In Acts chapter ten, the first gentile (non-Jew) gets saved. It’s a miraculous encounter that started with a man named Cornelius being visited by an angel. The angel told him to summon for Peter.
He didn’t know Peter. But the angel told him exactly where to find him. So Cornelius sent a few men to go get Peter.
While they were on the way, Peter had an open vision. Through it, God revealed that it is His will to give salvation to the Gentiles. Up until this point, Peter would have never even entered the home of a Gentile.
While Peter was pondering the vision, the Holy Spirit said, “Three men have come looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. I have sent them.”
So, Peter goes and shares the gospel with Cornelius. Question: Why didn’t the angel share the gospel with Cornelius? Why did there have to be an angel, a vision, and the Holy Spirit speaking?
Because the assignment to spread the gospel is on mankind, not angels, or the Holy Spirit. The message of salvation rests on our shoulders, but the Holy Spirit and angels are here to help.
If you yield to the Holy Spirit, you’ll have miraculous encounters just like this. And when they happen, you need to be ready to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s read how Peter did it.
Acts 10:34-43 NLT – Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him, all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
Don’t overcomplicate this. Sharing the gospel is simple:
- There is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. I know this is true because I have witnessed it in my own life (share testimony).
- Jesus was put to death on the cross, but God raised him to life on the third day. Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all – the living and the dead. He is the one the prophets testified about in the Bible.
- Everyone who believes in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through His name.
As soon as Cornelius heard this from Peter, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening. They all began speaking in other tongues and praising God.
This is proof that you can get filled with the Holy Spirit as soon as you get saved. No reason to wait! I want to highlight a part of Peter’s salvation message:
Acts 10:38 NLT – And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
We’ve witnessed this over the past couple of weeks. Those oppressed by the devil have been getting healed. You can call it deliverance. You can call it casting out demons. But what is really happening is people are getting cured of the devil’s oppression.
The word “healing” in this verse is defined as “to cure, heal, to make whole”. The word “oppressed” is defined as “to exercise harsh control over one”.
So this verse is saying that Jesus puts an end to the harsh control of the devil and gives you wholeness in its place. Jesus drives out the things of the devil and makes you whole.
We’ve got to learn and unlearn some things…
Over the last two weeks, we’ve witnessed the power of Jesus deliver people from sickness, anger, lust, and grief, and there is more to come.
Because this is new for many of us, there is a lot of teaching that needs to take place. We have to undo some wrong teaching and lean in as the Holy Spirit teaches us how to do what Jesus did.
As I get ahold of what is unfolding here, two questions that keep me grounded are, “Why would you fight deliverance? When is it not a good thing for someone to be delivered?”
The enemy wants you to believe that a Christian cannot deal with demonic issues. That allows the demons to stay in hiding. And if they do get delivered, it creates a wall between you and them as you start asking questions like, “Well, are they even saved?”
So if you believe this lie, the devil wins either way. If they don’t get delivered, they remain tormented by the devil. If they do get paid, it puts a damper on unity in the church.
I did an entire message on this last week. If you are still dealing with this problem, I hope what I said solves it for you. Why would you fight deliverance? When is it not a good thing for someone to be delivered?
I know you would agree that a Christian should imitate Christ. We should respond as Jesus would respond. So how would Jesus respond to a Christian being delivered? He would rejoice that their suffering is over. He would tell them to go use their story to lead others to freedom in Christ.
Authority Over Demons
The next step in this journey is for us to fully understand our authority in Christ. If I had to put a percentage on it, most of us are living in about 20% of our authority. It’s time to go all in.
When the Holy Spirit revealed this as our next step, it started as a question. He asked me, “How did Jesus live free from sickness and oppression from the devil?”
I tried to keep my answer to myself, but you can’t hide anything from God. I thought, “Well, duh, He’s Jesus, the Son of God.” The Holy Spirit swiftly corrected me and said, “Because He knew His authority.”
Then I had a vision of Jesus walking around back in the day with a force field around Him. Sickness tried to get into His body, and it couldn’t. The devil sent all kinds of attacks, and they couldn’t penetrate the force field.
The force field in the vision represented authority. Jesus knew His authority and walked in it. Therefore, He was completely protected from every attack of the enemy.
You might be asking, “Well, what happened when they killed Him?” When you study that out, you find that Jesus is the one who decided when it was time to be sacrificed. Although many attempts were made, it didn’t happen until He decided it was time.
So, let’s find out if this same authority is available to us. This is after Jesus was raised from the dead, but before He ascended into heaven.
Matthew 28:18 NLT – Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
How much authority? ALL. Jesus is the king of kings. Where does the authority work? In heaven and on earth. In other words, in the spiritual realm and the physical realm. Some translations say “power” instead of “authority”. So, what does this word really mean? As with most words in the original language, it is rich in meaning.
Exousia – Privilege, competency, freedom, mastery, delegated influence, authority, jurisdiction, power, strength.
Jesus has it all. He knows it all. He’s mastered everything. He is bound by nothing. His strength is endless. His power is unmatched.
Jesus has been misunderstood
Can you see why the modern representation of Jesus as this super nice guy who tolerates everything is so dangerous? That’s a counterfeit Jesus. People are believing in a fake Jesus and will end up in hell if they don’t meet the real Jesus.
The real Jesus is a boss. God has given Him all authority in heaven and on earth. His power is unmatched. He knows everything. All things are under His jurisdiction.
Jesus is the savior of mankind and a warrior for righteousness. He forgives the sins of those who believe in Him and He will judge the sins of those who don’t. He is the prince of peace for those who believe and a sword to those who don’t believe.
When Jesus came 2,000 years ago, He came as a Savior. When He comes back, He is coming as a warrior to destroy the devil, his cohorts, and all who followed the devil instead of Him.
Are you getting a more accurate representation of Jesus in your head now? If you picture Him as the tolerant Jesus, you will not be able to understand His authority.
Jesus Christ is full of grace and truth. He forgives sins and He also commands you to live a godly life. He rescues you from destruction and empowers you to do everything He asks you to do. Jesus has it all. He knows it all. He’s mastered everything. He is bound by nothing. His strength is endless. His power is unmatched.
What are we supposed to do?
Let’s go back to that scripture and keep reading this time.
Matthew 28:18-20 CSB – Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.
Now that Jesus has ALL authority over the spiritual realm and physical realm, what are we supposed to be doing with it? Making disciples of the nations.
Not making disciples IN the nations. Making disciples OF the nations, immersing them in the character of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Somehow we’ve dumbed this down to where most Christians think our assignment is to tolerate everything, stay out of government, take it easy in business, camp out in our church buildings, and wait for people to come to us.
If you still believe that lie, you better repent now for following a false gospel. We are to be leading nations, immersing them in the character of God.
This word translated to “nation” can also be translated to “tribe” or “people group.” So the prophetic word spoken over our church perfectly lines up with what Jesus asked us to do in this scripture.
He has assigned to us this group of people, the city of Owasso, to disciple and immerse in the character of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We are to be the leaders of this city.
It seems like an overwhelming assignment. That’s why Jesus wraps up His command with this:
Matthew 28:18-20 CSB – And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
It’s not as overwhelming as it seems.
The One who has all authority is with us always. Now does it seem like an overwhelming assignment? No. Because the One with endless strength, who knows all and has all authority, is with us.
Is there any place Jesus can’t access? Is there any problem He can’t solve? Is there any demonic power that can withstand the power of Jesus? No. No. No.
We’ve been casting demons out of people the last two weeks. And we are going to keep doing it. But guess what? It’s only a warm-up. We will be casting demons out of our city. We will make Owasso a safe haven until Jesus comes.
How do we know that we can operate under the authority of Christ? Let’s head to Luke 9:
Luke 9:1-2 NLT – One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases.
Jesus doesn’t just give you authority. He gives you miracle-working power to go with it. These two things combined give you the ability to cast out demons and heal all diseases.
Notice how casting out demons is first on the list. This is not the only time it is first on the list. Yet, it has been last on our list since I can remember. But not anymore.
If you don’t like it, take it up with Jesus. He is the One who prioritizes casting out demons. We’re not going to ignore it anymore, as polarizing as it can be.
So yes, Jesus gives you His authority. And He doesn’t stop there but gives you miracle-working power to go right along with it.
The KINGDOM of God
Let’s keep reading into the next verse:
Luke 9:1-2 NLT – Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
He sent them out to tell everyone about what? Salvation? Forgiveness of sins? Joining a church? No. The KINGDOM of God.
Jesus is not focused on building churches. He is focused on building the kingdom of God. As soon as the church gets focused on the kingdom, it will explode in power and authority.
Jesus doesn’t want a bunch of churches. He wants cities. He wants states. He wants the nations. Why? Because He has been given ALL authority, and everyone will bow to the King of Kings.
It is sickening that the church has created an image of a laid-back, tolerant Jesus. Can it get more irreverent than that?
Jesus is the King of kings. He is the High Priest. He is the judge of all people. He decides where you will spend eternity based on one condition: Did you believe in Him and confess Him as Lord?
We give our human leaders more honor and respect than we do the King of kings. We talk about Jesus like He’s our buddy who gives us everything but never expects anything in return.
No wonder there has been a lack of miracle-working power in the American church! We’ve been clinging to a false representation of Jesus. And the only One with power and authority is the real Jesus.
Submit to His Authority
I hope this message has corrected your vision so you can see Jesus as He really is.
Yes, He is your savior. But in order to spend eternity with Him, He has to be more than just your savior. He has to be your Lord.
Let me put it to you this way, there will be no one in heaven who refuses to submit to the authority of Christ. Salvation requires you to confess Jesus Christ as Lord. You must bow to the King of kings.
Let a holy reverence come over you now. Close your eyes and take a moment to repent of your irreverence if you need to. Submit yourself to the authority of Christ.
Now that you are submitted to His authority, you have His authority. And He expects you to use that authority to cast out demons and advance the kingdom of God.
We’ve been demonstrating Christ’s authority the past couple of weeks by delivering people from demonic oppression. If you need deliverance, come now so the same can be done for you.
As we read earlier, Jesus provides a dynamic duo: power and authority. With authority, we cast out all demons. With power, we heal all diseases. We need both working together.
Up until this point, we’ve mainly been using authority to cast out demons. Now, we are going to pair it with power. If you are ready for the dynamic duo to operate through you, allow Jesus to fill you with both power and authority.