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Psa 149:4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Psa 149:5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Psa 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;

Psa 149:7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; Psa 149:8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; Psa 149:9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

 Jan. 23, 2007        One that Had Authority         Kathleen Maples

I was listening to the message “Fire Prayer Meeting” by Leonard Ravenhill when I heard him say this: The Holy Ghost descended on Jesus as a dove, but on those in the upper room as tongues of fire. Why? Jesus was already pure, there was nothing unclean in Him. Fire purifies. Pretty powerful stuff. I had never thought of that, but it fit right in with where I was studying because earlier in Chapter 1 of Mark the Spirit descended on Jesus right after John baptized Him.

Mar 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.

Mar 1:22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

That word 'authority' in the Greek is exousia, and it means He had the authority and influence and power given Him by His Father to do and say what He did. He had been sent with the full authority of God to back up everything He said and did. He acted on behalf of His Father and at the direction of His Father. He was representing Someone He was personally acquainted with and as a result He did not act like the religious leaders of the time. When He taught, the people were amazed and noticed the difference immediately.

Mar 1:23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,

What was a man with an unclean spirit doing in the synagogue? What caused him to cry out in fear as Jesus was teaching? Jesus had been baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost, then He had gone into the wilderness and fasted and prayed for 40 days and nights. He endured temptations of the devil. He did not yield. He wasn't there to gain a reputation, He wasn't there to be popular or liked by the crowd. He wasn't there for money.

Luk 4:32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

Luk 4:33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,

Mar 1:24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

Luk 4:35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.

Luk 4:36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.

Jesus did not have to raise His voice for the devil to take Him seriously. He did not have to threaten the devil, and more importantly neither did He have to repeat Himself. His Word was a command that brooked no argument. There was nothing in Jesus they could appeal to. There was no mixture. He was pure, and holy, and He knew who He was and what He'd been sent to do. He wasn't playing games. He had no other interests but doing the will of the Father and destroying the work of the devil. ( 1Jn_3:8)

Now, I have to ask myself an important question. Can it be said that the evil spirits of the devil are more obedient to the Lord than His own people? Do not the devils fear and tremble because they believe in Him? (James 2:19) Does the devil have more fear of God than I do? What about you? Have you ever thought about that? Psalms 89:7 says God is to be greatly feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about Him. The Lord has promised if we will but ask to put His fear in our hearts that we not depart from Him. (Jer 32:40).

Here in Mark, the people saw something in Jesus that caused them to run home or where ever they had loved ones in need and bring them back to Him for help. They immediately recognized He had something others needed. They wasted no time going after those they knew that had need of Him. That night people were lining up their wounded, their sick, their oppressed, their demon possessed loved ones, all brought to Christ for help. They had seen Him work, and they brought their loved ones to Him for deliverance. That is the quick response of faith. Those devils knew who He was and He had to silence them so they would not reveal Him before the time to the people. He even had authority to tell them to shut up and come out. Not just come out, but shut up and come out of them. Total, complete control. Total authority.

Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

The devils also believe in Him. They are afraid of Him. They have faith in Him, they know He is power. They know His authority over them. They also know their future is in His hands and is not a pretty one. They dread it. Why else would they have cried out "Have you come to destroy us?" He has the power to render their work useless, to put them out of the way, to put an end to the ruin in people's lives they have caused. With a word, He can destroy them. He can cast them out. He is the only relief people need from demonic affliction. The devils are sure of Him. God's people are not sure of Him often because they do not get alone before Him and get to know Him and let Him reveal Himself to them. Often we spend more time talking about Him than with Him. One might argue, true, but then we must contend with the devil harassing our minds with lies trying to infect us with doubt and unbelief. When I consider that excuse, I have to also recognize that God knows that, which is why He said we could come and learn of Him. (Mat 11:28). That's why He invites, and beckons us to come and call on Him and He will show us great and mighty things we don't know (Jer 33:3). Through the mouth of Isaiah He issued an invitation that has been on my mind and heart for months:

Isa 45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

On the heels of these great works that He did, while people were spreading the news far and wide about Him, and His supernatural ability to help those in need, Jesus does not stay and seek money or any kind of recompense from the people. He does not bask in their attention. He does not try to draw attention to Himself. Nothing He does could be said to be selfish or for self ambition. When you consider whose preaching you are listening to, trusting your soul to, how does it match up to the Master? He did not go only where He was allowed to be religious and talk a good talk. He did not go anywhere without a purpose and plan and it all boiled down to serving the needy and the poor, freeing those held captive, giving sight to the blind, healing the sick, and glorifying His Father.

I know a man who for whatever reason, fell into sin, and because he was a pastor of a church, became rebellious when he was confronted with his sin, and caused a split in the church. He got mad and went off and started his own church and took a lot of people with him. I know another man who sometimes goes to church where the man in the pulpit is anointed and speaks what God gives Him for the people, and he'll set there and amen the preacher, but more often than not, this individual will go to the former pastor's new church because there he is allowed to get up and 'preach'. But where is the discernment or keeping to the standards laid out in the Word? I don't want to get caught up in following a man. Even apostle Paul said 'follow me as I follow HIM'.

Mar 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

This is the Standard. We must realize the value and necessity of secret, quiet prayer, getting alone with God and His Word. He communed and worshiped the Father. He received instruction. He drew strength from Him. His priority was spending time with the Father, not seeking validation by the people. I'm learning the more I learn about HIM and the more He reveals of Himself to me, the more amazed I feel that He would ever bother with me. The more I see of Him in the pages of His precious Word, the more I see my need for Him. The disciples had begun to learn some things about Jesus, early in His ministry. When they were awakened the next morning, probably by people knocking at the door looking for Jesus, they knew where to go look. They found Him in His secret place of prayer, probably the Garden of Gethsemane, because Scripture said He often went there to pray. They told him, the people are looking for you. But Jesus didn't plan to get settled in one place. He had a mission and would not be sidetracked or hindered or held back by people or devils. His flesh did not rule Him. There was no carnal mind controlling Him.

He goes all through Galilee which means "a wheel turning, revolution," and that's what He did. He turned things around, He revolutionized everything around Him. He was moved with compassion for the needs and hurts of the people. They were like diseased and neglected sheep. They were hurting, oppressed by the devil, in bondage, afflicted. He could go from casting out devils in front of crowds, to reaching out and touching a leper with healing compassion. Leprosy was a terrible disease. It caused the flesh to stink, to rot, to dry up and wither, to die while still hanging from the body. It caused ulcerous sores to break out over the person's body, it caused an inner inflammation or swelling of the joints, with numbness in members of the body, such as fingers, feet or hands. It was contagious, unsightly, and horrible. It separated those afflicted from every one else in society. As fast as the word was spreading about the ability of Jesus to work miracles, this leper, having heard, came to Him, and knelt down before Him, in faith, believing if Jesus wanted to He could make Him clean. He knelt down, in recognition and humility before the authority of Jesus, with much respect. And Jesus felt sympathy and pity for this man, and reached out and touched Him. Can you imagine the shock of the leper that this Man would touch him?

This man got a touch and got a Word from the Lord. He told him not to say anything to anyone, but go to the priest and offer the sacrifice commanded for his cleansing, but the leper did not obey. He went and told everybody, and it hindered the work of Jesus in that area. It prevented Jesus from going in and helping those who were there because He couldn't go openly and minister there anymore. Disobedience will hinder the work of the Lord in our lives, in our homes, and families and neighborhoods. In our work places. As I was reading these Scriptures I could not help but compare my own experiences with that of the Savior. I see clearly my need of knowing Him more for myself. I hunger to be able to help others around me that I can see are being tormented by these unclean spirits of the devil. This kind of affliction is rampant in our society, in our schools, hospitals, nursing homes, work places, and even government. There is no where you do not find it. Even in church. Christ came in the synagogue and there was a man afflicted with an unclean spirit in there.

Luk 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.

I can not expect to nor would it be right for me to want a place at the Lord's table, and a crown on my head if I am unwilling to sacrifice myself to His will and purpose to help reach others who are in dire need. If I am unwilling to labor in the harvest, to fast and pray, and intercede for others, to pray for any compassion or discernment I lack, for the needs of others, and seek Him to rule and reign in me, how can I say I am like Him? Does that sound so harsh? Not as harsh as His death on Calvary and all He suffered for me. I owe Him everything.

Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Luk 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

He has supplied the power needed to defeat the works of the devil in our lives and families. He already as we read in 1 John 3:8 destroyed the works of the devil. But because of sin and unbelief, the devil is still busy stealing, killing and destroying people's lives. The Lord has committed power into the hands of those who are born again of His Spirit, and who are His, to trample on unclean spirits, and over all of the power or dunamis, the force and power of the enemy, our adversary. He said nothing could hurt or do us wrong. We know the saints suffer here on earth, physically at times, and we have trials or tests that come our way. I believe when He said nothing shall by any means hurt you, I believe He meant there is nothing the devil can do to hurt your standing with God, to stop you from working My will out in your life, or take from you the inheritance I have for you in Heaven. He can not overcome the power of God, He can not put out the Light of God. He cannot withstand the Word of God or the Spirit of God. He cannot stop the plan of God where there is faith. Even if we ourselves choose not to believe, that does not stop God from working. It will stop His efforts on our own behalf, but it does not change who God is and what He can do for others. Those who look at these Scriptures and believe they can pick up a snake and handle it and prove they have power with God are deceived. We are not to tempt the Lord our God with such foolish displays. The serpent in the garden was inhabited by the devil. The serpents and scorpions we are to tread on are the unclean spirits of the devil-taking authority over his power that is working to destroy those around us.

Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Before we can stand against the adversary we must be submitted fully to God. We must not be indulging in secret sin or full of mixture. We can't stand and fight a spiritual warfare with one foot in the Bible and one in the TV.

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Only in prayer before God can our eyes be opened to recognize our enemy and the work he does and receive the strength and understanding from God to know how to handle things.

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And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32