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When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as One who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

And as Jesus was leaving, one of the last commands He gave His disciples was this: “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The authority anyone in Christ can exercise is directly dependant on his attitude to the degree of authority that Christ has in his life. So far, elect, the Lord has restored the command to us and some degree of power, and even though many of you now know what to do, your ability to do so is not matched by your desire, your will and your hope to do so, as if there is something missing.

The key ingredients of ministry – faith, knowledge, wisdom, understanding and power – you have, for you believe and have practised enough to come to know, and you have even acquired some wisdom and understanding. Some of you have experienced a small degree of power. However, as much as you believe and practise the words of Jesus of John 14.12, the truth is, there is very little evidence that any of us can do so. What is missing?

What sets Jesus apart in the delivery of His message is the authority with which He spoke. You see, the teachers of the law to whom He was compared with can speak with a degree of faith, for they believed God and in what they were doing; they even had knowledge, wisdom and understanding, but when they spoke and said what they believed, knew and understood, they did so without the authority that accompanied the words of Jesus. As John the Baptist said, “A man can receive only what is given him from Heaven,” and a person can only give what he has, then authority comes from Heaven, and only those who have received it can speak as one with authority.

Jesus spoke as One with authority because He received that authority from God in Heaven, and having received it, He had it with which to speak. However, how did Jesus receive His authority? Just simply by the sovereign will of God or was there something else? Jesus did not just receive authority from the Father. What He also did was He gave authority to His Father – to be His Father and His God. For as the writer of the Hebrews wrote: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings You were not pleased.  Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about Me in the scroll—I have come to do Your will, O God.’ “

As such, He came with the authority of His Father and His God, for He submitted Himself to the authority of God as One who is the Son and One who is from God. Such a submission is evident from all whom He has testified to in the Scriptures, especially in the gospel of John.

And so He taught as One with authority because He had submitted to authority. As the centurion said to the Lord, “For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes,” so the authority we have as believers or disciples, even if we call ourselves priests of God as many do, is dependant directly on the degree we submit to authority. If we submit to Jesus as our Teacher, we speak and act as ones with the authority of His students. If we submit to Jesus as our Saviour, we speak and act as ones with the authority of those who are the beneficiaries of His grace, and so on. And the principalities and powers, rulers in Heavenly places who oppose us or await us, will and can only respond to us based on the authority we have. It is little wonder then the words are many but the response is few, for so many speak, teach and even decree as those who have no authority.

As God has testified, “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and My people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” Little wonder then that the teachers of the law of Jesus’ days taught with so little authority, for they were appointed by the priests who ruled by their own authority. When you rule by your own authority, you actually have very little authority. Indeed, in a creation where men and women have been given freewill, unless these creatures endowed with freewill submit to your authority, you actually have very little authority. You may have the power, but authority comes only when others submit themselves under your authority.

You see, king Saul only had authority over Israel because the people said, “We want a king over us.” And when they rejected God as their King, they took away from God His authority over them as King. He could not rule over them for they had not submitted to His authority, and Israel went down paths that God never had in mind or intended for them. Whenever Israel did not submit to the authority of God as their King, they were at the mercy of other nations because those nations did not recognise their place as a nation chosen by God. At the same time, because they did not submit themselves to the authority of God as their King, they found that their access to the power of the Kingdom of God was most severely limited. Indeed, for as much and as great were the miracles that were done during the campaign of Moses, Joshua and even David, no one has ever seen what God would have given Israel to do if Israel had submitted to God as their King.

Now likewise, consider the church of Jesus Christ and the extent to which each individual submits to Jesus… that is, who is Jesus to them?

You see, Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” and then He asked them, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” What you say Jesus is to you is the definition and extent of your relationship and therefore your submission to Him. If He is your Saviour, He has authority over you as Saviour and you have the authority of one who can speak as one who has been saved by Him, that is, as His witness of the salvation that came through Him. If He is your Teacher, He has authority over you as Teacher and you have the authority of one who can speak as His student. If He is your Lord, He has authority over you as Lord and you have the authority of one who can speak as His servant, for lords have servants. If He is your Brother or your Father, likewise, you can speak as one who has the authority of one who is a brother or son.

Now, Saviour, Teacher, Lord, Master, Brother, Friend, even Father, is what Jesus is and has become to many who have responded to the Father’s call, and so we have spoken on His behalf as those who have the authority of ones who have been saved, taught, employed and befriended by Him, and even some have spoken with the authority of His brothers or sons… and yet, we have not been able to overcome all the authorities, powers, rulers and principalities of this world. Indeed, the prince of this world roams free and by and large, most who engage in spiritual warfare against him have been fighting a holding action, defending what we have rather than overcoming him and putting him to flight. The spectacle of preachers screaming, “In the Name of Jesus, I bind you, Satan,” is as much a joke and a travesty as any religious ritual because clearly Satan is not bound to this day and neither has he surrendered any territory. At best we fight a guerrilla war like the guerrilla wars of the world where the government soldiers control the field by day but by night the enemy takes over again. ‘Revivals’ come and go in cities and countries where people are saved and things change for a while, but then give it a little time and things revert back to what they were before. I do not know how true the report is, but someone wrote that within three years they could find no evidence of a revival in Wales after their so-called revival. Indeed, today the pubs of Wales are full, the football games are full, the jails are full, and the churches are empty.

Why, elect? The answer lays in this simple fact and truth: There has never been a period where there has been believers and disciples who have said to Jesus, “You are my King,” and then fulfilled their words by submitting to His authority as subjects submit to their king.

You see, the degree of authority you have depends on your degree of submission. And who you say Jesus is to you is the beginning of the definition of your submission, which is confirmed by your actions with Him. If you say He is your Saviour yet you give thanks to others, you are a hypocrite. If you say He is your Teacher yet you do not practise His words, you are a hypocrite. If you say He is your Master and Lord yet you do not do His will, you are a hypocrite. If you say He is your Friend yet you do not care for His reputation, you are a hypocrite. If you say He is your Brother yet you do not care for His inheritance, then you are a hypocrite.

Little wonder so many have so little power because no authority has been given to them to exercise the power… but even if you do give Him thanks as your Saviour, you only have the authority of one He has saved; even if you do practise His words, you only have the authority of His student; even if you do His will, you only have the authority of His servant; if you protect His reputation, you only have the authority of a friend; and if you protect His inheritance, you only have the authority of a brother… and unfortunately, the authority of a beneficiary, a student, a servant, a friend or even a brother is not higher than the authority of the princes and kings of the world who oppose us.

You see, elect, even Jesus called Satan, “…the prince of this world…” and the authority of a prince is higher than that of a lord. So if you say Jesus is your Lord, fine for you, but do not expect to have the authority to cause a prince to listen to you and do not expect that you will have sufficient power to overcome the power of a prince. That is just way it is, measure for measure.

However, the authority of a king is superior to that of a prince. Now when you say to Jesus in answer to His question – “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” – “You are my King,” then, elect, you have submitted to His authority as your King and the authority given you to act on His behalf is the authority of the envoy of the King. If you are doing anything within His realm, then that authority is superior over those of even lords and princes. And if you are doing something outside of His realm, then even other kings would have to respect that authority if they want peace. Since there is nothing that has been created, both seen and unseen, which was not created by Jesus who is your King, then your authority extends to all realms, seen and unseen – an authority that is superior to any other.

So that when you are likewise challenged as Jesus was challenged and asked, “By what authority are You doing these things?” you can reply, “By the authority of my King, Jesus.” You will find that many will submit and those who do resist, you will be able to discern with greater ease because with greater authority comes greater power!

That then is the mystery of why we have not been able to do that which we have believed, said, proclaimed and decreed in the past as we ought to. On the surface it appears as if we lack the power, but the truth is, we lacked the authority because we ourselves did not submit to His authority sufficiently.

The degree of power entrusted to a beneficiary, a student, a servant, a friend or a brother is inferior to that which is entrusted to the one who serves his King, for the servant of the King has the authority to even imprison and execute the brother of the King; for those who serve the King become His left and right arm, and as such, the power of the King resides in them.

Now with your submission – as we were once told, “Excessive, humble submission” – to Him as your King, then you will find your authority will increase to that as one who is the King’s envoy, and likewise, the power with which you can achieve what you are commanded to do will increase.

For when one has the authority of the King, then all that belongs to the King is at your disposal to achieve and fulfil His will. And if that is the case, then ask yourself how much power is given to the one who seeks to enthrone Jesus and have Him crowned on Earth as He is in Heaven.

Be true to your confession of who Jesus is to you and you will live to testify how much power is entrusted to those who enthrone Jesus King of kings and Lord of lords.

From here on it will be “In the Name of the King.”

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