Jesus plunged His disciples into an intensive training program to equip them to do the supernatural works of God. He explained to His disciples that the words that He spoke were “SPIRIT.” This was a heavenly healing modality that Jesus trained His disciples to operate in. At the center of this specialized spiritual training was the power of the proclamation of the Word of God to affect miracles. The disciples were trained by Jesus to proclaim the Word of God.
The “Word” was to become their weapon of warfare against all the works of the enemy. Paul called the Word of God the “sword of the Spirit.” Jesus taught the disciples how to speak the Word of God into situations of need. He said, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mark 11: 22-23)
Jesus taught His disciples to speak to the mountains that needed to be removed. He said, “Whoever says to this mountain...” He didn’t teach His disciples to pray to God for the mountain to be removed. He taught them to say to the mountain! He exhorted them to “believe that those things he says will be done,” promising the disciple that he will have “whatever he says.” The key in this extraordinary third heaven model of training was to actually speak the Word of God to the mountain under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
This was exactly how Jesus ministered healing and deliverance. He didn’t pray to the Father for the mountains of disease and demonic bondage to be removed. He spoke directly to the mountains and they were removed! This man, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke the words of God, and the material world around Him obeyed. Jesus used this same approach whether He was commanding a demon to leave, or a disease to be healed, or a dead body to be raised to life. No matter what the problem, He always spoke to the problem. He even spoke to the wind and the waves and commanded them to be still.
That day when evening came, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!” (Mark 4: 35-41 NIV)
Did Jesus calm the storm as God or as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit? It is hard to escape the conclusion that Jesus rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith in this particular situation because He expected them to be able to speak to the storm themselves rather than having to ask Jesus to do it for them. After all, they had been with Jesus for some time now and had been subjected to this same lesson over and over again. There is such a large body of material in the four gospels related to this approach to ministry that it becomes extremely difficult to argue with the fact that Jesus both modeled a particular kind of ministry to the disciples and expected them to adopt the very approach that He Himself used.
At the centre of this never before seen approach to doing ministry was the role of speaking the Word of God to the mountain that needed to be removed. Jesus rebuked demons, He rebuked fevers and He rebuked the wind, all rebukes issuing from His mouth. A significant component of this supernatural training program included a series of lessons in how to exercise power over the natural world. On one occasion Jesus cursed a fig tree to teach the disciples this lesson.
Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21: 18-22)
Wherever Jesus went, the people were continually astonished at the level of authority He exercised when He spoke. “They were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey Him and flee at his command!” (Luke 4: 32,36) Jesus walked in perfect spiritual authority. He continually released the glory of God on earth through the power of His words. This was the “third heaven” healing modality modeled on earth for everyone to see. Jesus lived and breathed those famous words: “On earth as it is in heaven!” He exercised the power of the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and then He passed on to the disciples the very same set of keys.
The critical issue in third heaven healing is who is speaking the Word of God. Jesus taught His disciples how to speak words that are imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit and the glory of God. He assured the disciples that their words would achieve the same results, but the most important key to this unique healing modality is staring us in the face. Jesus only gave this authority and power to those who were in right relationship with Him. He gave His disciples authority and power to heal the sick and to cast out demons. He didn’t give this authority to just anybody. He only gave the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to bind and loose to His disciples, to those who were living directly under His authority and who were filled with His Spirit.
The disciples had authority to bind and loose because they were becoming men and women under authority. The Centurion understood this principle and he was applauded by Jesus for his exceptional faith in perceiving the nature of Jesus’ relationship to His Father! Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15: 7) Answered prayer and fruitful Kingdom ministry flows exclusively out of that “John 15” abiding relationship of intimacy with the Father and the Son. The unique mystical relationship outlined in John 15 therefore becomes the pattern for radical Kingdom fruitfulness.