19. LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION JEHOVAH GOD
By Felix Ngunjiri Gichuri
Jesus Was Led into the Wilderness by the Holy Spirit to Be Tempted by the Devil
The fourth chapter of the book of Luke records that Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil. “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.” (Luke 4:1-2) [KJV] Jesus set the pace for each one of us that we shall all be taken into the wilderness to be tempted. The wilderness symbolizes this wicked perishing world of barrenness, pestilences, ungodly neighbours and serpents. “The earth mourns and withers; the world wastes away and withers; the exalted people of the earth waste away.” (Isa 24:4 [HCSB]) In the wilderness, “The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1Cor 1:18 [ESV2011])
Temptations and Tests
In the Bible, temptation is an enticement to act in disobedience to God’s will. Its sources are the world, the flesh, and the devil. A test is a situation that God sends or allows in our life with the intention of revealing our loyalties, motivations, character, and commitment to Him and helping to purify, strengthen, and mature us. If successfully passed, a test also glorifies God. Tests pull you up while temptations pull you down. God allows us to be tested so as to bring out the best out of us. If you pass the test of love for God with all of your heart, soul, mind and body as well as love for your neighbor, God will grade you well and tell you “Well done my faithful servant, keep up.” “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (Matt 25:23 [ESV2011])
The Israelites Were Taken to The Wilderness to Be Tested
The Israelites were taken to the wilderness to be tested because God wanted to know what was in their hearts, to know whether or not they would keep His commandments. “Remember that the LORD your God led you on the entire journey these 40 years in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.” (Deut 8:2 [HCSB])
There are Amalekites in the Wilderness Who Will Attack You Persistently
When one is being tempted in the wilderness, any kind of evil can happen to them. If you happen to be in the wilderness, you will be surrounded by all manner of demons. Desert tribes will fight you any time your relationship with God is not good and you get weary and worn out, they will attack you. “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!” (Deuteronomy 25.17-19).
The wilderness is not a comfort zone but a place of scarcity and suffering, where one is surrounded by enemies who have no fear of God. The wilderness experience was not meant to uplift the children of Israel but to weed out the doubters. The desert dwellers who are your neighbours in the wilderness hate God’s people. They wanted to kill the Israelites because Israelites refused to worship their gods. But God has promised to destroy all who try to destroy you in the wilderness if you follow His commandments and worship Him. Yes. God will give you victory over your enemies when they rise against you because He is Jehovah Nissi, the God who has sworn to give us victory over our enemies from generation to generation. “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah Nissi: For he said, Because the LORD has sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exod 17:14-16) [KJV].
Death in The Wilderness for Those Who Do Not Cry for God’s Help
There is death in the wilderness for those who do not cry for God’s help. God did not take the Israelites round the wilderness because it was the route to the Promised Land. He decided to punish those over the age of twenty who rebelled against Him even after they had seen how He delivered them from the house of bondage with signs and wonders. He took them round and round the wilderness to kill the adult population of Israel after they defied Him in the wilderness: murmuring against Moses and against God. Israelites had been incited to rebel against Moses (God’s appointed leader) by the ten spies who gave an evil report. God was so annoyed to hear that they were looking for another captain other than Moses to take them back to Egypt that He wanted to kill them.
“But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea. “And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. Say to them, ‘As I live, declares the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell. Only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh will remain alive out of those men who went to scout out the land.” (Num 14:21-38 ESV)
Thousands of those who had seen signs and wonders of the Lord when being delivered from the hand of Pharaoh but murmured against the Lord died in the wilderness. Only their children who were born in the wilderness entered the Promised Land. (Numbers 26:51-63)
In the Wilderness, Find Out Who Took You There
It is inevitable to be led into the wilderness during our journeys here on earth. If it is the devil who led you to fall into temptation, he will destroy you there. We have heard of many cases where people confess when taken to the dock that “The devil made me do it.” Or “The devil led me into it.”
If it is the Holy Spirit who led you to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, He will save you and deliver you by providing an escape for you for “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor 10:13, English Standard Version).
The Holy Spirit is There to Deliver You from Temptations of the Devil
The temptation can be either physical, spiritual or economic attacks or a combination of all of them. When Jesus was taken to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil what was in His heart, He relaxed because He knew that the Holy Spirit was in Him, the Holy Spirit of God the Father Almighty, to deliver Him from evil. “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.” And because He knew that He was God, He rebuked the devil telling him “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” [TGC, TSK] (Luke 4:12) When you seek the Lord with all of your heart, He will be found. “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:12-13)
If God Is with You in the Wilderness, He Will Give You Victory Over Your Enemies
Jesus is telling us now not to fear for the word of God says that, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour: I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for you. Since you are precious in my sight, you have been honourable, and I have loved you: therefore will I give men for you, and people for your life. Fear not: for I am with you:” (Isaiah 43:2-5) [KJV]
In This World (a Type of Wilderness), the God Tells us to Pray that He Leads Us Not Into Temptation
Jesus gave us the remedy in case we are led into temptations when He taught His disciples how to pray and gave them and by extension gave us the format of prayer in the greatest prayer of all times called the Lord’s Prayer found in the book of Matthew 6:9-13. He told us that any time that we are led into temptation, we should ask God not to lead us into temptation but to deliver us from the evil one.
When Jesus was giving His disciples the format of praying, He said that that we should always pray to God not to lead us into temptation. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (Matt 6:13 [KJV]) Jesus said that in the event that we find ourselves deep in temptation, we should always cry to God to deliver us from evil if we confess Him and testify of Him as our refuge, our rock and our deliverer. If you believe in Him, confess that “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (Ps 18:2 [KJV]) He delivered Shadrack, Meshak and Abednego from the blazing furnace by accompanying them there in the furnace.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spoke, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
“Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and called: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God — come out!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. When the satraps, prefects, governors, and the king’s advisers gathered around, they saw that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men: not a hair of their heads was singed (changed), their robes were unaffected, and there was no smell of fire on them. Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent His angel and rescued His servants who trusted in Him. They violated the king’s command and risked their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I issue a decree that anyone of any people, nation, or language who says anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be torn limb from limb and his house made a garbage dump. For there is no other god who is able to deliver like this.” Then the king rewarded Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.” (Dan 3:24-30) [HCSB] God is telling His children that “when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour:” If you want to know whether you are a child of God with all the rights of an heir of God’s promises, turn to the book of John chapter 1 verses1-3, 10-12. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:1-3) [KJV] “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons/children of God, even to them that believe on His name:” (John 1:10-12) [KJV]
God also saved Daniel when he was fed to man eating lions when He shut their mouths and they could not touch him because the Spirit of God was upon him. (Daniel 6:11-28) Lions could not eat a person who had the Spirit of God in him. Did you know that you could rise above all your enemies? Do you know that you could be untouchable by diseases, sickness, accident, witchcraft, demons and untimely death if you have the Holy Spirit of God in you? All you need to do is to ask the Lord to fill you with the Holy Spirit of God daily. God’s command says that, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm” (Psalm 105:15) “No weapon fashioned against you shall prosper.” ( Isaiah 54:17) Amen in Jesus name.
God knows that in this world, we shall be falling into temptations and to avoid being led into temptation, He commands us to pray always so that we do not fall into temptation. Jesus told His disciples a few minutes before He was led to the severest temptation of His life to “Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt 26:41 [KJV]) “And He said unto them, Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, or else you enter into temptation.” (Luke 22:46 [KJV])
Deliver Us from Evil O Lord
Whenever we are led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, we should pray incessantly to God to deliver us from the hands of the devil. Jesus knows that we shall all be taken to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for as many times as God wants so that He might humble us and test us to know what is in our hearts, whether or not we would keep His commandments. We are either being tested in the wilderness now, or waiting to be tested next or will be tested later on but definitely we are in this world full of trials and temptations. “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33 [HCSB])
Testimony of Some of My Trials and Subsequent Deliverance
I have gone through different challenges in my life and I feel urged to share how God delivered me from near death challenges. One of those challenges involves a day when I was walking to the church on a Sunday morning in the year 2012. God saved my life by turning my head swiftly upwards towards the top of a tall fence and I saw a stone coming towards me and it hit me on my forehead, cutting a deep wound on my forehead and splattering blood onto my shirt. My wife who was with me took me to hospital and the wound was stitched and later on the wound healed. But God told me that if He had not jerked my head to face the oncoming stone, it would have hit me on my left side of the head above my ear, shattering my jugular vein and resulting in bleeding to death. I later learnt that a twelve year old boy had innocently thrown a stone at a bird in the air using a sling shot and the devil led the stone towards me because the devil wanted to kill me. I forgave the boy of his deed.
Another incident was when a minor operation to remove a lipoma (accumulation of fat) from my left leg turned life threatening. It all started with a small swelling on my left leg below the knee which I had lived with from age two when a wooden stool fell on my leg and none cared to rub the swollen spot to prevent the area from swelling. I had gone through childhood, school life and adulthood without the swelling attracting my attention as it was not paining. I could run, play football, hockey and all manner of exercises. Starting from the beginning of the year 2015, I started feeling its presence, its weight and if my left leg stayed in the same position without stretching, the swelling would pain me. That is when I decided to go to hospital ‘A’ (name withheld) for my left leg to be checked. On Monday 22nd August 2016, I went to a hospital ‘A’ where the x-ray test showed that it was a harmless swelling. The duty doctor told me that such a swelling is called Lipoma, a harmless accumulation of fat around a swelling below the skin and can be removed through a minor operation. The duty doctor then told me that the lipoma had started exerting itself and establishing itself so that it would nourish itself and start growing. He prescribed that I go to certain well reputable hospital where I have a medical insurance cover so that the lipoma can be removed. When I took that prescription to the referral doctor to stamp it so that I would go with that referral letter to the referred hospital, that is when the devil came on the scene to stop me from going for that operation in the referral hospital so that he could execute the evil plan he had for me. A nurse in that hospital ‘A’ who was at the referral desk told me that there was no need to go to the referral hospital because they have a very good resident doctor whom she called Dr. X who comes to do operations in that hospital ‘A’ every Friday. She even made a call and told me that luckily, the doctor X had happened to pass by and was already around and she can take me to see him. Things were happening so fast that I found myself in a room where a man introduced himself as the doctor X who is in charge of the hospital. He looked at the swelling on my left leg, touched and squeezed it and told me that it is a harmless lipoma that can be removed. He asked me to go back to the nurse so that I would be booked for an operation the following Friday 26th August 2016. I went to that hospital on 26th August 2016 in the morning and was ushered into the theatre at 4.00 pm as the queue was long. Within 15 minutes Doctor X was through and he told me the operation was successful. The first error I noted about Doctor X was that he operated on my leg in civilian clothes. I did not like it because he could infect my wound with his civilian clothes. Clothes carry a lot of germs collected from the places we sit or pass by. That was the beginning of a catalogue of errors that were done by the Doctor X who operated on my leg on 26th August 2016. After the operation, he showed me some bloody fatty tissue he had removed that was the size of a small flash disk. He put it inside a test tube for it to be taken to the referral hospital for histology and he told me that the histology results will be out in three weeks. He told me that he had stitched the wound using removable stitches and that after a week, I can go to the nearest hospital for the stitches to be removed. After Doctor X left, the male nurse who was assisting the doctor during the operation told me that Doctor X used stitches that get absorbed by the body and that after three days, I should remove the bandage as the wound would have healed. I noted the confusing statements of Doctor X and those of the nurse concerning the type of stitches used and I noted the contradiction and I knew that I was in the hands of the devil. In my spirit, God put a script for me and told me that the devil operates in confusion. God had over the years told me that whenever I see or experience deliberate confusion, the devil is at work to destroy me. That was confusion number one.
I returned to hospital ‘A’ a week later on Friday 2th September 2016 because the wound was paining a lot and requested the duty doctor to order for the stitches to be removed. The duty doctor ordered for the bandage to be removed, looked at the wound and said that the stitches are not there. That brought the confusion tally to two. However, she asked me whether the doctor who operated on me gave me antibiotics and I said that I was given only painkillers. That became the second error committed by Doctor X when he forgot to prescribe antibiotics for my wound after the operation on my leg. Antibiotics are supposed to be prescribed to whoever undergoes operation to guard the wound from being infected by harmful bacteria.
On Tuesday 6th September 2016, I returned to the hospital ‘A’ requesting them to remove the stitches as the wound was very painful but they told me there was no dressing. I was told to go back there the following day.
On Wednesday 7th September 2016, they told me that the dressings came but they needed to be sterilized for the whole night and that I should go there the following day. That was when I realized that the devil was hindering the stitches from being removed for the wound to become worse. That was the time God told me to go to another branch of the same hospitals and I straightway went to the other hospital which I will name ‘B.’
At hospital ‘B,’ I was received by a doctor whom I will call Dr. Good Samaritan or in short Dr GS who showed me care and concern I had not experienced. Dr GS asked whether I was administered an anti-tetanus injection after the operation. I told him I did not know. He told me that the injection is done on the upper arm on all who have undergone surgery for prevention against infection from tetanus and I told him I was not administered such an injection. Doctor X forgot to prescribe an anti-tetanus injection before he operated on my leg. That was Doctor X’s third error on my body. Straightaway Doctor GS ordered that I be injected with an anti-tetanus injection. He ordered for the bandage to be removed and I was taken to the minor theatre where the stitches were removed. When the stitches were removed, pus and black blood clots came out and the doctor told me that the wound was septic. I asked the doctor where the black blood clots came from and he told me that the doctor who operated on my leg just stitched the wound on the surface of the skin leaving a hole inside and blood collected there and mixed with air and rotted. That was Doctor X’s fourth and most fatal error on my body. Under the supervision of doctor GS, the nurse started pressing different parts of my lower left leg and pus continued to come out mixed with black blood clots. After more attempts to remove the ooze, they dressed the wound and told me to go there the following day for dressing. The exercise of removing pus and blood clots was done in that hospital for the next three days consecutively up to Sunday 11th September 2016 when the doctor confirmed that all the blood clots and pus had been milked out from as far down as the area near the ankle and my leg was saved from rotting. I was told to be going for dressing daily. I went for dressing for the rest of the month of September 2016 and early October. On 10th of October 2016, I went to hospital ‘B’ for removal of the bandage but the doctor realized that the wound was still not healed and prescribed that I buy honey and be applying it and the wound would get healed. The following day, I went to the same hospital to ask for another solution as the wound was still bleeding. The doctor prescribed a certain drug that helps wounds dry and heal. After three days of applying that medicine to no avail, another doctor there prescribed another dusting powder to help in healing. Two days later, the wound was still bleeding and when I went to hospital ‘B,’ all the three doctors were on duty and they all came to see the wound. They all agreed that the bandage should be removed but they differed on the best drug to be applied, each insisting on the drug they had prescribed. After quarreling over the drug that should be applied, one of them insisted on his prescription and the others concurred. When I went home, I decided to follow none of their prescriptions and asked God to heal my wound. And that was the time the wound started healing and drying. I thanked God for healing my wound and saving me from the evil plan the devil had for me. I realized that God is the one “who forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases” (Psalm 103:3). I now believe the word of God which says that “By the stripes of Jesus we are healed” (1 Peter 2:4).
Pray to be Delivered From Temptations And Jesus Our Saviour Will Save You
If we realize that we have been taken into the wilderness to be tempted, let each one pray to God asking Him to save us from the danger of being in the hands of the evil one and be delivered from the evil one. Cry to the Lord to deliver you from the evil one and He will save you and deliver you from that temptation if you pray to Him. That is why He is called Jesus, the Saviour of the world. “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) [KJV]
We Can Also Walk on Water like Our Lord Jesus if We Believe His Word
Jesus promises to save us from evil if we cry to Him. “And when Peter jumped out of the sinking ship (and landed on the water with a thud, not a splash), he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the hostile wind, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him,” (Matthew 14:29-31) [KJV] When you cry to Him to save you, He will stretch forth His hand and save you from sinking because He has the power to walk on water, the water that He created. “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3) [KJV] “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:” (John 1:10-12 [KJV])
We Can Also Be Unsinkable if We Believe in the Unsinkable Jesus
Jesus Christ cannot sink in the water that He created and all creation have an obligation to obey Him. And when you look upon Him and also when He holds your hand, you will not sink. You shall also be as unsinkable as the Lord Jesus who is Lord of the water, the sea, the winds and all creation because “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:15-20) Jesus has power in heaven and on earth to command the winds and the water and they obey Him. “And His disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for He commands even the winds and water, and they obey him.” (Luke 8:24-25 [KJV])
The Lord is Mighty to Save
We should always pray to God to intervene and save us from the evil one by delivering us from the hands of the devil. His might is not in flexing His muscles with thunder, lightnings and rumblings but in His ability to save those who are in danger or in the hands of the enemy. “On that day they will say to Jerusalem (God’s dwelling/church): “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands fall limp. The LORD your God is among you; He is mighty to save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:16-18)
Jesus Can Save Us from Sickness and Death So That God Is Glorified
Jesus Christ can intervene to deliver us from the hands of the devil instantly the way He saved Shadrack, Meshak and Abednego from the blazing furnace. At other times, Jesus can take time to intervene because He wants to intervene when the action He will take will glorify God most. Jesus delayed in coming to heal Lazarus so that the disease would get worse until Lazarus died and was buried so as to prove his absolute power to resurrect even one who is four days dead. (John 11:1-45) He proved that He can call back the soul of one who had died four days ago and his soul gone to hell so that God the Father is glorified. He can wait for your disease to worsen so that when He heals you, God will be glorified by as many people as possible. Tradition says that Lazarus walked on the streets of Bethany and Jerusalem after he was resurrected back to life for another 30 years as a walking miracle, explaining to everyone how his friend Jesus (whom they had crucified) resurrected him from the dead before He went back to the Father in heaven.
Jesus Was Manifested That He Might Destroy Works of the Devil
Jesus came down from heaven to earth and became flesh so as to fulfill the promise of God that He is the God who dwells with us and introduce the kingdom of heaven here on earth so that whoever believes in Him will enjoy kingdom privileges promised by the Almighty God since creation. For Christ, who is Emmanuel or God with us, to introduce the kingdom of heaven here on earth, He had first to destroy all works of the devil and demonstrate the power of God on earth. “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (I John 3:8-10) Works of the devil include diseases (that is why He was sent here on earth to heal the broken hearted), release the captives and heal those possessed by demons, heal all manner of disabilities and set at liberty them that are bruised. That was the mandate He read to the synagogue defining why He came in the flesh here on earth in the book of Luke 4:18 when He said; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”
Jesus is the Messiah, Anointed to Save and Deliver us From Evil
Jesus had to be anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel. No wonder He is called Christ, the Messiah. The word Christ is an English translation from the Greek word Christos that is a translation of the Hebrew word Messiah. Translated into English, the word Messiah means Anointed One. It also refers to His Anointing. Jesus is the Anointed One; anointed even before He came to this world. To be anointed is to have the power of God rubbed into your flesh to enable the flesh do extraordinary works that the flesh would not normally do. Peter preached the message of the anointing to a Gentile by the name Cornelius who got saved together with his entire family when he told them of “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.” (Acts 10:38) [KJV Christ came into this world to conquer Satan and his kingdom (sin, death, darkness, rebellion and all manner of wickedness) in order to introduce God’s kingdom here on earth.
The Great Commission
For Him to introduce the kingdom of God here on earth, He had to get followers whom He would send to the whole world to preach good news of the kingdom of God. “Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) [HCSB]
“And Jesus said unto them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:15-18) [KJV]
After the Lord Jesus was taken back to heaven, His disciples went forth everywhere preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God. “After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked through them, confirming His word by the signs that accompanied it.” (Mark 16:19-20, Berean Study Bible)
When the disciples were anointed with power by the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost as Jesus had promised them, they went forth preaching the gospel of Christ, the gospel of the Kingdom of God with signs and wonders, destroying works of the devil in Jesus’ name. Peter preaching to the first church gathering in Jerusalem told them, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.” (Acts 2:36-43 [KJV])
That was the day the church of Christ was born through the preaching of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the followers of Christ who were first called Christians in Antioch took the gospel to the whole world. Believers first picked up that name of Christ being anointed (Messiah means anointed) in Antioch. I can easily imagine how it happened that the early disciples preached so much about the anointing and enjoyed its manifestations so strongly they were nicknamed those ‘anointeds’, those Christ-ians. And the preaching of the gospel will be continued by believers who are willing and obedient like you and I who will take it to all the nations. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14) [KJV]