling you) and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us who
believe, according to (or measured by ) the working of his mighty
power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the
dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 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 feet, and gave him to be the head over
all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.
The exceeding greatness of God's power was demonstrated by Him being able to raise Jesus from the dead and set Him at His own right Hand and to give Him all authority and power and to put all things under His feet. There was no power in heaven or in earth that could stop God from doing this great feat! And Paul said that this awesome power is available to us who believe! The key phrase here is, To us who believe!
Is it any wonder that the Church has not done more for the Kingdom of God in the past 2000 years? Instead of teaching us to believe and have faith in the power and authority God has given to us, we have taught people that the demonstration of this kind of authority and power passed away with the death of the last Apostle and would not be seen until Jesus returns.
In the last forty years we have been so accustom to the seven/eleven philosophy of immediate gratification. However, the Bible says in several places, such as what Paul said in Rom. 1:17,
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
If we don't have any knowledge about the power and authority that is ours in Christ Jesus then we cannot walk by faith. When we walk by faith it is our faith and confidence that allows us to wait patiently for the manifestation of our faith. Or until what we have faith in comes to pass. If we have been taught that these things have passed away there is no way we can use our faith to bring them into existence because we don't believe.
Jesus said in Mark 11:22-24,
"Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says. Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them."
The time to believe that you receive the things you are praying for is when you pray! So many Christians want to wait until they receive something before they believe. That is not faith! First of all, find out if God's word says that you can ask Him for something and then have faith in Him that if you ask Him, He will give it to you. There is no use to ask God to heal you if you don't believe that He will! When you pray you must believe that God will answer your prayer. There are very few things we can ask the Lord for that we don't know what His will is. Jesus said in Matt. 18:19,
"That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven."
This is why it is so important to meditate in the Word of God because you must come to the place where you believe in your innermost being that what it says is the will of God for you. Once you believe you can then pray knowing that God will answer your prayers. How many times a day do you go to your Father and thank Him for loving you and answering your prayers?