“Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over devils and to cure diseases.”
Contrary to the accepted procedures of the neo-evangelical ideology, Jesus called His disciples to Himself. They did not come seeking Him, they were not actively seeking Messiah and they had not chosen the ‘mission field’ as a vocation in life. Jesus personally called Peter, Andrew, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were fisherman and business partners together; Philip, who lived in the same village as Peter, who went forth and found Nathaniel, “in whom is no guile”; Matthew called Levi who was a tax collector with the ‘county clerks office’; James and Lebbaeus (whose surname was Thaddeus); Simon the Canaanite and Judas Iscariot, the son of perdition, as He began his public ministry. He did not check their credentials and screen them for entrance into the ministry. He did not send them off to some seminary or Bible college to ‘brush up’ on their evangelical technique while becoming proficient in the ‘ancient Hebrew text’, the unknown language of the stammering tongue and classical Greek and He certainly needed no references or back ground checks to make sure that these men would not end up being a threat to the ‘moral turpitude ‘of the community. He explicitly told them, “Ye have not chosen Me, I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit and your fruit should remain that whatsoever ye ask of the Father in My name , He may give it you” (John 15:16).
Jesus took these twelve men with Him as He began to encompass the land of Galilee. He was doing the preaching of the Kingdom of God, He was healing the sick, raising the dead and cleansing the leapers and all were astonished at the mighty works and His doctrine. They saw open demonstrations of His power and majesty as He commanded the wind and the waves, ruled over life and death and manifested His absolute sovereignty over all creation.
Now He called them unto Himself. No one else could do the calling and no one else was called. He did not seek recruits for a major offensive into the kingdom of darkness. He did not set up a prayer partner network to lift up the feeble hands of the workers and He did not send them out to secure financial backers for the work. They were not ‘chomping at the bit’ waiting for Him to ‘put them into the game’ and He was not apprenticing them as journeymen. He was demonstrating to them that He was Yehovah, the God of the Fathers and that without Him they were completely impotent. He did not draw upon their strengths, seek their advice or rely upon their administrative abilities to run His campaign for King of Kings because they had nothing to contribute to His work. He had come forth with a strong hand and a ruling arm and with his work before Him (Is. 40:10). He looked and there was none to help. He wondered that there was none to uphold therefore His own arm brought forth salvation unto Himself and His fury upheld Him (Is. 63:5). There was NO Man who desired to help Him and none of the children of Adam who could assist Him in the work assigned unto Him.
His disciples were expecting Him to overthrow the Roman government, wage war with the heathens, assume His place on David’s throne and re-establish the earthly kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). They were taught that the nation of Israel would once again regain all the territorial lands assigned them by the lot of Joshua and return to the grandeur of the days of Solomon. All the nations of the world would then be subjected to the new world order and they would play a prominent role in the reign of the King. This is why John sent his disciples to Jesus when he was in jail. He also thought that Jesus would be the conquering King as David of old, the vengeance of Yehovah like Elijah and the vanquisher of the evil king like Moses. But while Jesus was and is all of these and much more, He said that His kingdom was not of this world and He had no intention of leading a natural carnal revolt against the men who sat in the seats of the government of this world. He had come to save His people from their sin, deliver them from the bondage of the corruption of this flesh and the vanity of this world.
“...and gave them...”
There was nothing inherent to any these men that was beneficial to the ministry of the kingdom of God yet each was essential in the work that was assigned to them. Jesus assembled together exactly what He desired to fulfill the work that was needful to fulfill all righteousness and that included Judas Iscariot. He gave to these men that which they did not have and that which only He could give. Now which of them had anything that they had not received of God? The Messiah was a not enhancing the attributes of Adam so as to make them acceptable before God. He did not begin with a raw product and simply refine and mold it to make it useful to His purpose. He had chosen these men because they had been afore prepared unto the labour that was set before them but they were still, in Adam, not sufficient to the task. He gave them something they did not already have to make them suitable for the job they must perform.
Only He could give this unto His chosen twelve. It was not something that could be derived from the dust of the earth, the logic of Edom or the imaginations of Adam. The mind of natural is not equipped to perceive, retain or understand the things of the Spirit. The ways and mind of God are as far above the cumulative intellect of Adam as the heaven is above the earth because He is infinite while man is finite. He is the Creator and Adam the creature and He is omnipotent while the earthen vessel is devoid of any power or will. God formed Adam from the dust of the earth and Adam was passively receiving what the Wise Master Builder ordained was necessary for his existence and good according to His perfect will. He then breathed into that shell of dust and made him a living being. Adam has nothing that he has not received from the hand of the Master. He looks, sounds, thinks and moves precisely as he was formed and he is formed with whatever ingredients are commensurate to the path he must walk and the labour he is assigned.
Therefore, Jesus gave the fishermen, tax collector, the seed of the serpent and the others that which they did not have, could not obtain and did not know they needed. Not one of them had prayed to receive the gift that He was to bestow upon them and He did not ask them if they wanted it. He gave them and they received. Each vessel had been properly outfitted with the appropriate intellect, experience and abilities to execute their role with unerring perfection, even the son of perdition who was a devil from the beginning.
“...power and authority...”
The fact that the Anointed of Yehovah gave power to these men before sending them out is a clear indicator that they were without power. The power and authority spoken of here is not a simple permission, political endorsement or additional manpower to under take the work. It is the physical, mental and emotional strength to act according to the pre-ordained conscription, within the prescribed parameters, for the designated time allotment to the end of the tour of duty and extents of the task. It is the power to execute that which has been assigned and the liberty of mind and will to perform the matter without duress. Jesus made His disciples willing in the day of His power to leave Him and the sanctity of His physical presence as well as endowing them everything they needed to act accordingly. Exactly as He had put wisdom and understanding in the heart of Bezaleel and Aholiab, the wise hearted men of Israel, “to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary according to all that Yehovah had commanded” (Ex. 36:1) and then they went forth and did exactly what He commanded them to do, so He gave strength and liberty to the twelve.
He is the Lord over all flesh and the creator of all that is. He has the right to create as He deems necessary and to outfit His creatures with whatsoever seems good in His sight so to do. He is God and there is no other. Although man and Lucifer strive to ascend unto the throne of the Most High God and be like Him yet shall they go only as far as the will of the Father has decreed the proud waves should rise and no further. The imaginations of the heart of man are wicked, selfish and presumptuously against the Creator, but the Beloved has left a garrison in Edom and all of Edom serves Him.
He is the everlasting Father and according to the eternal love for His children, He has assigned the time of their habitation, the frailty of the earthen vessel they dwell in, the labours they have been ordained unto and the good works they have been created in Christ Jesus to perform. He is the source of their rising up and their falling down so that, even though the vessels of the children of light have been afore prepared unto glory, they glory not in the flesh.
Though all these things were finished before the foundation of the world, yet in the fullness of time, God works in them both to will and do His good pleasure. This is not limited to the election according to grace only for He has put it in the hearts of the wicked and their mother, “Babylon the great, mother of harlots and abominations of the earth”, to fulfill His will and agree (Rev. 17:17). He chose Judas Iscariot (the praise of the men of the city) to be enlightened and to taste of the heavenly gift being made a partaker of the Holy Spirit. He tasted of the good word of God (Heb. 6:4). Like the Israelites in the wilderness, he ate that spiritual food as the Lord taught His disciples and drank the water from that Anointed Rock (I Cor. 10:4). He heard the gospel from the mouth of the Messenger of the everlasting gospel yet, being of the seed of the serpent and having no root in the Vine, this preaching did not profit because it was not mixed with faith in them that heard (Heb. 4:2). This is the absolute sovereignty of Almighty God over all things. This is the only way that all things can work together for good to them that love Him to the called according to His purpose (Rms. 8:28).
He alone is God and there is no other (Is. 43:12). He has spoken and He shall perform the intent of His heart (Is. 46:11, Ez. 24:14). He alone is Lord of all by virtue of creation (Col. 1:16), therefore He causes the purpose of His creation to come to pass by the power of His will. He alone is Master over time and events for He alone inhabits eternity (Is. 57:15). He has taken His power unto Himself and reigns over all (Rev. 11:17) and He has power over all flesh (John 17:2). Therefore as it has pleased God to give unto each of His chosen servants an assignment which must come to pass, He has also enabled them, at the appointed time, to fashion the work to perfection. Since all of His work is honourable and glorious and His righteousness endures eternal (Ps. 111:3), His Spirit causes each and every portion of creation, even to the minutest of particles, to finish the work in all righteousness. Adam, according to the determinate counsel of His will, was set at liberty with a free will for the performance of his duty.
“Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? Shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up or as if the shaft should lift up itself were there is no wood” (Is. 10:15).
Only the greatest of fools through the doctrine of Adam would even think of praising the inanimate object, bowing down to the stump in the ground or trusting in the wisdom of man. This is the mind of Adam. It is appealing to the natural mind as it is geared to and intended for the natural abilities of the flesh. Man cannot see the strength in the arm or the force of the impact of the axe but the effects of both are manifested as the wood chips fly and the tree falls. There is no power in the saw for while it sits in the shed or hangs on the wall it performs no assigned task as it passively awaits the craftsman’s call and the wild animals are not frightened by the sticks that lie on the ground until one becomes the staff of the shepherd. Each of these demonstrates that it is the one who has the strength, wisdom, skill and liberty of will who is the commander and controller of these implements and so it is with the creation of God.
He alone is the possessor of all power and by this power He caused all things to come into being when He said, “Let there be light”. He is the only King who rules and commands over all He has created and by the power of His immutable will everything happens precisely as He intended, purposed and foresaw. Now He has called His twelve together and He has given to them exactly what they needed to do what He has commanded.
“Whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide and thence depart”
He sent them to a specific people, the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 10:6), in the midst of the land of Galilee in the inheritance of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that the people who sat in great darkness might see the great light (Is. 9:2) and to preach the kingdom of heaven. They were given the freedom of the will to desire to do the marvelous works of healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead and casting out devils, not by the power of the arm of the flesh but by the strength of the Spirit of Almighty God.
They were then told that they would encounter resistance because there were afore prepared a group of people who would not receive them. This did not happen after they had preached the Word and the people rejected the ‘offer of salvation’ because there is no such thing. Jesus told them that when they entered into a city or a house, having done neither any good nor any evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, where they were received remain and where they were rejected withdraw. He did not tell them to keep ‘badgering’ the people until they relented just to get these spiritual solicitors to leave their front doors and move on to the neighbours house. He did not give them any tracts of pamphlets to pass out or any business cards for a return call. He said when a house is not worthy, depart out of that house or city and shake the dust of Adam off you feet. Adam has no right, inheritance or memorial in the kingdom of God. (Note that the dust that was upon the feet of these men as they walked from place to place was not shaken off if the house was worthy. This worthiness is because this was a place afore prepared of God for the reception of the disciples. Yet another intricate part of the perfect will of God.)
Finally, Jesus told them that they were being sent as sheep among wolves. This was not to be an easy undertaking. The magistrates and the governors of the cities were going to arrest, beat and incarcerate the disciples who were doing the will of God. He told them that they would be brought before the governors and kings for the sake of the name of The Anointed Salvation of Yehovah and for a testimony against them and the nations. Not as a testimony to allure others to consider the love of God and ‘accept Him into their hearts and make Him Lord and Master over their lives’, NO, a testimony of the judgment and damnation of the Word of God against Israel and the kingdoms of this world.
Then they went out and did exactly as He had commanded. Twelve men with no prior experience and no abilities inherent to their Adamic nature preached the good news of the deliverance of Yehovah God for His people and the justice of His Holiness against all unrighteousness. No Bible college graduate or seminar scholar can preach this gospel anymore than a fisherman of a tax collector. They must be made to do so in the same manner that Balaam’s ass spoke the truth to his rider. Nor could these men perform any of the mighty works but first they have the power of the creator in them and the bondage of their will set free to desire these things. And so they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere (Luke 9:6).
“And the apostles, when they were returned, told Him all that they had done” (Luke 9:10).
These were no longer called disciples because they were delegates who had been sent forth with orders and commissioned to perform a given task. They did not return gloating about the wonders of their hands, the number of converts they had made and the pledges they had secured for the continued work. They did exactly what Messiah told them they would do and all things ‘fell out’ precisely as He had ordained. Even Judas, the son of perdition, in the ignorance of his heart, rejoiced that sickness and disease fled before the name of Jesus and the devils were subject to His servant. But this neither made him righteous or less a child of Satan any more than it made the elect righteous or qualified them as the sons of God.
The power of God is for His glory and He does not give or share His glory with another. His Servant, His Elect, is one with Him so He speaks the Word of God and performs His works. The same is true for the Bride. She is One in Him from the beginning. Her works are His works and the Word she speaks is that Word that became flesh and dwelt among us in the form of man. Therefore Her Works, which she has been created in Christ Jesus unto, are to the praise and glory of the Godhead. He is glorified in the works she does as He has glorified Her in the work He has performed and finished.
Judas did cry out before the throne that he had done many wondrous works in the name of Jesus but being a worker of iniquity, who performed the works of his father the Devil, he was cast out into utter darkness for he was never know of God. The labours of his hands, though ordained, empowered and authorized by the will of God, could not change him from a tare to a wheat, a fool to a wise man or a goat to a sheep of the fold of the Good Shepherd.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10)
Your servant in Christ,
Elder) Chet Dirkes
December 22, 2014