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The Authority Question

By Lan & Nita Olude


Luke 7: 7-8 (NKJV)
"Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. 8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it."


This account describes the faith of the centurion based on his revelation of authority. He knew what authority was, why he needed to exercise authority, how to exercise authority and how to transfer it. Jesus did not only commend this centurion for his knowledge, but also for his exercise of faith.

What is authority?

Authority is a right given to a man to command people. The example of a traffic warden in the realm of the natural comes to play here. The same goes for the realm of the spirit as well, because the natural is just a mirror copy of the spiritual.

Why authority?

It is given primarily to maintain orders in the natural and in the spiritual. This is effective, however, if the people being governed are not rebellious but have respect for the rule of law. If the subjects are rebellious, though, authority alone will not maintain orders. Power would be needed. The example of an armed traffic warden comes to play here.

Who do we have authority over?

The Body of Christ has authority over the devil, his schemes and cohorts and everything else on earth and in the earth’s heavens. Jesus affirms this after His resurrection, according to Matthew 28:18, when He said that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him (Jesus). He later on transferred this authority to His body in verse 19.This was not the first transfer of authority to His disciples, however. He had earlier transferred authority to His disciples in Lk 9:1-2. When He sent them to preach the gospel, He gave them authority and power over all demon spirits. Jesus later extended this after His resurrection, by giving them authority over everything in heaven and on the earth.

It is important to note here that prior to His resurrection, Jesus did not have authority over heaven and earth. God had authority over His ‘heavens’ and Satan had authority over the earth because Adam transferred his God-given authority to him. The experience of Jesus in the wilderness of temptations confirms this. Jesus did not argue with the devil when he said all the kingdoms (authority) of this world were given to him. Jesus had a mission of retrieving that authority from this outlaw and He achieved this mission by taking the keys of hell and death away from the devil (Heb 2:14, Rev 1:18).

The exercise of authority

Authority is exercised by issuing orders and having the faith that non-rebellious subjects would heed the orders. Over the rebellious and the outlaw, authority must be backed up with power before it can be effective. If the outlaw listens and obeys we won’t have to demonstrate power. But if the outlaw does not listen, he shall be tormented with power (dunamis).

Authority is exercised by issuing orders and having the faith that non-rebellious subjects would heed the orders. Over the rebellious and the outlaw, authority must be backed up with power before it can be effective. If the outlaw listens and obeys we won’t have to demonstrate power. But if the outlaw does not listen, he shall be tormented with power (dunamis). Since we know that the devil is an outlaw, for he first rebelled against God in heaven (Ezekiel 28:15-17), the exercise of our God-given authority over him will have to be backed up with power. This is why Jesus gave His disciples authority and POWER (dunamis) over all evil spirits. The power is used to torture any demon spirit who refuses to listen to the simple command of the Word of God. This attitude was demonstrated by Jesus with His experience with the madman of Gadara in Luke 8:28. Jesus was getting ready to torment these evil spirits of lunacy after He had issued a command for them to leave the man, but the demons begged Jesus, acted civil and refined and left the man.

We must understand that it is not inherent in evil spirits to be civil. They are outlaws. They only obeyed Jesus because they have had a history of torture and torment from Jesus in times past, and they knew Jesus could repeat that feat if they rebelled. Although the disciples had authority over demon spirits, they could not drive out a certain devil because they did not have enough power (Luke 9:40). Jesus later taught His disciples how to have power over that particular demon -- power generated through the exercise of faith in the place of prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29) prior to the exercise of authority.

Tormenting Demons

Psalms 29:10 describes what it takes to enforce the kingdom of God – the flood. The power of God (Zoë), which is river of living waters flowing from the bellies of new creations, is the torment we can give the devil and his cohorts. Jesus released this power often by his exercise of faith in His place of prayers when He was on earth. This presented history to the devils that Jesus could torture. This is also corroborated in Psalms 66:3, where it is recorded that through the greatness of God’s power, God’s enemies shall submit themselves to the Lord. We need to wear this attitude as the Body of Christ and rid our worlds of evil spirits.

Transfer of Authority

Adam transferred his authority to the devil without a word. He did this by obeying this outlaw. Paul later proves to us in his epistle to the Romans (Romans. 6:16) that a Believer can transfer his authority to sin by becoming obedient to it. This is an instruction to us - modern-day Believers. When we yield to the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life, the story does not end there. We have actually transferred our authority over to these forces of darkness and given them the right to torment our lives.

We need to retrieve our individual authority back from these outlaws, overcoming them when another opportunity for offense comes, so that we can be given the crown of life described in the book of James, which is the authority reserved only for people who endured temptations and trials and overcame them.

Do not ever bend or bow to the sinful desires of this world. If you do not budge, you certainly will not burn!

Please reference additional resources on www.heroesmart.com to feed your spirit and grow your faith in Christ Jesus.


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As a business professional with an Engineering background, Lan Olude believes in using his analytical skills and talents to bring out the heroes ​in people. Read More >>
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