Authority/Power

AUTHORITY/POWER

The POWER of the authorities in Romans 13 is rooted in its ability to inflict harm on the rebellious, disobedient, evil doers, –he does not bear the sword in vain ; for he is God’s minister, and avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil (vs. 4). The civil authority’s power is in establishing laws and the use of FORCE to ensure compliance.

MILLENNIUM

We now have no power of force during the present kingdom to right wrongs, we cannot defend the defenceless with ruler-ship, and we cannot ensure justice. Because of our limited power the authority may even persecute us. [1] However there will come a time where we will rule with authority and power [2] in the Millennium and beyond; then we will have all that is necessary to carry out and maintain righteousness.

Ps 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

Rev 2:26-29And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Mankind, without the new creation by the Gospel of Christ, is desperately sick and incurable, and God proves it over and over again throughout the centuries past and will in the future, even after they experience profit of righteous, they still revolt.

There are two kinds of authority the Christian is to be conscious about, authority of position and authority of holiness. Position reflects on the responsibility of one who has oversight; to those over us we owe submission (Rom 13:1-7). This submission is required by God up to the point where the authority asks one to personally do something that is contrary to the moral law of God; then we may make an appeal, and if that fails to resolve the conflict, we must then rather obey God (Acts 4:19).

Holiness is the authority we now have and it is not coupled with enforcing power. The Christian does not have God given power to enforce justice and righteousness today. This world is another kingdom and will run its course, even Christ did not speak against Rome and their ruler-ship of Israel but told his own to pay their taxes that would, in effect, finance the occupation ( John 18:36). We are of another kingdom and must live it in the midst of this human kingdom

Phil 2:15

15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (KJV)

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

What authority do we have and exercise?

-we have Truth, and truth always has authority over darkness; Truth, not strength, not might.

Zech 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

We all, as Christians, as ambassadors of Christ, have authority of God’s truth. All of us have the responsibility and obligation to exercise holy authority. Luke 10:17-20

Luke 10:17-20

17 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.

In the Cross and the Switch Blade, Wilkerson — a man of God ministering to the inner street gangs. At one time he was passing through a throng of gang members and passed through unhurt. What Wikerson found out later that one of the individuals in that crowd who had a knife drawn and was intent on stabbing him, was that the lad found himself paralysed and unable to move a muscle as a power was completely restraining him. That is the power of your position in Christ! [3]

Billy Graham’s testimonies of protection of angels by missionaries – Angels.

Ps 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

Ps 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. (KJV)

We have authority over the World’s damaging influences on ourselves; we have authority over the flesh (the personal dominance of the sin nature), and the Devil (the prince of this world)! – (1 Jn 5:4 ..has overcome the world; Gal 5:24, 25 …crucified the flesh; Eph 6:10-13 …resist in the evil day, and having done everything, stand firm)

The miraculous gifts of Christ, and subsequently in the Apostolic age, demonstrated power to even raise the dead, which is no longer with us at this time; that is a study in itself. But today the Church wants to experience that kind of power now, which is reserved for a future time when the faithful servants of Christ will fully demonstrate this type of power during the Millennium Reign. [4] The church having become powerless in our secularized society gets aggressive and demonstrates and practice the principle presented below:

Reconstructionist George Grant writes, “The army of God is to conquer the earth, to subdue it, to rule over it, to exercise dominion.” David Chilton insists, “Our goal is world dominion under Christ’s lordship, a ‘world takeover’ if you will…. We are the shapers of world history…. [Christ has] commissioned us to take over the world.” Gary North writes, “God wants Christians to control the earth on His behalf….” Even J.I. Packer says Christians are called to “re-Christianize the North American milieu…[and] rebuild the ruins…[of] North American culture….”

Gary North, who was a key speaker on that occasion, sees the responsibility of Christians to “rebuild our apostate civilization into the kingdom of God….” Yet Christ expressed no such interest and bluntly declared, “My kingdom is not of this world” (Jn 18:36). [5]

“History reveals that the church can fail in its ministry to the world in one of two ways. It may attempt to rule the world through deliberately entering secular [ways of dealing with people with the gospel], or it may withdraw to individual monastic piety [keeping to ourselves] The other extreme of leaving [the authority] of the ministry of the Word in an attempt to witness through the more direct secular power has always tempted the church and is again prominent in our time. However, by casting aside its influence through the Word in favour of secular forms such as politics and business practices, the church loses its function as a servant of God [6]

However we still have authority to exercise, that which is essential to the great commission –

Matt 28:16-20

16 But the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17 And when they saw him, they worshipped (him); but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:

20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

(ASV)

Without the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit we can only, at best, be conformed to a variety of standards the world has to offer; all of which leads to death (Prov 16:25).

Re Romans 12:2 We may conform to a pattern defined by the world or one designed by God. The results are radically different. Either way, we are conformed according to an exterior pattern. We are not autonomous and self-determined. We will be shaped, one way or another. [7]

Many may only believe and follow Christianity until something better comes along. [8] Only our rebirth through faith motivated by the Holy Spirit can set us free from all other moulds unto God’s righteousness. We are the only true light the whole world has!

In three decades of service with my Lord, I have encountered 7 dramatic instances of demon possession. One time I was literally attacked by a malevolent demon, in these experiences I have found the Word and the Authority invested in me as God’s child sufficient to deal with each and every element – Authority is the issue not power. Authority is the root of power and power is in the expression of truth and Scripture defines that truth. If its mere control or bossy authority you want (which is the human desire) you will find it very insufficient in fulfilling your deepest need.

There is absolutely no reason for us to fear or cower from the enemy as he is afraid of the mature and authoritive Believer. James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Young people see a lot of bossy and controlling authority but no Holy Spirit power of holiness. The community often sees the church as a mere form of religion at best, or a form of entertainment at worst, but certainly not as any kind of authority. Holiness is the means by which truth has impact on the hearers.

What of the world existence then? It will run the course it has chosen (Rev 22:11,12). God intervenes in world affairs only as it has relevance to Israel and the Church (individuals too who comprise righteous Israel and the Body of Christ).

Satan has authority over humanity which are not under the higher authority of Jesus Christ who is the righteous and Holy One – Luke 4:6-7 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” (NIV)

Satan’s authority energizes mans’ sinfulness (Eph 2:1-3) but it has been broken by Jesus (Gal 2:15). God concerns Himself with His own household and teaches His children as a father on how to handle difficult neighbours who have a sinful father, Satan, to lead them. God does limit the neighbours’ actions, not only for his own good, but also for the strengthening of God’s children and validating prophetic history. [9]

Isa 54:17

17 “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from me,” declares the LORD. (NAS)

Rom 9:22-24

22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Sodom would have been spared if there was found in their midst ten righteous souls. Yet Sodom would have been ignorant of what good those righteous brought to them (Gen 18:32). This is even so for the world at large today, and even our country especially, because of our presence Canada is temporarily spared God’s impending wrath, in the mean time they reap the benefits even in their ignorance. There will come a day soon, though, when we will be removed from the scene, as Lot and his family were, and then the wrath of God will follow (Rev 16).

The Church has lost authority, not because the world will no longer listen, but because the church has become more carnal and secularized in its belief and practices. We are not defeated because the enemy is strong but because we have become weak! (Duet 28:47-48 for the principle of weakness; 1 Cor 11:27-31) The extreme Christian practices have effectively damaged the Christian faith’s credibility before the eyes of the world! [10]

“The ever-expanding charismatic confusion in the Church today represents a clever halo-crowned stratagem of Satan to divide God’s people and to bring them under very subtle yet real type of occult bondage.” [11]

The Church is searching for power.

I see the confusion of politics and religion as the greatest barriers to grace. C. S. Lewis observed that almost all crimes of Christian history have come about when religion is confused with politics. Politics, which runs by the rules of ungrace, allures us to trade away grace for power, a temptation the church has often been unable to resist. [12]

My personal mandate is not to teach one to have power but instead holiness in which resides godly authority exercising truth! The church has lost functional authority because of impurity of life and doctrine.

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

We no longer greatly affect the conscience of the hearer and society with any power through holy authority. Notice, there is a difference between holy authority and self-righteous authority; it is not what I believe to be true that the Spirit empowers, but the living truth spoken out firmly, but in love. Power, or effect, is not following much of our witness and evangelism because we think the message is more important than personal purity. Revival is unnatural, but things get so bad that the Spirit must clean the hearts of His children sometimes and re-establish what the Church should be all along!

How do we regain our rightful purpose as authority’s speaking for God?

BIBLICAL WISDOM IS NOT DEFINED BY MERE ACCUMULATED KNOWLEDGE AND PERFECTED TECHNIQUE OF ARGUMENT ONLY, BUT MORAL INTEGRITY; BIBLICAL WISDOM IS A SENSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS! THIS POWER OF THE SPIRIT IS NOT THROUGH STRENGTH, BUT HUMILITY.

“The golden rule for understanding spirituality is not intellect, but obedience. If a man wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jesus Christ teaches, he can only get it by obedience. Intellectual darkness comes through ignorance; spiritual darkness [and lack of power in authority] comes because of something I do not intend to obey.

“The Atonement of Jesus has to work out in practical, unobtrusive ways in life. Every time I obey, absolute Deity is on my side, so that the grace of God and natural obedience coincide. Obedience means I have banked everything on the Atonement, and my obedience is met immediately by the delight of the supernatural grace of God.” OSWALD CHAMBERS – DEVOTIONAL.

BIBLICAL WISDOM IS OUR LIVING THE TRUTH NOT MERELY PREACHING TRUTH. Truth always has authority over darkness but if we do not live and breath the truth we diminish its power, thus grieving the Holy Spirit. As Neil Anderson says, “It is not an issue of power but of truth.”

Wisdom is first acquired via purity. Secondly, its validity is displayed in our lives to those outside the Church. Power therefore doesn’t come from the acquisition of knowledge but integrity of life.

John 14:23

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Acts 4:13

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (KJV)

“If our Lord insisted upon obedience He would become a task master, and He would cease to have any authority. He never insists on obedience, but when we do see Him we obey Him instantly, He is easily Lord, and we live in adoration of Him from morning till night. The revelation of my growth in grace is the way in which I look upon obedience. We have to rescue the word ‘obedience’ from the mire. Obedience is only possible between equals; it is the relationship between father and son, not between master and servant.” Bingham

1 Corinthians 2: 6-16

 


[1] Matt 10:20-28; Heb 11:35-40; Acts 5:40-42

[2] Heb 6:5

[3] What of Jim Elliot was killed by his assigned Auka(?sp) indians of South America? That served His purpose of eventual salvation of many souls. Until your time is up in Him, you are indestructable. Christ died according to the will of God (Acts 2:22, 23); many others have died (Heb 11:36-40); and more will die violent deaths too ( Rev 6:11).

[4] Heb 6:5 cf. Jamieson/Fausset/Brown; Pentecost Things to Come; “The word rendered ‘powers’ (dynameis) in the NIV is the usual one in the NT for ‘miracles’ and an apparent illusion to 2:4 that the author was indeed thinking throughout of the ‘world to come’.

[5] As quoted in The Berean Call; June 1999 issue.

[6] Robert L Saucy; The Church in God’s Program; p. 93

[7] Mel Lawrenz The Dynamics of Spiritual Formation Baker Books; pg 144

[8] Many Young people loose or fall away from the faith once in college and or university. This is primarily due to never growing beyond childhood faith, and a child will often cave in to the bigger bully or authority if he has no mature understanding of God in light of the World’s propaganda.

[9] Matt 16:18; 1 Cor 10:13; Job 1:12

[10] The Charismatic/Vineyard movement has profoundly damaged the Church’s credibility to the world. Humanistic theories of psychology has effectively deminished the authority of the Word, the pastorate, and the supernatural work of the Spirit thus neutralizing the power of the Gospel. (see John MacArthurs’s book, the Sufficiency of Christ)

[11] What Demons can do to Saints; Unger, pg 188

[12] Philip Yantzee; What’s Amazing about Grace, Page 233.

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