Category: The Authority of Christ

Authority

There are some who are going around preaching and teaching that every believer has the authority of God, and that God is just waiting on them to use it. One of these preachers uses Isaiah 45:11 as proof that all believers have the authority of God. He quotes from the King James Version of the Bible, “Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.” This person says on his website, “What a powerful scripture! What does the Lord mean when He tells us to command Him? Well, He certainly doesn’t mean we are mightier and more powerful than Him and can order Him around. He means, concerning the things He has already done, He wants us to take our authority and command His power.” 

‘Take our authority and command His power” — what an arrogant statement. Even Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, refused to lift Himself up to God’s level, both when the devil tempted Him, and throughout His ministry. Instead, He emptied Himself, considering equality with God as a thing NOT to be grasped. 

These false prophets are everywhere. They’re online, they’re on TV, they’re standing in pulpits; they are even in the pews of our churches. In these last days men and women are raising themselves up and presenting themselves to be servants of God and ambassadors of Christ, claiming to have all authority in the name of Jesus. These people are nothing more than peddlers of the name of Jesus. Rather than giving Him the worship and reverence He is due, these peddlers teach people how to use Him. They teach people how to use the name of Jesus, promising the people they can get what they want, when they want. These peddlers are nothing more than opportunistic ear ticklers.

Because of these so-called preachers and so-called teachers there are many today who believe that each and every Christian has all the authority of Christ. Some quote, as proof, Mark 16:17-18, “And these signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” The fact that these verses apply to the church as a whole, and not to each individual, is evidenced in 1 Corinthians 12:29-30, “All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?” Since the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit has been distributing gifts as He wills, to one this gift, and to another that.

The man I spoke of in the first paragraph was speaking of healing. He is teaching that all healings have already taken place through the sacrifice of Jesus and, therefore, we need only command the power of God to work and heal. This gentleman apparently isn’t aware that God has given us the spirit of a sound mind. 

I now appeal to your sound mind given you by God, and ask, “If healing is already accomplished for every believer, then how on earth would a sickness or a disease ever come upon a Christian? Are sicknesses and diseases more powerful than God?” Of course not! Healing is not something that is already done; it is something that is promised to those who believe, as is forgiveness of sins. Our sins are not forgiven until we repent of them; our sicknesses and diseases are not healed until we approach God with faith in His promise of healing, and He touches us with His healing power. This is why the Scriptures say a prayer of faith must be offered by the elders.

I believe that we, in these last days, must be of sound judgment and sober in mind and spirit, and prayerfully guard against these false prophets flooding the air waves and pulpits; those who flatter people for the sake of gaining an advantage; those who give people what they want to hear in exchange for money. I believe it is our responsibility to shun these vultures and humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, emptying ourselves and becoming servants of God, rather than becoming equal to Him. We are the children of God, He is our Father, not our equal. He sent His Son to save us and to leave us an example as to how we should live. 

Jesus humbled Himself before God, and did nothing on His own initiative, but worked as the Father worked. These false prophets tell us to take the initiative and command healings and anything else we might want. Isn’t this eerily similar to the devil telling Jesus to command the stone to become bread, and to cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple? But, what did Jesus say? “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. And, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”                                                       

Dear friends, we must be on our guard against wolves who would entice us away from our meek and lowly Shepherd. We must always walk humbly before God, trusting Him in All things, and refusing to lift ourselves up to His level.  He is the Father, we are the children; Jesus is the Savior, we are the saved. We must walk reverently by the Spirit, seeking God’s will, not His authority.  

Test what I have said by the Word of God, and please do so with an open and sound mind. 

Rev. Jon Banks

P.S. It is my sincere hope that everything I write be tested, not by what others have said, but by the Holy Word of God. Please weigh everything I say on the scales of the Word of God before you discard them. May the Lord bless you.

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Addendum to Concerning the Authority of Christ:

Through the obedient life of Jesus, the cross of Jesus, and the shedding of His blood, Jesus overcame and conquered the evil one, and was resurrected from the dead making it possible for our sins to be forgiven, and for us to be raised up with Him, and in Him. Our lives are now hidden with Christ in God. We are in Christ and He is in God. We have received the Holy Spirit who leads us in our walk in this new life. We are the body of Him who has all authority in heaven and on earth. 

It is the same for the 70 Jesus sent out in His name. When the Holy Spirit came, they, too, were born again. They were no longer just with Him, they were born into Him. Their lives, actually their new lives, were hidden with Him in God. They no longer needed His authority, they were then parts of the body of the One who had been given all authority in heaven and on earth.

We of the new creation need only trust and believe in the name of the Head of the new body wherein we dwell, that is, Jesus Christ. He has already conquered the devil. We need only trust in Him and He will lead, guide and direct us from victory to victory. 

Why would Jesus now find it necessary to give us His authority? He is the head of all rule and authority, all authority has been given Him, and He is the head of our new body, the church. The Holy Spirit who dwells within us now distributes gifts as He pleases, to one this, and to another that. We need only walk by the Spirit, in total obedience, to do the will of God for our lives. Jesus is the head, we are the body; the head controls the body. 

There is nothing in the Bible that even insinuates that we who have been born again have the authority of Christ. Paul mentioned authority he had been given for the building up of the church, and he once encouraged Timothy to speak with authority. But neither of these had anything to do with the authority over demons and sicknesses and diseases, or the authority of Christ. I, too, have been given authority, but it is not all the authority of Christ, it is authority to do certain things pertaining to my call.

Someone may say, “Well, Paul and Timothy needed the authority of Christ to fulfill their ministries, otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to cast out demons or heal the sick, etc.” But I say, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” Hence, if a miracle is needed, the Holy Spirit will provide a worker of miracles. If another problem arises, He will provide someone who can take care of that problem. This is how the church works, not by any authority of a believer, but by the will and the working of the Holy Spirit; not by super-spiritual giants, but by humble souls walking in obedience to the Holy Spirit. 

If the so-called authority of the believer was such an important part of the Christian life, why is it not mentioned in the letters to the churches? One would think it would be covered somewhere in the letters. But nowhere in the writings of Paul, Peter, James, John, Jude, or in Hebrews is there any mention of it. 

It is not mentioned because it does not exist. Well meaning people have taken a few verses of Scripture that pertained to 82 believers (the 12 and the 70) before the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, and carried them over into the dispensation of the fulness of times, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth, where Jesus Himself is now the head of all rule and authority.  

Dear friends, the truth is:  as Satan enticed Eve to lift herself up to the level of God, and as he tried to entice Jesus to lift Himself up to the level of God, he now tries to entice us to lift ourselves up to the level of God by telling us we have the authority of Christ and we need only command things to happen, or declare and decree things into existence. We must not be as Eve, but as Christ, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant. As long as we are in the body of Adam, we must LEARN from the example of Eve, and FOLLOW the example of Jesus.

Jesus is no longer walking on the earth in the form of Adam, He is now dwelling within us, and, having been born again, we are now walking this earth in the form of the new Creation, the Spirit of the risen Christ, yet still in human form, also. And, as we maintain faith in His name, refusing to lift ourselves up to His level, but rather walk humbly by the Spirit of the new creation, all things are possible to us. We need no authority; the One who has all authority in heaven and on earth is the head of our body. The Holy Spirit leads one to do this, and another to do that, and we all do something. We are one body fitted together, and each part led by the Spirit of God in ways that He chooses. If we could all do everything there would be no need for the other parts of the body. We need one another. 

This is the gospel of Christ and the kingdom of God. This is the secret that was hidden for ages, that is, Christ in us. Let us bow to His authority and walk in complete submission to Him, for He alone is worthy of all authority in heaven and on earth.

Rev. Jon Banks

P.S. I have seen many healings, one just a few weeks ago. My wife had a headache she said was the worst she had had in her life. I put my arms around her and asked the Lord to take the pain from her. He took it from her instantly. I have seen the Lord make storms turn and move in other directions. I have seen Him heal a child with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have seen Him heal burns instantly several times. I once saw a man die in his sins, only to come back to life a born again Christian approximately 30 minutes later. All these things were done in response to either my prayers, or my saying, “In the name of Jesus be healed.” I had no authority; I had only faith in the name of Jesus. And, because of my faith, I was rewarded by God with answered prayers. I have never once needed the authority of Christ; Christ is my Savior; I need only Him.

P.P.S. It is my sincere hope that everything I write be tested, not by what others have said, but by the Holy Word of God. Please, please weigh everything I say on the scales of the Word of God before you discard them. May the Lord bless you.

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Concerning the Authority of Christ

For years now many have been lured away from the meek and lowly Jesus by the teaching that all Christians have the authority of Christ. Those who teach this sometimes call it ‘the authority of the believer’. I submit to you —- this teaching is straight from the lips of Satan, —- ‘If you are a child of God, do this, and do that; make the promises come true. Don’t wait on God, declare your right to the promises and make them come to pass.’ Satan’s tactics, the logic behind them, and the Lord’s way of dealing with them, can be found in Genesis 3:1-5 and Matthew 4:3-10.

Many think Jesus’ giving authority to the 12 and the 70 is proof that He gives us authority today. But consider this, — the 12 were the Lord’s apostles. All but one of them were soon to be His witnesses, His spokesmen, His ambassadors. His giving them authority is somewhat understandable. But what about the 70? They were believers, but so were thousands more. Why only the 70? Why would Jesus only give 70 believers authority over demons and sicknesses and diseases? Why not all believers? We know the 12 went to several towns and the 70 were sent to towns where Jesus Himself was to go. The fact that, out of thousands of believers, He only gave authority over demons and sickness and diseases to 82 makes it evident these were special missions, and not a forecast of things to come.

Regardless of what one might think about these things, Calvary and the resurrection of Jesus changed everything, for they brought about the promise of the Holy Spirit who came on the Day of Pentecost. Since then, the Holy Spirit distributes gifts as He wills; and these gifts are used through faith in the name of Jesus. Jesus no longer gives anyone authority over things; now we walk by faith.

Still, many Christians believe that all Christians have all the authority of Christ. I’ve actually heard preachers say that all authority in heaven and on earth was given to Jesus, and that Jesus has given that authority to us. The second part of that sentence doesn’t exist in the Bible. Yes, all authority was given to Jesus, but nowhere does it say He gave it to us. It is something that has been added by man, and has been passed down as truth. But it is not truth. It is evil and it is sin. It is rebellion and insubordination.  

After Jesus said all authority had been given to Him in heaven and on earth, He said, “Go THEREFORE…” The word ‘therefore’ means consequently, for that reason, because of that, hence, or, on that ground. So instead of telling the apostles to go in His authority, He was actually telling them that because of His being given all authority in heaven and on earth, they could now go and make disciples of all the nations in His name. 

Some will ask, “But what about speaking in the name of Jesus? What about healing the sick in the name of Jesus? Isn’t this speaking and healing by the authority He has given us? Doesn’t doing something in the name of Jesus mean doing it with His authority?” 

The answer to these questions is found in Acts 3:16. After saying to the lame man at the gate of the temple, “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene — walk,” Peter told a crowd of people, “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.” So using the phrase ‘in the name of Jesus’ does not mean ‘by His authority’; it means ‘by faith in His name.’ Just as it says in 1 Corinthians 6:11, “…but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.” We were washed, sanctified, and justified through our faith in the name of Jesus, not by any authority we may have had. The authority of the believer is a fallacy perpetrated by Satan and spread by false prophets who tickle the ears of the greedy and the selfish, as well as the weak and the gullible. 

Dear friends, we are in Jesus now; we are His body; He is the head. He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Does anyone think for one minute that He will not take care of His own body? Revelation12:10-11 says, ‘And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.”’ 

Jesus is still the only Person with all authority in heaven and on earth. We overcome by faith in His blood and by the word of our testimony, and by not loving our lives even to death. We overcome by submitting to God and trusting in Him. We overcome by taking up the full armor of God, which, by the way, does not include authority. We don’t need authority; we need faith; faith in the name of Jesus, our Savior, who is above all rule and authority.

One more misunderstanding that needs to be corrected:  Mark 16:15-18 speaks of signs that will follow believers. Many think this is proof that all Christians can work miracles, cast out demons, speak with new tongues, heal the sick, pick up serpents, etc. But these verses are speaking of the church as a whole, not of individuals. This is made evident in 1 Corinthians 12 where Paul refers to the body of Christ as being many members. In verses 29 and 30 Paul reiterates, “All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healing, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? Verse 18 says, “But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.” Verse 7 says, “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” Paul then lists different gifts of the Spirit, after which in verse 11 he says, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”

All cannot do everything. The teaching that we can is just another false doctrine perpetrated on the masses. It is heralded and widely accepted by those who thirst for power and a way around the hardships of following Jesus. Most followers of Jesus can see through these haughty doctrines, but some need to be plucked from the fire.

The devil will do everything he can to keep us from walking humbly with Jesus, including convincing us we have the authority of Jesus, so that we will lift ourselves up to the level of Jesus. He tempts us just as he tempted Jesus. Satan tried to get Jesus to prove Himself, telling Him that if He was the Son of God the Scriptures pertained to Him. He was trying to get Jesus to prove His Sonship by lifting Himself up to the level of God and making the promises come true. The devil does the same with us, telling us that if we are children of God the promises pertain to us. He then tries to get us to lift ourselves up to the level of the risen Christ, and make those promises come true. This is why Satan started the erroneous rumor that we have the authority of Christ; he couldn’t get Jesus to lift Himself up to the level of God, so he now tries to entice us to lift ourselves up to the level of the risen Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God.

Consider the tactics of Satan. He enticed Eve to partake of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, and to share that fruit with her husband, which resulted in them both becoming like God, knowing good and evil. And this prompted God to say, “…Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” Genesis 3:22. Adam and Eve were then removed from the garden and placed on a cursed earth where death awaited them.

Subsequently, Satan, having accomplished his plan to lift the first Adam up to the level of God, tried also to entice the last Adam to lift Himself up to God’s level. He tempted Him by quoting Scriptures that applied to Him, trying to make Him prove Himself. But, unlike the first Adam, the last Adam, Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, Philippians 2:6-8.

Dear ones, Satan’s goal has always been to get us to lift ourselves up to God’s level; but, thanks be to God, Jesus left us an example, that we, still being in the body inherited from the first Adam (flesh and blood), should not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but empty ourselves, taking the form of bond-servants, as did He.

We are not to usurp authority and make the Word work for us; we are to submit to God’s authority and humble ourselves under His mighty hand, that He may exalt us at the proper time. We are not to even seek the authority of Jesus; we are to humble ourselves and walk with the Person of Jesus. The choice is ours:  We can follow the Lord, or we can follow Satan?

Rev. Jon Banks

P.S. It is my sincere hope that everything I write be tested, not by what others have said, but by the Holy Word of God. Please, please weigh everything I say on the scales of the Word of God before you discard them. May the Lord give His chosen ones ears to hear.

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