Luke 10:17-20 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the
devils are subject unto us through Thy name.
18 And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
The ministry of the seventy was not continued in the early church. The early church had miracles and deliverances, but it did not have the total victory that was experienced by the seventy. The seventy were given authority over all the power of the enemy. The authority and power to destroy was in their hands. It was a unique ministry given to illustrate the ministry of an apostolic company in the endtime. And we are in the beginning days of it now. It is the ministry of the Gospel of the Kingdom, proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ and making His enemies the footstool of His feet (Hebrews 10:13).
Psalm 149 says that the saints shall execute the judgments of God. Then Paul says in I Corinthians 6:2, Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? Again, in Romans 16:20, The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. In Ephesians 6:12 Paul says, We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Then in II Corinthians 10:4, The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Who are these Scriptures speaking of? They are speaking of an endtime company with authority to tread on serpents and scorpions (the demonic world), a remnant within Christianity that will destroy Satan and his works. They are the ones that Jesus spoke of when He said, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to My Father (John 14:12). The “he” is not speaking of an individual, but a company that has become one. They are one spirit. They are the “perfect man” of Ephesians 4:13.
This “he” company, or “man” company, which is foreshadowed by the seventy is being formed now. It does not consist of all Christians, though. There are many called, but only a few are chosen for this endtime work (Matthew 20:16). No doubt, God would use every Christian if every Christian had a revelation of His purposes and was dedicated to the fulfillment of them. But that is not the case. A large portion of Christianity is sitting on their backsides waiting for a rapture to take them to heaven. Because of their lack of submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and their self-centered concepts of Christianity, they are blinded by the spirit of this age. Though they are Christians they are lost in regard to God’s endtime work. The Gospel of the Kingdom is hid to them, because their hearts are not totally given to the Lord. But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. II Corinthians 4:3-4.
It is not too late to be a part of the endtime ministry of the seventy, but it will cost you something to be included. Your flesh nature will have to die. The power of the enemy is resident within your flesh nature, and it will have to be conquered there first.
Let’s look at our text again. And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:17-20.
When the seventy returned they were very excited about their ministry. The Lord had given them authority over all the power of the enemy, and joyfully they said, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name. You can imagine their excitement; they would just speak in the name of the Lord and demons were subject unto them. Then Jesus said, Rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
What words of wisdom! The most important thing of all is your relationship with the Lord. It is easy to get caught up in the spectacular of ministry, and misdirected focus will make ministry ineffective. Oneness with the Lord is what makes ministry effective, and the primary objective of any ministry should be to bring those ministered to into a oneness with God.
A few days ago I was watching some preachers on one of the religious channels on TV. They were making some fantastic prophecies ministering to one another. Their chests expanded with every prophecy, and each one tried to prophesy greater things than the others. There was no anointing on their prophecies, not because they weren’t factually correct, but because their motivation was to appear super-spiritual rather than to enhance the others’ relationship with the Lord. They were like the ones who said, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works. And the Lord responded, Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:22-23). Ministry with a misdirected focus works iniquity. Many Christians are caught up in the spectacular of that kind of ministry because they are not spiritual enough to know the difference.
There aren’t many preachers that are really aware of God’s purposes for this day. Does that sound strange? It has always been that way. Jesus mentions it in His Sermon on the Mount. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14.
Now that is not talking about the saved and unsaved. It is speaking of Christians. There are two gates; one is wide and one is narrow. The majority of Christians have entered the wide gate. They are religious, but they do not become spiritually mature. They have settled for less than the abundant life in God (John 10:10). They are not saved to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25). On the other hand, those that enter the narrow gate have left all to follow Jesus. They sold all to buy the treasure in the field (Matthew 13:44), and the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:46).
Why do most Christians choose the wide gate? They will have to bear their responsibility, but the greater condemnation will be on the preachers that only presented the wide gate in their ministry. Most Christians that entered the wide gate probably were never given a choice. The narrow gate was never set before them by their pastors. The majority of preachers do not minister the narrow gate to their congregations, for they have never entered the narrow gate themselves. The wide gate is wide because it is the most popular. More preachers preach it; more people enter it.
Folks, we need to wake up! We need to realize that popular Christianity is leading God’s people astray. Most preachers are “wide gate” preachers, and most Christians are “wide gate” Christians. When Jesus said that many shall be deceived (Matthew 24:11), He was talking about Christians. When He said that the love of man would wax cold (Matthew 24:12), He wasn’t talking about the unsaved. They don’t have the love of God, so how can it wax cold in them? If you think that just because you are a Christian you are locked-in and can’t be deceived, you’re deceived already. If you are a part of popular Christianity, you are a “wide gate” Christian, and the wide gate leads to destruction.
Your relationship with the Lord is vital. Don’t let lukewarm Christianity cause your love for the Lord to wax cold. And, if it’s already cold, you do whatever it takes to get it fervent again. If your local church is not setting the “narrow gate” that leads to life before you, find one that will. Life is too short and your relationship with the Lord too precious to waste time with “wide gate” ministry. If you are not growing spiritually, find a place where you can.
A minister’s first responsibility is His own relationship with the Lord, then his responsibility to the flock. You cannot minister something you don’t have. The apostle Paul ministered the same thing at Ephesus before he departed. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. Acts 2:28.
Your relationship to the Lord is the all-important thing. Don’t take it for granted! Make it the rejoicing of your heart. When the seventy returned with joy over the spectacular of their ministry, Jesus said, Rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Copyright © 1997 by Henry DuBose