The Spirit of Dominion and the Church (Adventures in Religion #11)
By John G. Lake
July 11, 1935
This morning I was out on the extreme east side of the city. I ran across a strange thing. A man was coming down the street with a pack on his back. The pack was in a cow hide which was only about half cured. In the sack he had a cow’s leg. As I came up to him he said, “Excuse me, sir, but this is my Christian cross.” I said, “Excuse me, but it looks like just the opposite to me.” He went down the street and as far as I could hear him he was scolding me.
Then I went to the home of a woman who had been ill a long time. She had lain in bed and was gradually growing worse, and all the time she was accepting this sickness as from God. So I told her this foolish incident; and I said, “Dear woman, if you knew the Word of God you would never accept a thing like that as the will of God, because Jesus most emphatically declared that sickness was not the will of God but the devil’s.” She had accepted that rotten, nasty business as God’s will and had lain in bed for eight months. It is as offensive to God as the man with his “Christian cross.” I want you to know, dear friends, that the Word of God is the foundation upon which our faith is to be built.
Jesus said that He came “to destroy the works of the devil’.’ Acts 10 declares:
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were OPPRESSED OF THE DEVIL; for God was with Him.”
You do not find “if it be thy will” in the teaching of Jesus. He never suggested in word or deed that sin, sickness and death were the will of God. The leper who came to Jesus for healing in the 8th of Matthew did say, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” I suppose he, too, was accepting the dirty leprosy as the will of God. Jesus instantly said, “I will; be thou clean.” The answer of Jesus to the leper is Jesus’ answer to you, to every sick man. “If it be thy will” was never suggested in any of Jesus’ teaching concerning sickness and disease. Friend, Jesus had declared His will in the most emphatic manner. His will is always to heal if you but come to Him.
Every student of the primitive Church discerns at once a distinction between the soul of the primitive Christian and the soul of the modern Christian. It lies in the spirit of Christ’s dominion.
The Holy Spirit came into the primitive Christian soul to elevate his consciousness in Christ to make him a master. He smote sin, and it disappeared. He cast out devils (demons); a divine flash from his nature overpowered and cast out the demon. He laid his hands on the sick, and the mighty Spirit of Jesus Christ flamed into the body and the disease was annihilated. He was commanded to rebuke the devil, and the devil would flee from him. He was a reigning sovereign, not shrinking in fear, but overcoming by faith.
It is this spirit of DOMINION, when restored to the Church of Christ, that will bring again the glory-triumph to the Church of God throughout the world and lift her into the place where, instead of being the obedient servant of the world, the flesh, and the devil, she will become the divine instrument of God. She will minister Christ’s power in salvation, in healing the sick, in the casting out of demons, and in the carrying out of the whole program of Jesus’ ministry as the early Church did.