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One of the key aspects to walking in the ministry of Jesus is authority. Jesus was known for His authority in teaching as well as His authority to heal the sick and cast out demons. He has passed His authority on to His followers, but it must be exercised through faith. Check out this excerpt from Restoring the Ministry of Jesus for more:
When Jesus was about to ascend to heaven, He spoke the following words: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). After speaking these powerful words, He commissioned the disciples to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. Although all authority belongs to Jesus, He has delegated that authority to His followers who are to use that authority to advance His kingdom.
The first thing that our authority as believers is rooted in is the Word of God—we have authority because God says that we do. For example, we have authority to cast out demons, because the Word of God says so. “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons” (Mark 16:17). “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” (Luke 10:19). These passages declare the authority of the believer over evil spirits, giving us the right to command demons to come out of people.
God’s Word has more power than anything in the universe, and all things are subject to its authority. Our authority over sin, sickness, and the devil all stem from the Word of God.
The second thing that our authority is rooted in is the name of Jesus. Notice that the Mark 16:17 passage quoted above says, “In my name they will cast out demons.” It is not only because of the Word but because of the name of Jesus that we have the right to cast out demons. In other words, our authority is not of ourselves but in Him and from Him. Christ’s name is above every other name and when we pray or speak in His name it is as if He Himself is making the petition or command. We are speaking on the basis of His finished work on the cross and the complete victory that He has won.
All of the authority that we can exercise—whether it’s in preaching, teaching, healing, deliverance or otherwise—is because of the Word of God and the name of Jesus. But let us remember one thing: quoting the Word or speaking the name of Jesus is not some kind of magic formula. It needs to be in the context of a genuine relationship with God and under the leading of the Holy Spirit. God is not your personal genie, and prayer is not your way of controlling Him. The seven sons of Sceva learned a painful lesson when they tried to use the authority of Jesus’ name apart from a relationship with Him. Instead of casting the demon out, they were the ones cast out naked and bleeding (see Acts 19:13-16).
Authority and Faith
Although authority is rooted in the Word of God and the name of Jesus, it must be exercised through faith. When the disciples were not able to cast a demon out of a boy, they asked Jesus why they had been unsuccessful. Consider His answer: “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20). The problem was not one of authority but of faith. One of these days we are going to believe God’s Word, and mountains are going to be tossed into the sea. If we are going to speak to demons and command them to leave, we must have no doubt about our authority to do so; the same is true for sickness. Without faith the mountain isn’t going anywhere.
On one occasion a centurion approached Jesus and asked Him to heal his paralyzed servant. Jesus agreed and was about to go to the centurion’s house but the centurion told Jesus to only speak the word, and his servant would be healed. This centurion understood the concept of authority. He said, “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it” (Matthew 8:9). Jesus was astonished at the man’s faith, spoke the word of healing, and the servant was healed.
Notice the centurion’s line of thinking. I imagine that his thought process went something like this: I am under the authority of my commander, and when he tells me to do something, I do it. I also have authority over soldiers, and when I speak a word, they obey. Jesus has authority over sickness so if He commands it to go, it must obey. The centurion was right on, and his servant was healed.
Our authority is grounded in the Word of God and the name of Jesus, exercised through faith, and released through words. To exercise authority over demons and disease we must learn to speak to the mountain and command it to be removed. We must truly believe that God has given us authority over sin, sickness, and Satan.
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Everywhere Jesus went, people were miraculously healed, set free from evil spirits, and transformed by powerful teaching and preaching. Restoring the Ministry of Jesus calls us back to the foundation of walking like Jesus walked and doing what Jesus did. It shows how to bridge the gap from our current condition to walking in our inheritance in Christ. As you read, your heart will be stirred to seek God’s face and go after all that He has for you and the church today!