Spiritual Warfare - Spiritual Authority

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Demonstrate the measure of authority we have through Jesus Christ and how to properly exercise this authority



Matthew 8:5–13 KJV 1900
5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
Matthew 10:1 KJV 1900
1 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 10:5–8 KJV 1900
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.


Two components of exercising authority:
Submit to authority
Receive authority

Submission to Authority

Acts 9:3–5 KJV 1900
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Matthew 25:34–45 KJV 1900
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
The Lord identifies with His people
When something is done to us, it’s just as if it was done unto Jesus
When something is not done to us, it’s just as if it was not done unto Jesus
1 Samuel 8:3–8 KJV 1900
3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. 7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
Numbers 12:1–10 KJV 1900
1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2 And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. 3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) 4 And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. 5 And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. 6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? 9 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed. 10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
When you set yourself against the servant of God, you set yourself against God.
They hold the office they hold by the will and design of God
The authority they exercise is not theirs, but God’s delegated authority.
God takes His authority very seriously, and He doesn’t delegate it lightly.
This goes both ways - submission to and the exercise of, authority.
When we are in submission, we must place ourselves under that authority and obey God
When we are in authority, we must exercise that authority in the fear of God
In any case, we are responsible to recognize authority in our lives and in the lives of those around us and take it seriously.

Exercising Authority

Acts 1:8 KJV 1900
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
“Power”, or “dynamis” - “Possession of controlling influence; often understood as manifesting influence over reality in a supernatural manner.”
Different from authority, but goes hand in hand.
Just because we have the power to do something does not mean we have the authority to do it.
IF I have a handgun, I have the power to shoot someone, but not necessarily the authority.
If I get the keys to a car, I have the power to drive it, but not necessarily the authority.
Do I have permission?
Am I licensed? Insured?
One country might have the power to invade and conquer another country, but they have no authority over the other country.
The power that we receive when God gives us the gift of the Holy Ghost operates within the bounds of the authority He gives us.
Within each of us lies the power to literally raise everyone in the whole world from the dead, but do we have the authority to do that?
Perhaps, our problem is not an issue of power or ability, but one of authority.
Our scripture verse
The Centurion understood authority
Being a member of Rome
Being a member of the Roman army
Being a Centurion - in command of a 100 men
He recognized spiritual authority in Jesus
He understood that Jesus’ commands would be obeyed because He had the authority to issue them.
That was true even when Jesus wasn’t physically present.
Matthew 10:1 - “power”, or “exousia” in this verse means:

a state of control over someth., freedom of choice, right

potential or resource to command, control, or govern, capability, might, power

the right to control or command, authority, absolute power, warrant

power exercised by rulers or others in high position by virtue of their office, ruling power, official power

of transcendent rulers and functionaries: powers of the spirit world

the sphere in which power is exercised, domain

Quite a bit different than the “power” mentioned in Acts 1:8
Here we have the right to use the power God has given us
Here we have been given the authority and the right to command
We have been made a ruling authority in God
Jesus gives to us, or delegates to us, a measure of His authority and He expects us to exercise it in His behalf.
Look at Acts 1:8 and Matthew 10 together
It appears that the method of witness Jesus refers to in Acts 1 is exercising under the authority of God the power we receive from Him through the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Mark 16:20 KJV 1900
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Acts 4:29–30 KJV 1900
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.


It is God’s design and His perfect will for each child of God to exercise the power they’ve been given under the authority of God.
The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer.
There are many men who feel a kind of twisted pride in cynicism;
There are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt.
There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty,
Whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
Or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
Who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,
Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
Who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;
Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, If he fails,
At least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
Who neither know victory nor defeat.
— Teddy Roosevelt, April 23rd, 1910 “The Man in the Arena”
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