Thursday, October 25, 2012

Heavenly Authority

A Devotional by Mark Kenney

The word “authority” appears 91 times in the bible.  There is absolutely no question we are called again and again in scripture to submit to authority.  The question must be raised however of who or what authority looks like so we know two things clearly. The first thing we will know is who and what to submit to. The second thing we will know is who and what we are not supposed to submit to.

The biggest single mistake we make in this area is assuming that just because a person is in charge of something that they have Heaven’s authority to be doing that thing.  The bible clearly draws a line between a person’s position or title and their Heaven given authority.

In Matthew 7, Jesus has no earthly title. He is not in charge of anything or anyone. No one of earthly authority has given him any authority mantle yet the scripture says in verses 28 & 29, “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”  Even the people of that time had trouble seeing the difference between someone who truly had Heavenly Authority and someone who simply claimed that they did.

People miss stories like when David was the King and yet Nathan being a Prophet didn’t roll over and submit to him.  In fact, Nathan came and brought a prophetic word of correction to him. Nathan was indeed a man of Heavenly Authority and while Nathan respected the office of the King, He held the honor of God’s throne above that of David’s.
In Matthew 21, the modern people in charge counted on everyone believing they were the ones put in place by God with God’s Authority.  This is one reason why they publicly challenged Jesus’ authority flat out by asking in whose authority Jesus was operating in and who gave it to Him. They didn’t truly want to know of course, they were just trying to raise doubts about the validity of Jesus authority in the minds of the crowds. Jesus knowing their hearts refused to directly answer but instead gave them a riddle of His own and basically outsmarted them and left them standing there looking like fools.  Point is that even though they were in charge, Jesus did not honor them as  leaders with Heavenly Authority because they did not have such.
In Matthew 28 Jesus declares “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth”. This is critical to see as it puts Jesus in the driver’s seat meaning that He and only He dells out the authority of Heaven to others. After all, He’s the only one that has any to give at that point and you can only give what you have.

Luke 7 is where Jesus heals the Centurion’s servant.  In it we see a couple very powerful things.  One, we see one of the only times a person makes Jesus marvel. How would you like to be a person that it can be said about that you made Jesus marvel over you?  Well, this guy did just that.  It was because the Centurion came to Jesus with a proper understanding of the Kingdom of God being the Government of God and accordingly He knew Jesus didn’t even have to be there in person, Jesus could just give the instruction and Jesus authority would empower the word and bring the healing and that is exactly what happened.

In Luke 10 authority is given to empower people to do certain things. In Luke 19 authority is given as a reward of being faithful.

Romans 13 is where many get messed up. Here are verses 1, 2, and 3.
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
Notice that it does NOT say there is no one in charge that is not put there by God. It says there is no AUTHORITY except from God. Big difference.  Hitler ruled Nazi Germany and slaughtered countless millions but he certainly did not have the authority of God, even though he was clearly in charge.  Jim Jones, David Koresh and many like them have been in charge of their given organizations, but they had no true Heavenly Authority. If a person rents a police uniform for a costume party, they may look just like a police officer in every way, but in reality they have no real authority.  At the same time, if a leader in the church has the title of Pastor or Elder or whatever, that in no way automatically gives them Heaven’s authority. It just gives them influence in the natural and nothing more. In fact, in the later chapters of Revelation, we see that the dragon gives out earthy “authority” (or the ability to b ein charge of things) to the beast. This is not Heavenly Authority from God spoken of in Romans 13.  The authority of Heaven is handed out by Jesus Himself since He is the one who has it all in the first place.
When a person has authority, they have the right to represent and act on behalf of.  For married couples, Paul uses authority as an example in 1st Corinthians. “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does“ Its important to see too that authority will one day be done away with. Heaven is not ran by authority as God is God and doesn’t need us to represent Him in Heaven as He is there in the fullness of His Glory all the time. It is only within the sin stained walls of earth that we are in need of Heaven’s authority.  (1st Corinthians 15)

In Summery, it becomes very important to see the difference between someone simply being in charge of something and being anointed with Authority from Heaven. You are only called by God to submit to those who do not violate clear scripture, not just anyone who happens to be in charge.  If Jesus does not return until after the great tribulation, we as believers will be forced to chose between death and the mark of the beast. This will be enforced by people in charge, but with no heavenly authority. I could keep giving many other examples, but the point is, a leader is not a leader just because they call themselves one. GOD has to call them one before they have true Heaven given authority.

All the best,

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