Luke 4:31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. 32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. 33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. 36 Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”37 And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.
The people were astonished at Jesus because here was a flesh-and-blood human being just like them, but who had the amazing authority to command evil spirits. As far as they knew, God in heaven above had this authority and could do all things, but one of their own?
Eventually it was understood that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God incarnate in human flesh. He died on the cross to bear our sins so that our sins could be forgiven. Through His blood and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, we can become more and more like Him in holiness. But there was an additional dimension known to the early Church that has been forgotten and neglected by the contemporary Church.
John 14:11-12 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing… (NIV)
Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. …6 So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.
Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. …9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Not only did He give His disciples the power to become like him in character and holiness, He also gave them the power and authority to do miracles just as He did for the purpose of demonstrating to the world that He is indeed the Son of God, the only way to the Father. The Book of Acts records many miracles, especially healings, done by the apostles and disciples as they proclaimed the Christ.
Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. …17 And these signs will accompany those who believer: In my name… 18 they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
It is clear that in the early church, the disciples become like their Master not only in holiness, but also in the power to perform miracles, especially healing, to demonstrate the truth of the gospel.
But eventually this grace was no longer manifest. Some doctrines even taught that the age of miracles done through disciples of Christ had completely ceased. Now that the Holy Bible was available, miracles were no longer necessary. However, whatever may be the validity of this teaching, it does not hold for those many people groups on earth to whom the word of God is not available and to whom it has never been preached.
Surprisingly, even among those disciples who do not hold to this cessationist position, miracles are quite rare. They believe that God’s power is available to the Church today as it was in the Book of Acts, but the reality is that this power is not in evidence today.
The situation has been reduced nearly to what it was before Christ appeared. At that time, it was: “God in heaven (the God of the Old Testament) has all power and can do all things, but who are we? We human beings are nothing; we can only wait on Him to move according to His will and time.” The man Jesus Christ proved to be the exception and taught that His disciples could do what He did. Now, two thousand years later, it is back to square one: “We all know that God in heaven (now consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) can do anything. But we sinners saved by grace can do absolutely nothing but trust Him.” We know that God can do anything and are certain that we cannot. There is some truth to this, but regrettably it is only part of the story. The rest of the story is generally ignored.
In terms of the power and authority that Christ gave His disciples to proclaim His kingdom as evidenced in Acts, it is almost as if He never came. This is why the Church has failed to fulfill the Great Commission even though nearly two thousand years have elapsed since it was given by Her Lord and King.
But since we are in the last days, the King is restoring His power and authority to His bride. He is our High Priest, our Prophet, and King. We have already heard about the Church’s priestly office and her prophetic office. Now we are going to hear of the kingly office. This primarily consists of power and authority to destroy God’s enemies for the purpose of increasing His kingdom and His peace on earth before His return.
The prototypical king of the Old Testament was David.
1 Samuel 17:8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. …23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.
This is the typical response of the Church when confronted by present-day Goliaths like Isl–m, Hinduism, Buddhism, and witchcraft. We dare not to challenge them or their gods like Elijah challenged the servants of Baal on Mt. Carmel. In contrast, God gave David a kingly office, perhaps a different spirit.
1 Samuel 17:26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” …45 …I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.
We see here some ingredients of the kingly anointing:
• absolutely no fear, but rather great boldness and zeal for the Lord
• an understanding that the LORD uses His earthly king to come directly against the enemy in His name
• the earthly king exercises violence to destroy the LORD’s enemies
• the LORD’s power is behind the victory and He receives the glory
We are certainly not advocating physical violence here. Rather, in these last days the Lord is restoring the kingly office to the Church to heal the sick and cast out demons in Christ’s name to demonstrate to the lost that the Kingdom of God is near. (Luke 10:9) Only when Musl__ms, Hindus, Buddhists, and idol-worshippers see great miraculous signs done through the disciples of the Great King will they acknowledge that our God is the true God.
No longer will the Church act like Israelites in the desert who followed Jehovah in the cloud from a distance. But we will realize what it means to have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live in us in terms of kingly power and authority in our daily lives on earth.