x132 .........Authority--watch out how you use it!!

Jesus was given all authority by the Father.......

" And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (exhousia) is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Matthew 28:18

And He gave all that authority--first to His apostles--

" And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease." (Matthew 10:1, KJV).

"Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases." (Luke 9:1, KJV).

But then He said that this same authority would be as a sign upon "them that believe"

"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;" (Mark 16:17, KJV).

He also stated that He prayed a prayer of apostleship---not just to His followers of His day--but rather also upon "but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;"........

18 As thou hast sent (apostello) me into the world, even so have I also sent (apostello) them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent (apostello) me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent (apostello) me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
(John 17:18-23, KJV).

Now, it is clear from the Bible that we as Christian--all of us--not just some---have this authority---here is what "authority" means ---

exousia exousia {ex-oo-see'-ah} n f

----- power 69, authority 29, right 2, liberty 1, jurisdiction 1, strength 1; 103

1) power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases
1a) leave or permission
2) physical and mental power
2a) the ability or strength with which one is endued, which
he either possesses or exercises
3) the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
4) the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will
and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)
4a) universally
4a1) authority over mankind
4b) specifically
4b1) the power of judicial decisions
4b2) of authority to manage domestic affairs
4c) metonymically
4c1) a thing subject to authority or rule
4c1a) jurisdiction
4c2) one who possesses authority
4c2a) a ruler, a human magistrate
4c2b) the leading and more powerful among created beings
superior to man, spiritual potentates
4d) a sign of the husband's authority over his wife
4d1) the veil with which propriety required a women to cover
4e) the sign of regal authority, a crown

It is the power of God--it is a very very important and powerful thing--it is a gift from God through Jesus to us--to use for His specific purposes--

We as Christian have authority over the works of the devil--we have authority over all sickness and disease--we have authority to cast out every devil--we have authority to preach and teach the word of God--we have authority to save the lost and heal the blind--we have authority to raise the dead---we have authority to access the power of the Holy Ghost--we have authority to destroy every demon that was ever spawned in the pits of Hell itself!!!

Jesus states the clear and specific puposes of His ministry in Luke 4:18...

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath 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, (Luke 4:18, KJV).

Jesus clearly used the authority He was given for these specific purposes--to preach the Gospel, to heal the sick, to bring deliverance, to feed the poor, and to "set at liberty" (Greek" apostello") meaning to freely release others to the His same authority. The church in the Bible followed His exact pattern. they were filled with the Spirit as a group, and as a group they preached the gospel, fed the poor, cast out the devil, prayed for the sick, and freely released one another to this "apostleship" that Jesus had demonstrated to them. And it is clear that we today as Chrisitnas have exactly this same authority, in the name of Jesus.

The Bible is very specific about what our authority as Christian is meant for and how to use it. But it is very specific about what we are not to use our authority for. Jesus tells us specifically what we are not to use "exhousia"--the authority and power of God--for......

We are not to use the "authority of God" over one another--!!!

"But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV).

"But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:42-45, KJV).

"And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;"(Luke 22:25-29, KJV).

Jesus explain specifically--in these two areas of scripture that we are not to use this powerful "exhousia" over one another.

In fact He states that this is the way the world operates it's government. He explains that this is the way that the world works--the way that the devil's kingdom operates--(I believe He was specifically referring to the Roman government which ruled Israel at that time--the same Roman form of government which later became the format for church government and is in fact the format of church government in most of our churches to this day!) The "authority" we have as Christians--the "power from God" that He has given us is meant to destroy the devil's kingdom in the earth--not to rule other Christians!! God's power is awesome, and meant to bring His kingdom to the earth and destroy Satan's kingdom---but it is not meant to be held over other Christian brothers and sisters. Jesus is very clear in this area.

Ministry is service, not rulership.

Ministry in the Bible is described as being in the body of Christ--as being the structure of the body of Christ--- not "over" the body of Christ.

Jesus in His life in the earth was all the 5 folds of Ministry in Himself-----

Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Lu 7:26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.

Lu 9:6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Joh 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

---And His body in the earth--the church--is meant to be the embodiment of Christ--through different people. The embodiment of the ministry that Jesus served the Father with when he was alive.

"Exhousia"--the authority--the power of God in the earth--is specifically directed in the Bible. WE need to realize the areas that we as the body of Christ have ignored by clinging to the tradition of past churches which were formed and controlled outside of the word of God. Traditions which formed and operated from the standpoint that "leadership" in the body of Christ had "authority" over other members in the body.

The words we use quite often and may have been taught--"pastoral authority" are certainly not found in the word of God. Nowhere in the word does it say that "pastors" are meant to be the ruling authority in the church. In fact nowhere does it say that anyone--a bishop or an elder--or anyone who has a "ruling" or leadership position in the church is meant to rule using authority over other Christians. NO one is meant to use the awesome "exhousia" authority of God to rule or command other Christians--to "hold authority over" other members of the body.

Yet in history, we will find that the very definition of "the church" came to be known as a place of extreme authority and rule. Church and state were intertwined for hundreds of years. Wars, inquisitions, witch burnings, and a thousand years of "dark ages" were the result. But history shows us that God is in the process of breaking up and removing the false authority of man within His holy church. We don't follow after or believe in "Christian kings" anymore, yet we operate from a bible which was translated for a Christian king, in order to affirm his "God given right" to have absolute rule, and authority over his subjects--words which still haunt and hinder the move of God to this day. Yet the word of God still stands incorrupted, if we will simply study it all--in the context which God set it in. If we will repent of our "church experience", and ask the Lord to open our eyes, perhaps we can begin to see what God's authority truly is, how it is to be used, and most importantly, where it is NOT to be used.