Let’s imagine a scenario. You are hurrying home from work, and you are a little late, so your foot is riding a little heavy on the gas pedal. At a stop light a guy dressed in a suit comes up and taps on your window….
“Excuse me did you know you were speeding back there?”
“Yeah,” you say a bit perturbed, ” I have to get home”
“I am afraid I am going to have to give you a ticket” He says
You look the guy over and see that he’s nothing different than any other guy and you wonder what gives him the right to be busting your chops. You instantly say:
” I don’t have time to mess around, leave me alone!”
…and then the guy reaches into his pocket and pulls out a badge, and suddenly you have that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach, you have been busted.
What was it about this guy that changed your attitude so quickly? Was it his demeanor, his dress, his attitude? No it was the authority that badge relayed that changed your mind. This guy was not acting in his own authority, he was acting under the authority AND power of the law. So if he was arresting you in the name of Joe Schmoe, you could ignore him, but if he said ” I arrest you in the name of law” that’s trouble.
Well we, as believers possess a certain authority too. It is also a name, the name of Jesus. It works like this:
Man first walked on this earth, with authority, but he became a slave to sin. And lost his dominion. Jesus Christ came and died for our sin, and suffered punishment as an innocent man and because of this bought back for man, righteousness, and in His name, Authority.
Let us first look at what is the Name of Jesus and how it came to Him.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
So by his obedience and humility, unto death, Jesus acquired a name ABOVE ALL NAMES. A name that requires all to bow to Him and confess Him Lord. While there is a future tense to this verse, that being, sooner or later everyone will bow down to Jesus, there is also a present tense. Demons and Satan himself, this very day, are required to bow down…to submit to the name of Jesus , when used by a believer, who knows what it is.
Mark 16:17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
“In my name , they will cast out demons”. It is very important to realize that it is HIS authority we are talking about. His righteousness, His Obedience His Humility and ultimately His Blood bought that authority, we are simply operating in it, much as a police officer operates in the Name (authority) of the Law. If we start thinking ourselves to be anything important or powerful, or we misunderstand the working of the authority of the name of Jesus we can quickly walk into trouble and find ourselves facing a demon without the protection of Christ to disastrous results. As we read in the following passage.
Acts 19: 11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
These poor Jewish boys saw that Paul was working miracles of God by the name of Jesus and figured they would get into the act. The only problem they had was they did not understand the authority of Christ and they faced a demon in their own power. “We exorcise you by the Jesus that Paul preaches” Is this not the same name Paul used, and we can use….yes it is. But the authority, that lays behind the name was not there because these fellows did not belong to the kingdom of God.
So what is the Authority, it is the ability to speak with the knowledge that the power of God, in Jesus Christ will back you up….it is an operation of Faith. Whether you are casting out demons or….
John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
….praying to the Father. We have access to the Father and authority over demons simply and only because we are covered in the blood of Jesus, bought at a price and set into His Kingdom. If you believe you are standing in the authority of Christ, and through prayer you understand it’s implications you can, in His name Cast out demons and lay hands on the sick and watch them be healed, and all the promises of God……IF.
If, you believe, If you understand, and IF you respect and are submitted to the authority you are invoking.
How do you get all that? Prayer, getting on your knees and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal His word to you. Until you possess the foundation stone for this, that is the revelation, be very careful venturing out into it. Ask, and you will receive.