For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says – Mark 11:23
Faith is a principle. It works at all times for anybody who has understood the principle well.
‘Authority’ is an important part of faith:
In this verse, the phrases that we should pay attention to are ‘Whoever says’, ‘say to the mountain’, and ‘he will have whatever he says’. Some people are unable to comprehend the authority that has been given to mankind. It is almost impossible to exercise faith without understanding this authority.
People are happy to speak ‘about’ their problem, but they are unwilling to speak ‘to’ their problem. They don’t seem to have understood this passage where Christ tells us to speak to the mountain. But the Bible clearly has given us that authority to speak to our problems.
Earlier I explained the incident about the centurion’s faith. The centurion tells Jesus that it was not necessary for Jesus to go to his house; He could just say the word right from that place and his son would get healed. We should pay attention to such faith in a man who was not one of the inheritors of the covenant. He says that since he is a ‘man of authority’, he knows how it works. The man believed that Jesus had the authority to heal even from afar. In this verse, after recognizing that Jesus had authority, the next step that we should progress to is knowing that we also have that same authority through Jesus. Only then can we exercise our faith.
Some people say that everything is in God’s hands. They are the kind that shirks responsibility. They don’t care about whether the rent or the school fees has been paid, or if there is food on the table. Whenever something goes wrong, they blame it on God because they believe that everything is in God’s hands. I ask such people, if everything is in God’s hands why is their life in such a mess – financial trouble, failure, confusion, sorrow and poverty? Is God the culprit? Is God the source of all this trouble in their life?
No. Everything in the world is not in God’s hands. It’s in our hands.
If we are to live a successful life on this earth, we must understand the authority that have been given to us. We cannot say that God will do everything. When a family runs out of money at the end of the month, the head of the family cannot say that nothing can be done about it, without being responsible for the family. Its all in their hands. Accepting authority is part of taking responsibility. That’s why it is important to know how to pray, how to believe, how to defeat satan, how to be financially prosperous and how God meets our needs. That’s why it’s essential to go to a church, to read the Bible and know how to learn the principles of the Bible and live well. We must know how to cast our ‘burdens’ on to God. Instead, we cast the ‘blame’ on to God and conveniently say that we are not responsible for what happens in our families. God expects us to use our authority and change our hopeless, bankrupt, failed, unhappy situations into happy, prosperous, successful living.
Man is in charge:
God has created man with the authority to ‘subdue and have dominion’ (Gen 1:28) He tells us to speak to the mountain to be cast away. The Bible says, “…whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”. The power to bind and loose has been given to man. Some people mistakenly think that that authoritywas given to Peter alone. They think that they have to get a hold of Peter in order to have anything accomplished in their lives, because God gave the authority only to Peter. No! It was given to all of us. Peter just received it as our representative.
When God created the earth, He gave authority to man. When man fell into sin, man transferred this authority to satan. So satan is being called the ‘prince of this world’ (2 Cor 4:4). But originally God appointed man to be the prince of this world.Psalm 8 says,“…you have crowned him with glory and honor.You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet”
So, Man is not an ordinary creation. God has crowned him with glory and honor. Only kings are crowned. If man has been crowned, then it means that he is supposed to rule and have dominion. And if something goes wrong, it is man’s responsibility to set it right.
But man fell into sin and gave that authority to satan. God did not resign and allow satan to have authority. Instead He made a provision to hand over that authority back to man. Some people wonder why God just didn’t make another man when Adam had fallen. After all, there was a lot of clay from which God could have moulded another man and could have breathed into him! God did not do that because God handed over the earth to that man& his generation. Anything that had to happen on the earth had to happen only through that man. So, God brought Jesus as man from Adam’s lineage and redeemed the world through Him.
Creation was given to man:
“A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country” – Mark 12:1
This is what God had done too with creation. He had created the earth, put man in the Garden of Eden, gave him everything that he needed and let him be in charge of it. Man, however, handed it over to satan. God could not revoke that decision when man handed over the authority to satan, Because it was a legal transaction done by the man who originally had the authority.
It is like leasing out a piece of land. Once it is leased out, the original owner (the lessor) cannot do with it as he wishes; it is now in the hands of the man to whom it has been leased (the lessee). Until the period of lease is over, it is as thought the lessee is the owner of the piece of land. Let’s see some verses to help us understand.
The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men – Psalm 115:16
The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein – Psalm 24:1
These two verses seem contradictory to each other. So who does the earth belong to? God or man?
It is like the lease arrangement. The creation belongs to God. But it has been given to man. As mankind, we are responsible for possessing it and taking care of it. Since man is now the authority on the earth, if God wanted to do anything on the earth, He could do it only through a man.
In Romans 3:10-12 the Bible says:
“There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one”
So in order to restore authority to man, God could not use just any other man, because all men have fallen into sin. There was none who was righteous.That is why God had to send Jesus as a man to redeem the earth & restore it.
Jesus did everything as a man:
When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened – Luke 3:21
All the others took baptism, because they had sinned and repented. But why did Jesus also take baptism? Even John says that it was he who needed to be baptized by Jesus, not the other way round. But Jesus tells him that He needs to be baptized in order to fulfil all righteousness. Just like an ordinary man, Jesus too took baptism.
The latter part of Luke 3 gives the genealogy of Jesus. He was considered as Joseph’s son. Though Joseph wasn’t really Jesus’ father, the Bible lists Joseph as his Father. That’s because it’s very important that Jesus had an earthly body and had an earthy lineage starting from Adam. So Jesus came in the form of man, in an earthly body of flesh, blood and bones. That is why He insisted on being baptised like normal men.
And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased – Luke 3:22
Some ask why Jesus needed the Holy Spirit. He was after all the Son of God. But Jesus did not come the earth as the Son of God, He came as the Son of Man. Jesus showed us how to live on this earth as a man. All men need the Holy Sprit. That’s why Jesus received the Holy Spirit after baptism. In fact, till He received the Holy Spirit, He hadn’t started His ministry. In order to fulfil His purpose on the earth as a man, Jesus needed the Holy Spirit.
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all – Luke 4:14
Jesus did not do anything till he was thirty years old. And yet when He started at thirty after being baptized and receiving the Holy Spirit, He healed the sick, chased demons out, worked many wonders and miracles that He became well-known throughout all the region and everyone praised Him.
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him – Luke 4:16
Here he speaks as a man. That’s why He says that the Holy Spirit is on Him. He had come as a man to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recover sight to the blind, to set the captives free, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. He came to do all of this as a man, who had received the anointing and the power of the Holy Spirit. He did everything as a normal human being. He did not use his powers to destroy the people who put Him on the Cross.Jesus was sent in the proper route to reclaim what the devil had stolen from man at the Garden of Eden. So, Jesus does everything as man, because He wanted to honor the authority that God had given to man during creation.
Proper way to enter:
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep – John 10:1,2
In this verse Jesus calls the world as the sheepfold and the people as the sheep. He clearly emphasizes that He came into this world through the ‘proper entry gate’ as a man. He never took a round-about or illegal route. But satan always uses illegal and indirect routes to enter the world and destroy people.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly John 10:10
Again Jesus talks about how He came & how satan comes. He talks about the purpose with which satan comes; to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus wants us to clearly understand the difference between Him &satanwith respect to the way they come into this world and do things. This is very important for us to understand. When you look at your ‘birth certificate’ it is a proof that you are of this world and explains the way in which you came into this world. You did not jump out of some spiritual cosmos.
There used to be a TV Serial about an alien who landed on the earth on a flying saucer and people were fascinated about this program. It showed how he walked around the world without any birth certificate or any immigration clearance. He just appeared out of nowhere and therefore is not a ‘legal entity’ in this world. The way in which we enter the world is very important.
But we are NOT like that. We are legal entities in this world with a birth certificate. We can through the right way & channel. And because we are a legal entity, we also possess legal ‘authority’. In fact, it is the devil who needs to be afraid of us and our authority and not the other way around.
If something enters our house, it is our responsibility to drive it out before we go to sleep. In the same way we need to drive satan out of every possession that God gave us through Jesus Christ and establish our authority.
Being a man with an earthly body is not an ordinary thing. According to spiritual laws we have the highest authority on earth. As Christians, we are even more powerful because, in addition to having this body we are born-again and the Holy spirit has come to reside in us. This makes us people with tremendous power and authority. This is what Jesus did for us through redemption.
Jesus came as a man:
Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 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 – Luke 4:31
What is surprising in this passage is how the demons talk about the identity of Jesus and admit that he was the Holy One of God. It would be expected that a demon would not tell anyone who Jesus really was. We would expect him to lie about Jesus, accuse Him falsely and try to get people away from Him. Instead, the demon declares here that Jesus is the Holy One and the Son of God.
But if we look closely, we will see that Satan tries to discredit God by saying that He is indeed God and therefore cannot interfere in the affairs of man, because only man has authority in the earth. That’s why the demons say that Jesus had come before His time, not realizing that He had come as a man and not as God who was expected to come at a later time. They go a step further and say “I implore you by God, do not torment me” (Mark 5:7). They invoke the name of God Himself and ask Jesus not to do anything to them, because they know that legally Jesus cannot do anything on this earth, because the authority belonged to man. Satan did not understand that Jesus had come to the earth as a man, and He had authority on earth as a man. And when Jesus rebuked them, they obeyed Him.
Jesus had come in the form of man, born of a woman, had an earthly body and therefore exercised authority as a man. Sometimes, we think that we are mere mortals, mere men. But it is to man that authority has been given. We think that God is God and He can do everything, but we are mere men and can do nothing. But God works only through us. Have you seen God preaching anywhere, or working miracles, or healing the sick on His own? He dwells in us and works through us. So we must stop belittling ourselves and understand that great authority has been vested in us. We must not discount our earthly body as nothing. It is indispensable and precious. Jesus Himself took upon the form on man in order to have an earthly body. Then He used the authority as a man, died on the Cross, went to hell and defeated satan, took the authority from him and handed it back to mankind.
The Authority of Jesus as a man:
Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him. And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things?
And who gave You this authority to do these things?”
But Jesus answered and said to them, “ I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him? ’ But if we say, “From men’”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.”
And Jesus answered and said to them, “ Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things – Mark 11:27-33
They asked him two things?
- By what authority do you do these things?
- Who gave you the authority to do these things?
People think that Jesus wanted to escape answering their question, so He posed a question back at them. But Jesus answered them with a question because if they had answered His question, they would have found out the answer to their own questions. But they wanted to be very political about it and did not answer Him. So He also refused to answer them.
Let’s look at the possible answer to Jesus’ question. His question was whether the baptism given by Johnwas from Heaven or from men. Note that John gave baptism only by water. But he had said about Jesus that “He who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to take off or carry; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” This implies that there was a baptism apart from water baptism and that the Messiah would give it to them. Therefore, the answer is, the baptism given by John was of man.
John was a man who was called by God for ministry, he was set apart at birth. And he had been given authority by God to do what he was called to do.
Jesus is implying thatjust like John, He too was a man with God-given authority to accomplish was God had called him to do. He chased away the corrupt money-changers, healed the sick, rebuked demons, and taught them so speak to the mountain to be removed and cast into the sea, all by the authority given to Him by God, as a man.
Note that Jesus did not do any miracles after He rose from the dead. He was resurrected and after a few interactions He went back to heaven. All the miracles that He did, He did as a man before He died on the cross.
Now after Jesus’ departure, it was time for other ‘men’ to take up that authority and establish God’s kingdom in this world. Satan thought that everything would end when Jesus died on the Cross. But Jesus rose again from the dead and created a way for the Holy Spirit to come into this world and empower human beings. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon 120 people and gave them power. These people exercised their authority as men and started healing people and rebuking demons.
Note that before leaving the earth Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” – Matthew 28:18
This is true Christianity. Christian life is not just about subscribing to some religion. We preach about Jesus; people believe in Him and accept Him as their Lord & savior. Then they receive the authority to change their situation with the help of the Holy Spirit to bring things under their dominion, to speak to mountain-like obstacles and remove from their path of success and to live a victorious life. Many Christians hold on to the religion of Christianity and forego the power and authority given to them.
We have authority on this earth. What we say will happen. We can cast away our problem and live a good life. If we accept Jesus and know the real meaning of His words, we will understand the authority that we have been given on this earth.