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Jacqueline Torres, Ph.D

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The Shifting of Good vs. Evil Power
By Jacqueline Torres, Ph.D   
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Last edited: Monday, December 19, 2011
Posted: Monday, December 19, 2011

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“You can only have authority in the flesh but you must have power in the spirit.”

(Snap song - I got the power
In the beginning of the song she starts by saying I got the power but towards the end the lyrics change and she starts singing “He’s got the power”)

Matt. 28:18 (central text)
Jesus approached, and breaking the silence, said to them all power, all authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.

It is interesting to me that while I was reading and meditating on this chapter, I was illuminated in the sense that I didn’t realize that power and authority are really two different things. First of all power can only be a spiritual attribute while authority is a natural effect. Meaning “You can only have authority in the flesh but you must have power in the spirit.”

That’s why when Pontius Pilate said to Jesus: Don’t you know that I have the power to release you or to crucify you?  Jesus was able to say to Pontius Pilate “you have no power over me” only that which is given to you from my Father”.  Jesus didn’t even address the authority effect because it was evidenced to see that Pontius Pilate was in natural authority.  It is amazing how Jesus never claimed to have come in his own authority and power but in “all authority and all power of God.”
Therefore, the real issue is not whether or not we want the power of God, but do we really want the presence of God in our lives?  God is seeking to build character in us, the character of His Son.  This is not instead of His power, but because of His power.
Christ calls us, not to proud ministry, but to significant ministry -- ministry ennobled by service and enabled by the Holy Spirit. [Matthew 23:1-12]
This is our calling; that we not just live for ourselves, but that the Lord might live His life through us in a way that we might impart life to some and impact the lives of others.
You might be wondering, why would she entitle this message “the shifting of good vs. evil power”?  I’ll tell you that before I finish this message you will realize that what happened throughout the text that I read in your hearing was a shifting of good vs. evil power. 
You will notice that while the power of God was working to accomplish the mission through Christ so was the power of evil present to demolish and destroy the plan of God.  The Good News was that the power of God was working towards a good outcome, while the power of evil hung itself. [Judas-Iscariot]
That is why we must be very careful of our intentions when doing the work of the Lord, notice I said of the LORD, and we need to ask ourselves--which lord? 
There are three lords:
There’s God our Lord,
there’s me lord; and then
there’s evil lord
It all depends whose mission are we to fulfill.  That can be easily answered, have you ever wondered why are you studying?  Is it because you want to make disciples or you want to have disciples? To Make or To Have is the question that I’ll leave for you to reflect?
Referring back to the text in Matthew 28:5
5: but the angel said to the women, Do not be alarmed and frightened, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified.  [power to be of good news] how often can people say when they see us coming—there comes the power of good news? Or do they get alarmed /frightened?
7: Then go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him.  Behold, I have told you.  [power to give honor/credit to whom it is due]
8: So they left the tomb hastily with fear [reverence] and great joy and ran to tell the disciples.  [used the power to encourage] produces great joy.  These women left in the power of encouragement to bring good news to their fellow brethrens.
9: And as they went, behold, Jesus met them and said, Hail (greetings)! And they went up to Him and clasped His feet and worshiped Him.  [the power to be humble] see when you have the power [and we already established that power is spiritual] you don’t need to advertise it, put it on billboards, or on neon signs.  Your humbleness speaks of the kind of power you have operating in and through you.
10: Then Jesus said to them, Do not be alarmed and afraid; go and tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there they will see Me.  [the power to share the power] and bring peace and harmony.  It is interesting that Jesus used the same words that the angel used “do not be alarmed and afraid” and this leads me to believe that because Jesus already knew that whenever the “religious leaders” came in to any public place every one would be afraid because of the position they held, Jesus didn’t want to be identified or counted as one of them neither did he want to cause that same effect, in contrast wherever Jesus went the people cleaved to Him contrary to the “religious leaders” and the people in authority.
Now here’s where the shifting of good vs. evil power occurs: listen carefully
11: While they were on their way, behold, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had occurred.  It is interesting that this text reminds me of the story with Haman and Mordecai, the scheme and the report to the king, only to find Haman in the headlines “hung in the eve of destruction”.  [the power to hinder] is like the evil power to scheme.  When this kind of evil power is activated—Crisis, confusion, fear occurs.  Everyone wants to be a reporter of evil news.  Just look at the media, very rarely do you see media reporting good, it is always hyped to inflict fear upon the people.  Many times people who were considered bearers of good news in the scripture ended up dead.  Because they spoke the truth, just look at the examples of the prophets. 
This is similar to when Jesus was betrayed and arrested.  Jesus said to the guards—are you coming against me like you would a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me?  When I sat daily with you in the temple teaching, you didn’t stretch out your hands against me or arrest me.  But this is your hour, and the hour of the power of darkness.
12: and when they the chief priests had gathered with the elders and had consulted together, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers, [abuse of power] authority to commit bribery.  Notice that when people abuse power they usually end up oppressing the people. 

If we follow close the religious leaders of the times of Jesus they are not that different then the leaders of today.  This happens whether the leader is religious or not, it all depends what power is shifting in them; leaving one thinking quite often is it good or is it evil?
But these are the behaviors that you commonly see in the shifting of good vs. evil power:
Instead of non-threatening behavior, they use intimidation.
Instead of respect, they use emotional abuse.
Instead of fairness, they use coercion and threats.
Instead of trust and support, they use isolation.
Instead of honesty and accountability, they use minimizing, denying and blaming.
Instead of shared responsibility, they use gender privilege.
Not that different from an abuser and a victim of family violence.  A batterer uses these same tactics to keep his victim as prey.
It is amazing that Jesus knew who he was and yet that did not affect him in showing that being a servant is the best way to behave and show leadership.  He knew he had the power to convict.  But he also acknowledged that the authority he had as a leader was a blessing that came from God. The power He had, moved him towards gratitude and appreciation to saying “I have kept those You gave me”.  Power allows people to reach out to you.  Your witnesses will speak of the good power that springs up from you.
Romans 13:1b says: “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist do so by God’s appointment [by His permission, His sanction].” 
What the person does with the power or authority could be good or evil.  It all depends where the person is coming from as an individual.  If the person has never had power or authority in any given context can be more damaging then helpful.  That’s why we need to “Do our best to present ourselves to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth”. (2 Tim. 2:15)
If I were to ask you what power was working through the “priests, Pharisees and Sadducees” that produce the words that came out of their mouths “crucify him”, what would you say?
When we go to verse 15 it says;
15: so they took the money and did as they were instructed {told}; and this story has been current among the Jews to the present day. {and amongst all human nature}
16: now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed {guided} and made appointment with them.  [the power to lead even in His absence] {Jesus has an appointment} the courtesy to lead and to inform.
17: And when they saw Him, they fell down and worshipped Him; but some doubted.  [the wisdom to recognize and acknowledge who has all authority and all the power].  When one realizes that all this time it was God who has all power and all authority you have to fall down and worship.
18: Jesus approached, and breaking the silence (awareness—no longer alienated from the truth, no more secrecy, that which He had said to Peter “what I do now you won’t understand, but one day you will”), said to them all authority, all power (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  [even Jesus knew that the Power He had didn’t come from him because it was given to him]  You can only receive the power when the Holy Spirit with all of His fruit has come upon you.  The fruit which is faith, love, meekness, kindness, longsuffering, self-discipline, when you produce all of these flavors then you can say “all power and all authority” has been given to me.  The Good News is that, that power is available to all of us if we really want it.  It takes a renewed mind, renewed spirit and renewed life.
That’s why you can see Jesus say;
19: Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (become One).  In other words Jesus is saying it is a matter of [sharing the power] you can only become one when you share the fruit of the Spirit.
That’s why Jesus said “I have the power to lay down my life, and I have the power to take it up again”. 
And then He continues to say;
20: teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the very close and consummation of the age.  Amen (so let it be).  [empowering new disciples, disciples in the eternity, while encouraging the current disciples]

Matthew 8:9 Centurion “Catch the Phrase”: Lord, I am not worthy; I am a man under authority.  The centurion had authority but he had no power.

Acts 3:6 Peter said “silver and gold I can’t give you, in other words natural authority/stuff I can’t give you, but spiritual power I can give, but even that spiritual power he knew it came from some one higher than he, that’s why he said—in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk!

The Power Paradox [Lee J. Colan ]

The power of a leader is reflected in the power of his team.  {Information is power, keeping it to ourselves can make us feel more powerful than those who do not have the information.  The less you control your power, the more you shift power to your team.  You exchange your power – information – for team accountability and performance.  Sharing your own power gives your team power.}

{On the other hand, the more you control your power, the less productive and engaged your team will be. Restricting the information flow with your team will choke your own success}

Matthew 11:11 (NLT)
11"I assure you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the most insignificant person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!

Do not oppress the people.  We were not called to oppress but to bless, we were not called to discipline but to make disciples, we were not called to badger but to baptize, we were not called to isolation but to teaching the nations, we were not called to privileges but we were called to preaching.
Psalm 62:11 “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongs to God.”
1 Tim. 1:7 (AMP) “for God did not give us a spirit of (fear) timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.  (spiritual power, love, discipline, this can only happen in the spirit by the Holy Spirit)
The Shifting of Good vs. Evil power
That’s why after Jesus was given power; Jesus was able and enabled to say to His disciples “I have given you”: (Luke 10:19; Matthew 10:1)
Power to forgive sins
Power to tread on serpents
Power to Heal
Power to Save
Power to Enable
Power to become sons of God
Power to Love
Power to Preach
Power to Teach
Power to Give
Power to set the captives free
Power to cast-out demons
Power to give life/raise the dead
Power in the Blood
Power in the Word
Power over the enemy
You can’t fulfill if you are not filled!
REMEMBER: The Shifting of Good vs. Evil power
“You can only have authority in the flesh, but you must have power in the spirit.”



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