A quick question with a deep answer. One that hopefully I can communicate well, and in easy to understand terms.
The implications have come up that my beliefs on where the Power is and Who chooses to use it and when lead down a dangerous path which resembles the occultic “white lighters.”
Nothing could be further from the truth, and this comes back to the fact that people tend to read into everything and if they disagree you must be the one in the wrong. Not them.
Now, on Facebook, I try to be plainspoken, so that we don’t have to read extra into what I say. Some topics however, are just so large that anything I say plainly without quantifying or explaining deeper will only scratch the surface and that’s where many start reading into it what they want to see there.
As I’ve often told others, bring a solid scriptural case and we can have a good and healthy debate. If you don’t however, we won’t have one. And the moment inferences and name calling begins, I will shut it down.
So, having said all that, I hold myself to it as well. Ready guys? We are gonna dive headfirst into the scriptures and see what they say.
First we must look at where the Power is and what sources it. When did the earthly ministry of Jesus begin? When did He become a man of Power and Authority? Why did He perform a miracle before this time? All good questions to look at. Let’s start with the first two, which are merely the same question phrased differently.
16) And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17) And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Matthew 3 shows us the starting point. He was baptized in the water and then in the Spirit. We also receive both these baptisms. The baptism of water represents born of water, a new consciousness, likened to being born again. A new mindset, as many say, declaring publicly to be a follower of Jesus.
The baptism of the Spirit is the addition of Power to walk in the Spirit and serve God, but at the same time is so much more.
See, we claim to follow Christ, but we don’t believe it ourselves, as a general rule. Christ said that He was sent by the Father, who gave Him authority. Christ then says to those who follow Him that they too are given the same authority, and that we represent Him. But let’s come back to that in a minute. Let’s answer question 3 before I move forward.
Why did Jesus perform a miracle before the time of His ministry, even after telling Mary it wasn’t His time yet?
We all know the story: they were at a wedding feast and then they ran out of Wine. Mary told Jesus and He responds with: what’s that got to do with me? It’s not my time yet.
Mary then tells the servants, just do whatever He says to do.
It was her faith in the provision of God for those who will do what He says to do.
That particular story is in the first 12 verses of John 2, for those who wish to check up on me. Definitely should for sure. I not only recommend it, but encourage it.
In conjunction we look at Joel and Acts, to see that the power of God in a person, including Jesus of Nazareth comes from the Holy Spirit. We will come back to these passages momentarily.
We’ve now looked at the initial questions of where the Power comes from and where it resides. So we have now seen Holy Spirit is the source of the power and that power resides where the Spirit of the Lord is. Let’s look at some other things to see what they say about believers who aren’t Jesus, and whether or they’ll have power.
Acts 2:1-21 speaks of this power, and speaks the prophecy of Joel as being fulfilled. Peter even quotes the prophet himself, and had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:1-8 in the words of Jesus Himself we are told that we will be given power to use in the act of witnessing and soul winning.(an aside note is that it’s not for being used in meetings, though allowed if it will edify the body of Christ..)
So here we have it. God gives His power freely to those who surrender to Him, for the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven.
So we’ve seen where the power resides. And we’ve seen purpose and function. Now the most important part. Authority.
Power without authority is a bad thing. Otherwise you find infighting and denominations. People who speak against having God’s authority to speak things and utilize His power that He has granted you in the Holy Ghost merely contradict Jesus. Not you. In fact, you don’t have to defend yourself. Allow the words of Christ to do it for you. On this earth, He did everything you need, that way you could focus on the advancement of the kingdom.
Whether within the bounds of a church or not.
As I’ve noted, we have to have authority to use power properly. Let’s look at the scriptures and see what we can find here.
22) And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23) Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
The authority of Christ to forgive sins was granted to His disciples, when He breathed on them and gave them the indwelling Holy Spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Authority.
7) And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; 8) And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:9) But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. 10) And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11) And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 12) And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13) And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
In this instance we see Him giving His authority over devils and sickness. Yes it says power. But it says power over. It is the power over something that is the authority. (As an aside, this is one of the big reasons we cannot claim church to have authority over people in the body of Christ. The church holds no power over people, but over the devil and his works in this world.)
Now, I would like to explain something cool here. In Revelation 5:10 it tells us that by Christ we are made kings and priests. I know I’ve blogged this topic before and will only touch on it here, and leave you with the link to go look at the full post if you should like to.
Kings and priests. Both with different functions and acting in different types of authority.
A king has earthly authority. Dominion if you will. Dominion that allows him to rule over the earth around him and everything that falls inside his sphere of influence. God gave us that back in genesis. For instance, I have authority over the creatures in my sphere of influence at any point in time, simply because God gave it to me. Now, I am given options. I can use it well, poorly, or not at all. God created us all and gave us the earth and dominion over it. But not over other people. In relation to others people, we have authority to work for their betterment within the things of this world.
Priests also have authority. Delegated to them by God and from God. Spiritual authority. This allows them the ability to go before Him and present sacrifices for the atonement of sin. In the New Covenant a Priest has a new function. Operating in the authority for the betterment of the world around them, in the kingdom of Heaven as we bring it to invade this earth.
I highly recommend you go back and read the full article on Kings and Priests. And then stop in and check out Kingship and Dominion and Christian Dominion. These two will flesh out the topics I’ve just discussed and make it easier to understand where I’m coming from and what I’m saying.
It is the marriage of these two Authority types that allows us to operate in the Authority of Christ. Authority He delegates to us. How can I say He has done this? Well..
With His ascension He has done what He promised us. Matthew 16 gives us this promise.
19) And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Therein lies the heart of this whole thing. The keys to the kingdom of Heaven. Where is this kingdom?
Luke 17:20-21 gives us that answer.
20) And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21) Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Now for my favorite part. Tying this all together in one nice little seam.
What is the Kingdom of Heaven? How is it in us?
17) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
The whole Kingdom of Heaven is in the Holy Spirit. The very same one that raised Jesus from the dead and now dwells inside Christians. We have the keys to the kingdom. We have been given the power. And the authority. All that’s left is to walk just as Jesus did. Which would be in the Holy Ghost, that the Kingdom of Heaven flows constantly through us, like it did Him.
“Thy kingdom come(”tis now inside us), thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
– The Christian Mystic