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    by David Wilkerson

    After Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, his listeners sat

    in awe. Scripture says, "The people were astonished at His

    teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as

    the scribes" (Matthew 7:28-29). The Greek word for authority in

    this verse means "with mastery, power, as one in control." Jesusī

    listeners were saying, in essence, "This man speaks as if he

    knows what he is talking about."

    Note, the verse does not say that Christ spoke "with authority"

    but rather "as one having authority." It is one thing to speak with

    what we think of as authority - in loud, boisterous tones - but

    quite another to speak with spiritual authority.

    The authority Jesus wielded shook up the entire religious system.

    Jewish leaders kept coming to him demanding, "By what authority

    are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?"

    (Matthew 21:23). But Jesus knew he didnīt have to answer the

    devilīs questions.

    If ever the church of Jesus Christ needed his power and authority,

    the time is now. The devil has brought his own false Christs into

    Godīs house - weak, godless preachers who speak as angels

    of light and turn churches into feel-good comfort zones where

    sin is never mentioned and peopleīs consciences are dulled. As

    a result, the church is filled with hurting, withered people who

    do not know how to challenge Satanīs invasion into their lives.

    When the disciples were helpless against the enemy, Jesus

    told them that power over Satan came only by prayer and fasting.

    Why is this so? I believe it is because the Lord wants time to

    work on our inner man. He wants our hearts completely attuned to him.

    Beloved, righteousness is believing that what God says is true

    and then committing your life to it. Itīs that simple. As you learn

    to grow in your hidden man and trust his word to you in every

    crisis, you will be given all spiritual authority.