Spiritual Authority — Its Use and Misuse

Exousia – Greek for “authority” (delegated power)

ALL AUTHORITY COMES FROM GOD, AND EVEN JESUS SUBMITS HIMSELF TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE FATHER.

Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment. Romans 13:1

So Jesus added, When you have lifted up the Son of Man [on the cross], you will realize (know, understand) that I am He [for Whom you look] and that I do nothing of Myself (of My own accord or on My own authority), but I say [exactly] what My Father has taught Me.  John 8:28

I have never spoken on My own authority or of My own accord or as self-appointed, but the Father Who sent Me has Himself given Me orders [concerning] what to say and what to tell.50 And I know that His commandment is (means) eternal life. So whatever I speak, I am saying [exactly] what My Father has told Me to say and in accordance with His instructions.  John 12:49-50

HIS AUTHORITY IS ETERNAL AND ABSOLUTE.

Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]—25 To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).Jude 1:24-25

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].  Colossians 2:10

 

GOD DELEGATES AUTHORITY AS HE DEEMS FIT AND PROPER.

  • TO US
  1. AUTHORITY TO BECOME THE CHILDREN OF GOD:  He came to that which belonged to Him [to His own—His domain, creation, things, world], and they who were His own did not receive Him and did not welcome Him.12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—13 Who owe their birth neither to [a]bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!]  John 1:11-13
  2. KEYS TO THE KINGDOM IN THE FORM OF BINDING AND LOOSING, RESTRAINING AND RELEASING: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth [a]must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth [b]must be what is already loosed in heaven.   Matthew 16:19 (Amplified Bible)
  3. AUTHORITY OVER UNCLEAN SPIRITS AND AUTHORITY FOR HEALING: And Jesus summoned to Him His twelve disciples and gave them power and authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out, and to cure all kinds of disease and all kinds of weakness and  Matthew 10:1
  4. AUTHORITY OVER THE ENEMY AND ANYTHING HE CAN DO: And He said to them, I saw Satan falling like a lightning [flash] from heaven.  Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.  Luke 10:18-20
  • TO THE ENEMY

But each in his own rank and turn: Christ (the Messiah) [is] the firstfruits, then those who are Christ’s [own will be resurrected] at His coming.24 After that comes the end (the completion), when He delivers over the kingdom to God the Father after rendering inoperative and abolishing every [other] rule and every authority and power.25 For [Christ] must be King and reign until He has put all [His] enemies under His feet.  I Corinthians 15:23-25

WE LIVE IN THE TENSION BETWEEN THE ALREADY (WHAT THE LORD HAS ALREADY ESTABLISHED AND FULFILLED) AND THE NOT YET (THOSE THINGS THAT ARE STILL AWAITING FULFILLMENT).

  • GOD ALLOWS THE ENEMY TEMPORARY AUTHORITY TO EXPOSE OUR NEED FOR SALVATION, OUR NEED FOR JESUS, AND PRESS US INTO HIMSELF

And the beast was given the power of speech, uttering boastful and blasphemous words, and he was given freedom to exert his authority and to exercise his will during forty-two months (three and a half years).  Revelation 13:5

And he opened his mouth to speak slanders against God, blaspheming His name and His abode, [even vilifying] those who live in heaven.

He was further permitted to wage war on God’s holy people (the saints) and to overcome them. And power was given him to extend his authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation, Revelation 13:6-7

For God has put it into their [the beast and the 10 horns] hearts to carry out His own purpose by acting in harmony in surrendering their royal power and authority to the beast, until the prophetic words (intentions and promises) of God shall be fulfilled.  Revelation 17:17

  • MANIFESTATION OF THE FULL AUTHORITY WE ENJOY IN JESUS CHRIST IS PROGRESSIVELY INCREASING BUT WILL NOT BE COMPLETELY ESTABLISHED AND EVIDENT UNTIL THE END OF THE AGE

OUR AUTHORITY IS PROGRESSIVE IN NATURE AND DESIGNED TO KEEP US DEPENDING ON FATHER GOD.

Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]—25 To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).Jude 1:24-25

Only hold fast to what you have until I come.26 And he who overcomes (is victorious) and who obeys My commands to the [very] end [doing the works that please Me], I will give him authority and power over the nations;27 And he shall rule them with a sceptre (rod) of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, and [his power over them shall be] like that which I Myself have received from My Father; Revelation 2:25-27

Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garments, that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter through the gates into the city.  Revelation 22:14

SO WHAT’S THE CATCH? HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT AUTHORITY WE HAVE?

THE LEVEL OF SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY WE EXERCISE IS A COMBINATION OF GOD’S SOVEREIGN DELEGATION TO US AND THE DECISION & MOTIVE OF OUR HEARTS.

OUR AUTHORITY IS BASED ON RELATIONSHIP RATHER THAN A FORMULA – THIS PRINCIPLE IS VERY IMPORTANT!   God reveals to us personally the extent of the authority in which He wants us to operate in given areas of our lives

Now as they were listening to these things, He proceeded to tell a parable, because He was approaching Jerusalem and because they thought that the kingdom of God was going to be brought to light and shown forth immediately.12 He therefore said, A certain nobleman went into a distant country to obtain for himself a kingdom and then to return.13 Calling ten of his [own] bond servants, he gave them ten minas [each equal to about one hundred days’ wages or nearly twenty dollars] and said to them, [c]Buy and sell with these [d]while I go and then return.14 But his citizens detested him and sent an embassy after him to say, We do not want this man to become ruler over us.15 When he returned after having received the kingdom, he ordered these bond servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know how much each one had made by [e]buying and selling.16 The first one came before him, and he said, Lord, your mina has made ten [additional] minas.17 And he said to him, Well done, excellent bond servant! Because you have been faithful and trustworthy in a very little [thing], you shall have authority over ten cities.18 The second one also came and said, Lord, your mina has made five more minas.19 And he said also to him, And you will take charge over five cities.20 Then another came and said, Lord, here is your mina, which I have kept laid up in a [f]handkerchief.21 For I was [constantly] afraid of you, because you are a stern (hard, severe) man; you pick up what you did not lay down, and you reap what you did not sow. 22 He said to the servant, I will judge and condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked slave! You knew [did you] that I was a stern (hard, severe) man, picking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow?23 Then why did you not put my money in a bank, so that on my return, I might have collected it with interest?24 And he said to the bystanders, Take the mina away from him and give it to him who has the ten minas.25 And they said to him, Lord, he has ten minas [already]!26 And [said Jesus,] I tell you that to everyone who gets and has will more be given, but from the man who does not get and does not have, even what he has will be taken away.22 He said to the servant, I will judge and condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked slave! You knew [did you] that I was a stern (hard, severe) man, picking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow?23 Then why did you not put my money in a bank, so that on my return, I might have collected it with interest?24 And he said to the bystanders, Take the mina away from him and give it to him who has the ten minas.25 And they said to him, Lord, he has ten minas [already]!26 And [said Jesus,] I tell you that to everyone who gets and has will more be given, but from the man who does not get and does not have, even what he has will be taken away.  Luke 19:11-26  FEAR?

If any man desires to do His will (God’s pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority.18 He who speaks on his own authority seeks to win honor for himself. [He whose teaching originates with himself seeks his own glory.] But He Who seeks the glory and is eager for the honor of Him Who sent Him, He is true; and there is no unrighteousness or falsehood or deception in Him.  John 7:17-19  WHOM ARE WE SEEKING TO HONOR?

 However, when Simon saw that the [Holy] Spirit was imparted through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he brought money and offered it to them,19 Saying, Grant me also this power and authority, in order that anyone on whom I place my hands may the Holy Spirit.20 But Peter said to him, Destruction overtake your money And you, because you imagined you could obtain the [free] gift of God with money!  Acts 18:18-20  DO WE DESIRE AUTHORITY FOR PERSONAL GAIN OR KINGDOM ADVANCEMENT?

WE SHOULD HAVE SOME RESERVATION REGARDING THE REPETITION OF FORMULAIC PRAYERS; HOW WE CAN DISCERN WHETHER WE ACTUALLY HAVE AUTHORITY IN A SPECIFIC SITUATION?

AREAS IN WHICH WE HAVE SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY:

  • OWNERSHIP OR DELEGATED OWNERSHIP (PROPERTY, RESIDENCY, POSITION OF AUTHORITY IN WORLDLY SENSE)
  • PEOPLE WHO HAVE RECEIVED US RECEIVE HIM WHO SENT US (Matthew 10:40)
  • CLEAR DIRECTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (ascertained through prayer and instruction from the Lord)

We have complete authority in our homes and over our minor children.  We have authority over our finances and health.    However, we need to hear from the Holy Spirit regarding roots of various challenges:  the enemy is a legalist, and when something doesn’t resolve the way we think it should, we should be quick to ask the Lord what hindrances might be operating (violent nightmares could, for example, be rooted in the viewing of violent television programs or video games)  We also need to keep in mind that we live in a broken world, and sometimes the Lord asks us to walk with Him through challenging situations He may wish to use to teach us more about Himself.   We are not in charge of HOW God’s victory manifests in our lives.  God is!

What we cannot do:

  • Violate the free will of other people that is God-given (if a person for whom we are interceding is feeding a spirit by engaging in behavior that gives that spirit a legal right to torment him or her, we cannot cast it out; we cannot bind the will or influence the mind of another person for whom we are interceding) — charismatic witchcraft
  • Exercise authority over things and people in which we have no ownership or delegated share
  • Cast spirits out of people who declare a willingness to receive deliverance, but who are simultaneously inviting or fueling those spirits, thus giving them the right and authority to operate
  • Claim things we want rather than things/turf God has actually given us

WHAT CAN WE DO in the above situations?   We can ask GOD to do what we ourselves are unable to do.  For example, by praying the opposite of what we see or discern, we can use spiritual warfare to bring life and hope, thereby counteracting death and futility.

Speak life, blessing, destiny, purpose, and wholeness as a tool of warfare against the enemy. If we ask the Lord for His perspective on people and situations, we can then speak His plans and purposes into being.  There is great power and authority when we agree with God to speak life and blessing, revelation and hope to others.