This teaching was recorded at 'Maranatha Church UK' - on 20.10.19. To listen to the Teaching Audio click here.
Introduction: Whenever we act, speak or think even, we are acting in authority, because God made us that way (Genesis 1:28). But each act or thought or word can be in driven by three different sources of authority: our own, the devil’s or the LORD’s. We’re going to look at the first one vs the last, acting as believers in our own authority or the LORD’s, because this is the teaching that the LORD gave me when I prayed about what to share.
This talk will therefore cover the following sections:
ONE: Hebrew Definition of Authority:
In Hebrew Scriptures the word authority only appears three times as two different words. The first two occurrences of the word Authority in the Hebrew Scriptures is not only surprising, but absolutely full of Messianic meaning for the Jewish people’s salvation. Where would you think these two references were from? It’s actually the book of Esther!
“And Esther the Queen, the daughter of Abigail, and Mordechai the Jew, wrote with all AUTHORITY to cause to be lifted the second letter of Purim. And he sent the letters to all the Jews, to the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahash’verosh; words of peace and truth. This was in order to confirm these days of Purim in their set times, according as Mordechai the Jew and Esther the Queen had ordered them.” (Esther 9:29 / And then a little later 10:2 records of the acts and authority of the King)
AUTHORITY here is: tokef (תֹּקֶף) meaning ‘power, strength, energy.' It is surprising because it usually means masculine power, from the verb takaf, meaning ‘to prevail over, overpower’. But, in this first appearance of this word in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is written in the feminine singular form, because it is Queen Esther who is working and writing with ALL AUTHORITY. Note it says not just ‘some’ authority but ‘all’ authority of the King.
She saved the entire Jewish population. She carried great favour of God. So, if we are to overcome equally daunting and demonically inspired enemies, how to we position ourselves in the same way she did?
From Whom does she get her authority in this Biblical account? From her divinely given position as Queen to the King to whom she is married. This is not offensive in a modern feministic way, if we recognise this is a Prophetic Picture of the Authority our King wants to give His Bride.
If you know this Biblical account, you will know that positionally:
So, this Biblical account of the Hebrew word for AUTHORITY is clearly a picture of the AUTHORITY available to us, if we are positioning ourselves the same way under the King’s Sceptre, to save His people. This is great news to me as a Messianic Jewish believer in Yeshua. It took one to save thousands of Jewish lives. It’s not a big church that saves the Jewish people but a very small one, with masses of Biblical authority.
Hold onto those key points about Esther while we together explore the second place the word AUTHORITY occurs in the Hebrew scriptures.
2) The 2nd place the word authority occurs in the Hebrew Scriptures is in Proverbs 29:2. Here it is a different word again and it is a really interesting translation:
“When the righteous are in AUTHORITY the people rejoice but when a wicked person rules, the people groan.” Proverbs 29:2
The meaning of this actual verse from Proverbs is almost self-explanatory. Except let’s ask the more eternal question of when will the righteous be in permanent authority? Because it is surely and rarely now on this earth. We may see an occasional righteous person ruling, in a small sphere. But by definition, the wicked lust after power and always fight unfairly to keep their tiny grasping hold on the illusion of their temporary earth bound power in this fleeting life. It is an illusionary victory of usually no more than 80 years, compared to eternity.
Here the HEBREW word for authority is: rabah (רָבָה), meaning to become many or great, to multiply. This immediately reminds me of the Holy Scripture verse from Revelation 7: 4-9, which says:
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”
This is backed up by other Scriptures, most notably:
“If we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will disown us.” (2 Timothy 2:12)
“Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4
The righteous will have ALL AUTHORITY and permanently in the Heavenly Kingdom of the LORD. So, according to this verse in Proverbs, until then, until the righteous are many or a great multitude, we will groan in our spirits at the sight of ungodly people temporarily appearing to have ‘power’.
So, to sum up so far - the first two references to Authority in the Hebrew Scriptures clearly explain the definition of authority as the following:
TWO: Moving in our Own Authority:
So, if Esther moved and lived in the full authority of the King, by contrast, what does moving in our own authority look like? I ask this humbly, so we can again ask the Holy Spirit to challenge us, until we are fully at peace with God. This will be a lifelong process.
Well, there will be an air of behaving more like spoiled entitled toddlers, a “spiritual ostentatiousness”, saying things in the ‘authority’ of Jesus, when our character in Him have not gone through the testing or maturity required by this Scriptural example.
By contrast, Esther was prepared to die for the truth, at the very least she was prepared to lose her position as the queen, her privilege and her popularity. She was very quiet until it mattered. She followed instruction. Moving in the LORD’s AUTHORITY comes through testing, growth, and at great cost and obedience. We are in turn given it for God’s Purpose or calling, which is ALWAYS much greater than just a blessing for our lives.
So, if I could sum up so far the key feature of obtaining and keeping Godly Authority what would it be? One word: humility. GOD’S AUTHORITY IS SO POWERFUL, HE NEVER GIVES IT TO THE PROUD. OR THE SPIRITUALLY PROUD.
God’s authority never sits on the Proud, but the humble. Our Example is Yeshua, Who was both God, King of the Universe and a Servant - all at the same time. He was asked the exact same question by the proud:
Luke 20:2 "Tell us by what authority you are doing these things," they said. "Who gave you this authority?" (And repeated in Mark 11:28)
So, now we have discussed and recognised the Biblical definition and characteristic of AUTHORITY. They will of course be totally opposite to the worlds’ view of power, which is always: proud, self-promoting, immature, purely for the self, impatient, usually angry and conceited in relation to God. Now let’s look at section three of this talk and that is….
THREE: Why Does the LORD want me to bring these truths to His Bride at this time?
FOUR: What are the fruits of living under the AUTHORITY of the LORD’s Words, not the counterfeit of moving in our own authority as believers?
This is why the LORD Yeshua desperately wants His Bride to know what AUTHORITY really means. Basically, it can’t be faked! Biblical reference: Matthew 7:22 “Didn’t we prophecy in your name…. Away from Me, I never knew you.”
We are entering a time, have entered a time, when if we are not living extremely humbly under the AUTHORITY of the LORD – knowing we have no strength but His and no power except through what He gives us - we will be wiped out, in our walk with Him. He wants us to understand, to humble ourselves so He can save us by His Authority. We are all in danger of underestimating His Authority by over estimating our own. That won’t save us from the oncoming deception of the enemy of our souls. If the enemy of our souls can just get us to believe we really aren’t that bad, that he really isn’t hell bent on trying to destroy us, then we will be asleep to the spiritual danger we are now in in these times. I have never experienced anything like it before and I know some of you haven’t either. Daniel said the “spirit of lawlessness will try to wear out the saints” and that is exactly how it feels. (Daniel 7)
So, get ourselves positioned through humility and praise of Him to be able to live in His gift of Authority.
If you are called to, study His Authority, directly from His Word:
Examples are: Abraham, Moses, Esther, Joseph, King David, King Solomon, the disciples, the apostles. Choose one. Study them. See how they talked with the LORD. See why they were given authority. In the Old Testament, their lives were blessed but the result of their prayers was to bring glory to the God of Israel and the LORD Yeshua, to increase His fame and therefore to increase those who follow Him.
In the Newer Testament, the disciples were often mistreated and yet carried His authority into prisons, maltreatment and death, in order to show Yeshua’s love to the very people who were mistreating them. If God wants you in a prison to bring His Salvation to those imprisoning you He will. If He wants the prison doors to fly open to show His Glory, He will. In both scenarios the disciples praised the LORD and brought the gospel.
What wasn’t there? Political positioning of church meetings, anyone saying I’ll do this work but only once I’ve raised the money through donations, or a denial of the path the LORD was taking them on because it was not comfortable, popular or comfortable for ‘self’ or their ‘spiritual image.’
FIVE: HIS AUTHORITY AVAILABLE TO HIS SERVANTS: DECLARATION TIME!
We need to speak, declare, write out, know these verses to fight against the evil that is coming against us in these times. THE AUTHORITY WE HAVE IS IN OUR HUMBLE RELATIONSHIP TO HIS WORD:
Matthew 28.18: “And Yeshua came up and spoke to them, saying “ALL AUTHORITY HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH.” Nothing is getting past that. Speak this over your lives. Ask Him every time if there is anything in our lives that is hindering how much He can enter our lives with His Authority. It isn’t always known sins. It can be buried wounds. He can only have authority over the entire house if we give Him permission to enter every room.
Ephesians 1.18 -23: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.”
Colossians 2.10: “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the Head over all rule and authority.”
1 Peter 3.22: “Who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.”
1 Corinthians 15.24-27: “For he has to rule until he puts all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be done away with will be death, for “He put everything in subjection under his feet.”
Hebrews 12.2: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance, and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Yeshua, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. CONSIDER HIM WHO ENDURED SUCH HOSTILITY FROM SINNERS, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT GROW WEARY AND LOSE HEART….”
Luke 10.19: “I have given you AUTHORITY to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy, nothing will harm you.” Does it say, some of the power of the enemy? No, it says ALL. Quote this word of God straight into the face of hell, the devil, the false cockiness of the devil in humans and demonic powers. Remind them that they lie. That they are disillusioned. Mad with their lust for power. Speak, declare the Only True God’s Words of Truth into their lies.
But remember His authority is fierce but fuelled by His love to save souls. The enemies are the spiritual demons living either quite openly or hidden within humans. Go for them and their territory while trying our best to ‘love’ the human soul trapped under the disillusion of their own grandiosity.
Ephesians 6.10-12: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” It is stating the obvious but it is stunning how many times I forget this central truth – I cannot fight off spiritual attacks from satanic powers by my own power, efforts, words, or strength. I can only fight off that yuk by the beauty of the LORD’s power and so I ask Him through His Words to fight for me to keep me safe.
Ironically, by not caring what others think of me and by getting none of my self esteem from them, is the only way I can be of any use to help show them my King and His Salvational and Sanctifying Love for them. Be humble, be careful because this world is very messed up and its dangerous messy work:
Jude 20-25: “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith, and pray in union with the Ruach HaKodesh. Thus keep yourselves in God’s love, as you wait for our Lord Yeshua the Messiah to give you the mercy that leads to eternal life. Rebuke some who are disputing; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and to yet others, show mercy, but with fear, hating even the clothes stained by their vices. Now, to the one who can keep you from falling and set you without defect and full of joy in the presence of his Sh’khinah — to God alone, our Deliverer, through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord — be glory, majesty, power and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.” Who can keep you from falling? Not yourself! God alone!!
SIX: CONCLUSION, including a short vision:
We have no human power. But we have all the authority of Yeshua available to us in His Name. This doesn’t mean we have the right to pick it up, it doesn’t mean we are entitled to it. We only have it if we fit the Esther description. Because this is what the Hebrew word for Authority means.
The humblest repentant sinner will therefore have more authority than a self-righteous, or partly self righteous, person. But self-righteous can also nowadays look like someone who thinks it is enough to be spiritual and loving but believes they have no need to repent in disgust at their own sin. Authority cannot sit on the proud.
VISION: A few years ago I had a very short vision while wide awake. It has stayed with me. I saw a massive sickle sweeping across the globe. This sickle was not being swung by evil, but BY THE LORD. It was the sickle of His judgement against evil and only the most humble, Jesus-dependent repentant sinners were low enough on their faces to survive. The ONLY way I survived was being right down on my face praying in total humility, knowing the only chance I had to survive was His Grace towards me.
To come in Yeshua’s Name means to come in His characteristics, purpose and under His Authority. Let’s humble ourselves before our King Yeshua to keep ourselves safe – and to be our only hope to save others - in this very dark and deceived times.