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 need to learn is who and what to submit to. The second thing we need to learn is who and what we are not supposed to submit to.
The biggest 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 of earthly Authority 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 did not understand the difference between earthly and heavenly authority.
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 great Heavenly Authority and while Nathan respected the office of the King, He held the honor of God's throne above that of David's as is common in real prophets. This helps burst the bubble of bad doctrine that suggests a real prophet will submit to a local Pastor or board of elders as it's not even an issue about submission. On the contrary, it is the local pastors or boards that should be listening very carefully to the prophets because heavenly authority always trumps earthly authority when the two collide.
In Matthew 21, the religious leaders 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. This was their way of saying "Hey, we are the only ones God uses here and this guy is not submitted to us". 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 which again is something a real prophet often does to the religious elite even today. Point is that even though they had earthly authority, Jesus did not honor them as leaders with Heavenly Authority because they didn't have any.
In Matthew 28 Jesus declared “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 completely understood earthly authority and by default understood its limitations. 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.
In the later chapters of Revelation, we see that the dragon gives out "earthy authority" (or the ability to be in charge of things) to the beast. This is not Heavenly Authority from God spoken of in Romans 13. The authority of Heaven is only 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"
It's 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 summary, it becomes very important to see the difference between someone simply being in charge of something and someone being anointed with real authority from Heaven. what does that mean on a practical level? It means this... when a person (church leader or otherwise) tries to insist that you submit to them because they have authority from God, you cannot take their title or position into consideration. Just because someone says "I am the pastor here, you must submit to me and those I appoint"... does not necessarily square with the teachings in scripture.
Consider that Jesus is on trial with only the basics of human rights. Absolutely no title, position or earthly authority whatsoever. Pilot tries to flex his political authority by threatening Jesus reminding the Lord that he could free him or have Jesus crucified. Jesus, standing there broken, beaten unrecognizable and bleeding onto the floor squints through eyes partially swollen shut from the beatings and says to Pilot "you have no authority over me that wasn't given unto you from above, therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of an even greater sin". (John 19 10,- 12)
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 and anoint them personally before they have true Heaven given authority.
our churches are SUPPOSED to be submitted to and ran by HEAVENLY authority and instead most run by earthly authority and that is the biggest reason we do not have a move of God's spirit in our churches and a revival in the United States currently. The message to those who do have positions of earthly authority should be obvious... submit yourselves to those who have genuine HEAVENLY authority. SIt down and get out of their way because they will likely never try to force themselves. In many cases those truly anointed with Heaven's authority are sitting on the back rows far too humble to even request a microphone. Heaven's warriors are often those you have banished away from your fellowships because you felt they wouldn't submit to you... in reality they saw the danger in submitting to someone with no heavenly authority and refused to do that.. so the price they paid for their proper discernment was banishment.
I absolutely believe in accountability but that has to be mutual. When a leader wants you to answer to them and they will not answer to you, that is a red flag that you are dealing with a leader with earthly authority and no real heavenly authority. This is why the disciples resisted when Jesus wanted to wash their feet and the Lord's reply was so very telling... I must wash your feet or you can have no part of me. In that day the feet were the most dirty and disgusting part of the body. Any leader asking you to submit to them who is unwilling to be mutually humble with the dirtiest parts of their soul does not really possess heavenly authority. Remember that my friends...
One of the biggest blind spots that most Christians struggle with is the sovereignty of God and what that really means. People say it all the time.. "God is in control".. and He is in control in an ultimate sort of way but that divine sovereignty and our free will are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the both coexist in a very Godly and marvelous way.
The WILL of God is that none should perish, yet people still go to Hell every day. The desire of God is to bless and prosper you even as your soul prospers, yet plenty of people are not prospering today. The heart of God is revealed in that He loves everyone, but many do not feel loved by God. I could go on and on but the point is that in this earth realm, God has given His dominion to US as humans. So now WE HUMANS have the dominion in the earth. (Gen 1:26, 27). This is why Jesus had to come in human form.. God in Spirit form could not save the people of the earth, only God in human form could do that because only a human has authority in the earth.
Paul says its no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me. I'm not walking around waiting for Jesus to show up in a given place or a given situation... I know wherever I am, there He is too because even down to the genetic level, He is now alive in me and I am only alive in Him so where I am, He is naturally there as well.. UNLESS I choose to deny His leading and pacify my flesh. When I do that, He is still alive in me but He is not manifesting through me any longer.
The devil wants you to hate yourself. He wants you to see yourself as a little speck completely irrelevant and worthless. He propagates that thru a lie of omission in telling you that God is in control of everything... after all, if God is truly in control of everything, we and our choices become irrelevant and not needed. Jesus died BECAUSE we are of great value to Him... not because we are not needed.
You DO matter, you DO have a plan for your life and ONLY YOU can fulfill that plan in just the way that you can. God did not make a mistake in giving you a free will. His heart is pleasured when we choose to bring ourselves into agreement with His divine sovereignty.
Prophets are perhaps the most misunderstood people walking the earth today. At the root they are a balance to an equation of church government while at the same time living a bold contrasted life to put the Kingdom of God on display in vivid ways that many find unsettling or offensive. Somewhere under all of that is a real person living with a very deep and powerful revelation that it is not they that are alive but it is the Christ nature in them... and through that nature flows every last person, conversation, situation and even every detailed feeling.
Sometimes I hear people say "I want to be a Prophet". To that I can confidently say "Be careful what you wish for". There is a false image of what it means to be a Prophet that is nothing more than popular opinion in many circles. I'm writing this blog to help pull back the curtain a little bit and help the average Christian understand this mysterious office and calling a bit better.
What is a Prophet?
There are three types of Prophets. There are Old Covenant Prophets, New Covenant Prophets and False Prophets. Old Covenant Prophets no longer exist and John the Baptist was the last one of these (Matthew 11:11). Ironically, even though these Old Covenant Prophets are no longer, they are still what most people confuse a modern Prophet to be. Old Covenant Prophets are people like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Jonah. Those original Prophets had some pretty strict rules that governed their accuracy as well. In Deuteronomy 13 and other places the Lord instructs death to those who claim something from God that really isn't. This is where people get confused believing that the Old Covenant is still in effect today when of course it is not.
Just as Jesus blood is the blood of the NEW Covenant, (Luke 22:20) the office or calling of the New Covenant Prophet did not exist until Jesus gave it into the earth in Eph 4. It is there we read that the ASCENDED Messiah (key word is ascended) gave these five gifts to mankind. One of those five is the New Covenant office or calling of the Prophet. (Eph 4:11)
The rules or instructions about the New Covenant Prophetic are laced throughout the New Testament and are best summarized in a Facebook post from Dr. Lynn Hiles: “Old Covenant Prophets will torment you while New Covenant prophets will Mentor you. Old Covenant prophets call your sin to remembrance while New Covenant Prophets call Your righteousness to remembrance. Old Covenant Prophets declare the problem while New Covenant Prophets Declare the answer."
An important distinction.
There is a difference between a Christian prophesying which Paul says every believer should aspire to and a man or a woman being created from the womb to be a Prophet which is in the grand scheme of things somewhat rare. You could call these Prophets from the womb "Genetic Prophets" in that it is how their DNA is formed. The life is always in the blood and that is just as true with Prophets. This is why true Prophets usually have healing ministries and offer to pray for others regularly as prayer to a Prophet is simply a bridge to seeing Healing come into a person's life.
Genetic Prophets are hard wired to see in very black and white terms. They are often confused or misdiagnosed as a "type A personality" or more recently the "type A behavior pattern", In reality, as the zeal of the Prophetic Revelation mixes with the Spirit of Wisdom, a Prophetic person will come into deep maturity of the calling or office and tend to possess unusual or supernatural Wisdom and Power in thought and deed.
Often a "green" prophet or one who is immature will "blast" to borrow a brass orchestral term. Blasting is when you go overboard and play much too hard on a given note, often going flat or sharp as a result.The body of Christ which as a rule is hyper judgemental (especially in the prophetic arena) will often relegate a blaster as a "False Prophet" when in reality they are indeed a valid Prophet but their "blast" has offended or gotten under the skin of others. In a properly functioning church or setting, people are free to "blast" or even to fail entirely with mature prophetic voices on hand to bring gentle correction and this is what public meetings are supposed to look like to a certain extent, but that almost never happens in our churches today because we have replaced Apostles and Prophets with Pastors which is an entirely different conversation.
False Prophets/Jezebel Spirit
Almost no one has ever seen a real False Prophet or a real Jezebel Spirit. If I had to guess, I would put the number close to 97% or higher to those accused who simply offended someone else, then out of that other person's woundedness or insecurity, they bring that false accusation. In fact, in many Charismatic circles, if someone offends you, he is labeled as a false prophet and if a woman offends you, she is labeled with a Jezebel spirit. These labels are tossed out like candy to cover up offenses and bitterness most believers carry in their hearts... a condition that the very Prophets they falsely accuse are anointed to help mentor them out of. In a very real way, Christians pray prophetic people into their paths and then when they get offended by them, they shun them and go back to God and begin the process again.
A Personal Note
I can tell you from first hand experience that it is not an easy path to walk. In this season, the modern church at large doesn't even acknowledge our existence and many of those who do are so handicapped with a Pastor led church structure that they never get to enjoy the amazing power of changed lives that could come as a result of properly discerning the body and elevating the Prophetic into it's God designed role of full body leadership.
You can usually spot the less mature Prophets as the Pastors who like to control things hold them up as mature when they are really not yet, but what they are is easy to control...which again is another topic for another blog.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.