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Carrying Heaven’s Authority

The following is an adaptation of the sermon ‘Carrying Heaven’s Authority’ preached by Pastor Mike White on Sunday, 8/30/2015, at CityLight Church. To listen to the full podcast please click here:

Power and Authority

Last week we talked about walking in power: God’s hope that we will live our lives with an expectation to see miracle-working demonstrations of His power. Our prayers have power. Our ministry has power. When we pray, we should expect to see greater things (Jn 14:12) than even Jesus Christ saw when He prayed!

Power is the Greek dunamis: the power inherent in an individual by virtue of his or her nature (Strong’s #141). We have a right to see powerful things happen when we pray because we are sons and daughters of God!

This week, we are talking about a closely related concept: Godly authority. Whereas power is specific influence over a thing or a situation, authority is the capability to influence in general.  Power is the what: the things we should expect to see because we are hidden in Jesus Christ. Authority is the how: why is it that we should expect to see those things?

We get our power from God’s authority. Jesus made a point of explicitly stating that all authority was given to Him:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matt 28:18-20

All means all! God gave His Only Son all authority: in heaven, and on earth. His authority is limitless, just as His power is without borders.

What’s more, Jesus’ authority never expires! His authority will last, “…even to the end of the age” (v 20). Even if Heaven and earth pass away, the authority of Jesus Christ will always remain!

Our Place of Paralysis

Jesus has all authority. All throughout Jesus’ ministry, we see Him heal the sick and exercise His authority over Satan. We see Him exercise His authority over sin, disease and death. We know that when Jesus commanded the dead to rise, they were raised. When He spoke life, death was silenced. When He rebuked sickness, bodies were restored to perfect health.

We also know we are called to become like Him. We should pray for the same things He prayed for, and expect the same results! Unfortunately, we stop short of miraculous expectation because we’re not Jesus. It’s fun to see Him heal all throughout Scripture, but we don’t think we have the same authority He did. But what if I told you we do?

What if I told you that you have the same authority over sin, sickness and death as Jesus does? What if I told you that whatever you pray for on earth will be done in Heaven?

“Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” – Matt 18:18

As we pray on earth, God makes resources available in Heaven. In other words, all of Heaven parallels our prayers here on earth.

Just as Jesus gets His authority from God the Father, and we get our authority from Jesus Christ. Jesus came from God, and we are hidden in Jesus. With that position comes the same divine authority Jesus exercised over Satan.

Every man or woman in a position of authority inherits his or her authority from someone. When a new king inherits a throne, he inherits the authority of his office from the prior ruler. There is a royal lineage that has to be followed. Authority doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it is passed from people who have it, along to people who don’t.

The other day, I was driving to the church in our Jeep. As we approached an intersection, I saw a police officer directing traffic. He wasn’t a big guy; in fact, he couldn’t have been over 5 foot 6. He definitely couldn’t have stopped our car with his body. But when he raised his white-gloved hand for me to slow down, I came to a screeching halt.

That police officer carries authority. I know that he was put there by the NYPD. The NYPD gets its authority from Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. The commissioner was put in place by Mayor Bill DeBlasio, who has the full support of the NY State Legislature. There is a transference of authority that has taken place. I stopped just as fast as I would have if the mayor himself was standing in that intersection, because that police officer carries the authority of the entire city on his badge.

What if I told you that the same way I came to a screeching halt when I saw that white glove come out, the enemy grinds to a stop when he sees you?! Would that drastically change the way you pray? Would it change the way you live your life? Would it empower you to walk in Jesus’ footsteps?

Transference of Authority

Jesus transferred His authority step by step. The same way every police officer carries the authority of the mayor himself, Jesus intends for every disciple to carry the authority of God’s Son. When we pray, we must understand that Jesus has given us all His authority. We must understand that when Satan sees us, he sees Jesus in us.

Let’s take a look at how Jesus methodically transferred His authority to us: His trusted disciples. As a starting point, we know that Jesus has all authority:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” – Matt 28:18

He then takes His authority, and distributes it to the twelve disciples:

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick… – Lk 9:1-2

Jesus started with authority over all demons and any sickness; then He passed that authority on to the disciples.

Jesus gave His disciples three tasks: to cast out demons (v 1), heal the sick, and preach the Gospel (v 2). It wouldn’t have been fair if He sent them away with the mandate, but without the resources, to accomplish everything He asked. They needed His authority to carry out the mission God had put on their lives.

The transfer worked. The disciples were astonished at the authority they had. So Jesus replicated the process again. He took His authority and gave it to another seventy trusted disciples:

After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest… And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” – Luke 10:1-2, 9

Jesus recognized that the fields were ripe for harvest, but the laborers were few. He had a lot of work to do; but three years was not enough time to accomplish everything He needed to get done. So, He multiplied His trusted disciples. He delegated His authority to men and women who knew the power of the Gospel, and prayed with fervency for supernatural stuff to happen.

And it worked! As the seventy prayed, they walked in the same authority as Jesus Christ! They came back to report to Jesus, head over heels excited at everything God was doing through them.

Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” – Lk 10:17

When the seventy prayed, their prayers carried the same weight as if Jesus Christ had prayed them Himself. They carried His authority. How much more authority do you have because the Holy Spirit lives in you!

Notice that Jesus sent His disciples out two by two. There is power in unity. God promises that whenever we pray with another believer, He is there in our midst; and what we pray for is immediately done in Jesus’ name (Matt 18:20)!

Jesus made His disciples a compelling promise. He sent them, “…into every city and place where He Himself was about to go” (Lk 10:1). Wherever we go and preach the Gospel with boldness, Jesus promises that He will be right on our heels! Wherever we go, He will confirm our speech with signs, miracles and wonders (Mk 16:19-20)!

Jesus gave His authority to the twelve disciples, and then to another seventy. Finally, we see Him extend His authority to all believers:

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” – Mk 16:15-18

He has given us His authority; now all we have to do is walk it out!

Authority Over All

So what can you do with Jesus’ authority? You can pray with full faith for His promises to unfold on the earth. You carry His authority, and you are filled with His Holy Spirit! You are endued with power from on high (Lk 24:49)! What more could you ask for to perform supernatural ministry?

Jesus gives us authority over three things which John G. Lake called, “the devil’s triumvirate:” sin, sickness and death. But let’s paint with an even broader brush for the sake of emphasizing the point. Jesus has given us authority over all the power of the enemy:

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. – Lk 10:19

Because we have authority over all the enemy’s power, we never have to fear. Nothing Satan tries to do can have any effect if we realize that He is powerless because of the Cross of Jesus Christ!

When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He left us with proof of the authority we carry. He gave us the power of His name:

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Phil 2:9-11: 9

You have all authority to pray the same prayers as Jesus did. As you pray them in His name, every knee will bow to the will of God in Heaven!

– by Pastor Mike White

© Michael D. White, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael D. White with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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