Discipleship Course

Standlake Ranch


Lesson 3


The Power of The Cross

The very first miracle of Jesus was turning water into wine.  This was a creation miracle, a miracle over creation.  He also walked on water, calmed the storm and fed 5000 people with only five small loaves and two fishes.  Then, if that was not enough, he had His disciples collect twelve baskets of crumbs.

 What is Jesus showing us here?  He had power over creation.  He also had the power to cast out demons and much of His ministry was doing this very thing.  He also healed all who came to Him, healing many by His word or by laying hands on them. He also had power to forgive sin.  He even had power to raise the dead and waited four days before calling Lazarus forth.  Not only that, He Himself rose from the dead after three days.

 What is Jesus trying to tell us?  What is the meaning of these incredible miracles?

Is there something behind all this, something each one of us needs to know?

One clue is in Genesis1:28:

‘Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."’

God gave man the earth to rule over.

Psalm 8:4-8 says:

‘What is man that You are mindful of him,

And the son of man that You visit him?

For You have made him a little lower than the angels,

And You have crowned him with glory and honour.

You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;

You have put all things under his feet,

All sheep and oxen -

Even the beasts of the field,

The birds of the air,

And the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.’

God made man ruler over the works of His hands, to be only subject to God and His love, to be in complete control over all God’s creation on Earth.



Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Up to that time the earth was perfect.  There was no sin.  There was no sickness.  There was no death. Creation was perfect.  There were no weeds, no disease in the crops or animals.  All that grew from the ground was perfect.  What did Adam and Eve do when they ate of the forbidden fruit?

Genesis 3:13 says:

‘And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."’

The devil deceived Adam and Eve, causing them to doubt God and then to disobey Him, which is rebellion, and they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which allowed sin into this world that God had given to man.  Sin came into the world through disobedience.  This was the Fall of Man.  Now sin had come into their world, the world God had created for them, as described in Romans 5 verse 12:

‘Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.’

In John 14:30 Jesus says:

"I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me...”

Now the devil was thrown out of Heaven and is in rebellion against God.  In Psalm 74:10 - 11 the psalmist prays:

‘O God, how long will the adversary reproach?  Will the enemy blaspheme Your name forever?  Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand?  Take it out of Your bosom and destroy them.’

The devil is in rebellion against God and also hates human beings, because human beings are made in the image of God as it says in Genesis 1:26a:

‘Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...”’

How can the devil take revenge against God?  By taking as many people, whom he knows God loves, down to Hell with him, and how can he do that?  In any way he can, by tempting man to sin.  If he cannot do that he will inflict them with sickness, or curses, or attack the mind with satanic spirits, fears, or deceive them in any way he can through worldly ways, worldly thought, sects and false religions.  If he cannot do that he will try to lead them away from the Bible, into complacency or through lies or any way he can.

2 Corinthians 4:4 describes unbelievers:

‘whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.’

Also, in Ephesians 2:1-2 we are told:

‘And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,...’

This is a very interesting verse as it answers the much-asked question “Why does God allow us to suffer if He is a loving God?”  God loves man and wants us to love Him by our own free will, not like robots.  He has therefore given us free choice, to choose whom we love and serve, for it is impossible to love two masters.

We have made the choice between good and evil and God only wants those of us who love Him to be in Heaven, those who have chosen to stand strong against sin and accept Him as Lord and Saviour.  If we choose sin, we will receive all that goes with it and this will cause much suffering.  If we choose righteousness and life, we will more ably enjoy this life on earth as well as receiving eternal life.

Deuteronomy 30:15 - 16 sets this out for us:

"See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.”

God was not happy with so many choosing to turn their backs on Him and choosing evil and death instead.  Though God is greater than Satan, He cannot stoop to satanic methods in order to take back what Satan has stolen from man to give it back to man.  God did not give Satan this power over man on the earth.  Adam and Eve did it, and since then Man has often found himself in hopeless and helpless situations.


John 3:16 says:

‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that through Him the world might be saved.’

When Jesus walked this earth He said in John 12: 30-32:

"This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake.  Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."

Jesus was speaking about the devil as ruler of this world, soon to be cast out once He, Jesus, had gone to the cross.  This we will see in Hebrews 2:14-16:

‘Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.  For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.’

It could not be plainer than that.  Jesus came to save us, the descendants of Abraham, from the bondage of the devil.


In Colossians 2:13-14 we read:


‘And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.’


Colossians 2:15 then says:


‘Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.’


Let us read how man was supposed to live, this time from Hebrews 2:6-9:


‘But one testified in a certain place, saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honour, And set him over the works of Your hands.  You have put all things in subjection under his feet."  For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him.  But now we do not yet see all things put under him.  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.’


Let's look at this closely:  For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. BUT WE SEE JESUS, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death CROWNED with GLORY and HONOUR, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.


Jesus had power over the following:


1)         Power over creation

What was the first miracle Jesus ever did? He turned water into wine. He could also walk on water, calm the storm and feed 5,000 with only five small loaves and two small fishes and then tell his disciples to gather up the crumbs resulting in their gathering up twelve baskets full. Let’s look at one of the scriptures, Matthew 8:26:

‘But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?"  Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm..’

Jesus had power over creation.  Jesus did miracles with creation and gives us the power to perform miracles as well, but we very seldom see one.

   In 1983 we ran a Youth Camp in the Transkei in South Africa.  More children attended than those who had booked and this resulted in a shortage of food.  The camp ended on Sunday evening and the seventeen of us who organized the camp stayed on until Monday morning as we had 200 kilometres drive to the nearest town.  Our host prayed over our breakfast and seeing only a small amount of cereal in the cereal box decided to give us a spoon each.  She then began to spoon the cereal in to the seventeen bowls and seeing there was still some left, carried on spooning and spooning and spooning until there were seventeen bowls full of cereal and still the same amount in the cereal box.  Only then did we realise a miracle had happened.  What a wonderful way to end a camp!

2)         Power over demons and sickness

Jesus drove out demons wherever he went and healed all who came to Him.  It is interesting that Jesus dealt with deliverance and sickness in a similar way.  That is because both came from the devil. Matthew 8:16:

When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed.  And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick...

Today Jesus will still drive out demons and heal the sick, that is, when He can find someone who believes Him and has the faith to walk in the area of deliverance and healing.

In Africa I have watched the Lord deliver many people.  Once a hundred people came forward for deliverance and the Lord told me to treat it in the same way as for the sick.  So I pointed and said, “Every demonic spirit, every witchcraft spirit, every curse, every demonic thing, leave these people now in Jesus’ name”.  I stood back in amazement as eighty people were instantly set free; some screamed, others fell to the floor.  After five minutes eighty people raised their hands having been delivered and went to sit down.  I then prayed for the last twenty individually until all were set free.  After that I prayed for the sick, telling them to put their own hand on their sickness or pain and receive their healing in Jesus’ name.  There were five blind people healed that morning plus many suffering from other sicknesses.  Jesus is still healing the sick today and you can move into this area as well, for it is Jesus alone who does it.

3)         Power to forgive sin

Matthew 9:2 says:

Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed.  When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you."

4)         Power to raise the dead:

Jesus had the power to raise the dead and even waited four days before calling Lazarus forth as described in John 11:43:

‘Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!"’

Then Jesus did something even more incredible than that, for he himself rose from the dead in three days in complete victory over sin and death and over every scheme of the devil.

Even today Jesus is still raising the dead and He can use anyone to do it. He does not always use the big men of God to do this either, but can choose anyone.

One of our team in Malawi, 26 years of age, not even a pastor, visits a hospital near Blantyre after church every Sunday to pray for the sick.  On the 7th August 2005 he was not allowed into the front entrance of the hospital because of repair work, so he went round the back and entered through the mortuary.  Seeing a young-looking dead man to his right, he felt the Lord wanted him to pray for the man.  He went up to the man and said, ‘In the name of Jesus sit up’ and to his amazement, the dead man sat up alive and well.

The whole hospital praised the Lord that day and the doctors insisted he stayed in hospital for two days for observation.  The man was 36 years old and had died of malaria.  Now he was also completely healed so, after two days, he was allowed to go home.


1)         The breaking of the power of sin and death

Jesus’ death on the Cross became necessary, following the Fall, because God had made it clear that anyone who sinned, even once, would be cut off from Him forever, once they had physically died, and that no one could ever redeem themselves by any method whatsoever.  The only cure would be the death of the sinless person who, in dying, took on Himself the punishment that would otherwise have to be paid by the sinner, i.e. us.  God said, “the soul that sins shall die”. (Ezekiel 18:20)  God sent His Son, Jesus, who being fully God as well as fully man, was perfect, i.e. sinless, and therefore able to become the sacrifice and He died on our behalf, so taking our punishment.  He died in our place.  So long as we individually accept that we are sinners and separated from God and that He, Jesus, has died for each one of us personally, we can live in newness of life by accepting Jesus into our hearts.

The threefold purpose of water baptism is set out in Colossians 2 verse 12 where the repentant sinner is:

‘buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.’

i)          Death – into the water.  As we go into the water we are saying our old sinful nature is done away with.  We are free from slavery to sin.  There is a complete break with the past.

ii)          Burial – under the water.  Just as Jesus was buried in the tomb, so as we are baptised under the water our lives as sinners are put out of sight, as Paul explains in Romans 6:4:

‘Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life..’

iii)         Resurrection – out of the water.  Romans 6:5:

‘For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.’

Jesus was raised by the power of God.  We are lifted out of the water to live a new life with Christ, as Galatians 2:20 says:

‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.’

In John 6:39 Jesus says:

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.’

Jesus has also given us eternal life.

2)         Power to live in Christ’s victory whilst still alive on this earth

In John 14:12-13, Jesus says:

"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. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

On the cross Jesus reversed what man had brought on himself in the Garden of Eden.  Jesus Himself has made it possible for us to receive this glorious victory from Him, and the power of the Holy Spirit to live it.

So the next question is:
How do we receive this glorious victory?
How do we receive this victory that Jesus has made available to us through the Holy Spirit?  After we have accepted Jesus into our heart as Lord and Saviour the baptism and giftings of the Holy Spirit are available to us.  Then a wonderful change takes place.

It says in 1 John 4:4:

 ‘You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.’

The Holy Spirit within us is greater than the one who is in the world.  The Holy Spirit connects us with our Father in Heaven in the heavenly realm, for it also goes onto say in John 3:34:

‘For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.’ (i.e. God gives the Spirit without limit)

When we spend time with God in the heavenly realm, He fills us and fills us and fills us with the Holy Spirit and then sends us forth to flow with rivers of living water.  What glorious service: limitless power to heal the sick, gifts of the Spirit given without measure! These never run dry as long as we spend time in prayer receiving this glorious love, joy, peace, instruction, giftings and all we need to witness His power on earth, that man may be saved from the destruction of sin and death and live instead in righteousness to our Lord.  We are also given power over sin. We are told in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.’

We therefore have no excuse, for we have all been given power over sin.

We are also given authority and power over the enemy.

Luke 10:19 tells us:

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.’

I need this verse in Africa so very much.  This gives me boldness when I have to come against witchdoctors and all kinds of evil spirits.

   In Cameroon we had to visit a seaside village built on volcanic rock from a nearby volcano. This village was under the curse of witchdoctors, marine spirits and the occult.  Even the elders of the village were involved and two had been arrested for horrible crimes.

   We were supposed to have been somewhere else, but the pastor never showed up to collect us, and we had not gone to Cameroon to sit doing nothing, so the pastor in Nimba phoned Pastor Emmanuel, and Emmanuel said, “Please come. These are the white people we have been waiting for to set our village free.”  Pastor Emmanuel had had a vision on the 6th of that month, that white people from Europe would come and set the village free from witchcraft, and had told the whole village of this.  So two hours later, we arrived and bound the evil spirits to whom the residents had given their hearts, and commanded in the spirit realm, that the hearts be given back to the people for the duration of the services for three days, so that the people could make a choice between the evil spirits and Christ.

   The pastor then went round the village with a hand megaphone telling everyone that the white people he had prophesied on the 6th of that month were here and invited everyone to come to this meeting.  Soon the church was full. I preached a strong Gospel message and about fifty came forward to receive Christ, then about twenty people were delivered from evil spirits and about fifty received their healing.

   At the end another lady came forward complaining that a certain person had put witchcraft curses on her.  We cut her off from the curses and asked her to forgive this person, and to give this lady the Gospel.  She said she would do this.

   Suddenly Rev. Henry Coles, who came with us, prophesied that if a certain lady, who kept putting curses on God’s people, did not repent of this wickedness after she had been given the gospel message, she would die within three days.  I was rather perturbed that Henry should give such a negative prophecy in front of the whole church.

   The next day we were invited back to an overflowing church and even had to pray for those outside.  By now, over a hundred people had received Christ and about the same number had received healing and testified, giving glory to God. There were also about sixty who had received deliverance.

   The next day, Saturday, Pastor Emmanuel came running to tell us that the person who had put so many curses upon the lady whom the Lord delivered, had been told the gospel, but instead of receiving Christ, had gone straight back to the witchdoctor to deliver more curses on this lady; but the powers of witchcraft were not working.  So, she had to go to another village to put a curse on this lady.  As she was returning from this village with the curse she dropped dead.  This had a very positive effect on the village, which not only had seen the love and healing power of Christ, but also the death through the sins of those who prefer to practise evil. We are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against the principalities of evil. Through this lady’s death many more received Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

   This was a God-ordained visit and we certainly saw the power of God at work over every demonic force.  I also saw Luke 10:19 in a new light, and also Romans 8:37 which says:


‘Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.’

Philippians 4:13 encourages us by saying:

‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’

 We can walk in the power of His strength and we also have authority to conquer sin, sickness, and all the power of the enemy in Jesus’ name.

How do we further exercise this power and victory over Satan?

Ephesians 6:13-17 says:

‘Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’

Be self-controlled.  As it instructs us in 1 Peter 5:8:

‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.’

We must be alert, as in 2 Corinthians 2:11, in order that Satan might not outwit us for ‘we are not unaware of his schemes’.  We have to resist temptation.  James 1:13 helps us specifically by saying:

‘Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.’

We need wisdom to discern Satan’s deceiving methods.  2 Corinthians 11:14 cautions:

‘And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.’

Test all by the Word of God.  2 Corinthians 4:2:

‘But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.’

If we do these things we will have full victory over the devil.  Revelation 12:12 encourages us with these words:

‘Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them!  Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.’

How should we then live?

In Matthew 5:13 Jesus informs us:

‘You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.’

We must be the salt of the earth.  In Matthew 5:14 Jesus adds:

‘You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.’

We must be the light to the world.  1 Corinthians 6:17 declares:

‘But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.’

We must unite ourselves with the Lord in prayer so that, as it says in John 14:20:

‘In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.’

This is the most wonderful thing we can ever know and then we are further encouraged through the words found in 2 Corinthians 5:17:

‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’

We become a new creation in Christ.  Not only that, we become members of His body.  Ephesians 5: 30:

‘For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.’

We become a member of Jesus’ Body flesh, bones and Spirit.  If we are therefore members of the Body of Christ we also share His victory over evil.  This is reflected in Jesus' words of Luke 10:19:

‘Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.’

We share in Christ’s power and authority over the enemy.  Ephesians 6:13 commands us:

‘Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’

We have Christ’s finest armour; invisible yet empowered with His strength.  James 4:7 calls us:

‘Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.’

We can reign in life now with Jesus by submitting to God, not from duty but willingly and happily.  The very next verse, James 4:8, offers further encouragement:

‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.’

We can live very near to God.  Ephesians 6:10 goes even further:

‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.’

We have His strength and mighty power available to us.  Matthew 5:13 exhorts us to be the salt of the earth and Matthew 5:15 exhorts us to be light to the world:

And what does God give us all this for?

2 Timothy 2:1-2 persuades us thus:

‘You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.’

Mark 16:15-18 reminds us of the great commission:

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they 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."’

We must present the Word of God to all men, cast out demons, heal the sick and the gates of Hell will not prevail against us.

Some Questions to Think About

What was the result of Adam and Eve eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?


Why does the devil go to so much effort to cause man to sin, inflict sickness, curses, lies etc?

What did God do about it?

What did Jesus dying on the cross achieve for us?

How should we then live?

 Would you like to be baptised in the Holy Spirit?  Then pray this:

 Lord Jesus,

Thank you that it is Your Will that I be baptised in the Holy Spirit.

I turn from any sin and want to live for You in every way.

Please Lord baptise me in the Holy Spirit,

Thank you Jesus.  Amen