I have been addressing the topic of authority and how authority is made manifest as the fruit of who we really are. When God created the world He bore fruit from His basis of speaking because He is who He is. The testimony of His reality was seen in the reality of who He really is. The testimony of our authority is also seen in the realities of our lives. The apostle Paul was confirmed to be whom he was through the churches that existed because of his influence. The church of Corinth was a part of the fruit of Paul’s life and a testimony of his God-given authority.
2 Corinthians 3:2,3 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; you are manifestly an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
The church of Corinth was the evidence of Paul’s authority. They were not only a testimony of the work of the Holy Spirit, but they were a spiritual letter of Paul’s own heart. The church of Corinth was proof of Paul’s apostleship. What was the basis of Paul’s authority? Paul’s authority was that he was light to darkness, and especially to the Gentile world God had sent him to. The writing of a spiritual letter was the evidence of His spiritual authority. Paul had an authority of life for the church of Corinth and what was in Paul’s heart was being made manifest through changed and commissioned lives in Christ.
The Devil can’t argue with who we are, but he can argue with who we are not. He can destroy who we are not, but it is truth that crumbles every lie. He will try to get us to be who we are not in order to defeat us! We must remember that authority and dominion come because you are whom we are. God has the authority to act as God because He is God! We have the authority to be whom God has created and commissioned us to be.
Authority gives out authority. A wife’s authority is connected to her husband, but she will never be her husband. She has the authority to be herself because she is under the authority of her husband. The husband’s authority is to inspire his wife and family members to become all that they are meant to be in Christ.
We must allow who we are to inspire others to be who they are.
Genesis 1:26-28 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Mankind was given dominion on planet earth. This was not the male gender of man, but the male and female expressions of mankind together. Their authority came from a partnership with God and with one another. Their authority was that of exousia (GSRN # 1849), they were to each be who they were meant to be. It was not an authority of control or manipulation. It was an authority of life. The masculine and the feminine nature of God would be made manifest through the likeness and image of God in mankind in the earth.
The measure of a man’s authority is the release of his wife! Authority is given to make things more alive. True authority activates, facilitates, and releases others to their fullest measure of life. It is about release and not control. Mankind had authority because they were birthed out of authority. Mankind had a birthright because of who they were and where they came from. Their authority was not because of the task they were given to do. Mankind was given authority to bring life to the world because they were the likeness and the image of the life of God in the earth. This made an anointing for all that was necessary to be available to them for whatever task they faced in life. As long as they remained under the authority of God they could bring the authority of life to the world in all that they did.
If someone doesn’t have authority, they cannot give you authority. I have been termed by many to be a prophet, but I am not a prophet to everyone. I am only a prophet to those that God sends me to for a prophetic purpose. It is not just about my function as a prophet. It is also about my relationship in the body of Christ. If I visit a small group in some other congregation in the city or some other city, my authority is not that of a prophet. It is the authority of invitation to a small group. The only way I can have the authority as a prophet would be to be given that authority by the God-ordained authority of that small group. I see this principle of life violated many times in the administration of the church. All of us can prophesy words of comfort, exhortation, and encouragement. Only some can give prophecies of direction, particularly when it involves governmental impartation and direction. Direction is reserved for those who are responsible to give direction. I may be anointed to give direction in one place, but only authorized to give comfort, exhortation, and encouragement in another. Anointing to minister is not the prerequisite for ministering. Being responsible is the prerequisite and this is a relationally covenantal thing.
We speak out of our authority. Authority is intimate and relational, not about task and duty. As a prophet I may be able to identify a gift of bookkeeping, but I can’t impart to you a bookkeeping skill. If you have the authority of a bookkeeper you must be under the authority of a source of bookkeeping. It involves a birthright as a bookkeeper, a training process, and the sound of a bookkeeper in the substance of who you are. This all comes from being under authority.
Authority always includes various levels of headship. These are not various levels of control. They are various levels of responsibility. There are heads in every household. Not everyone has the ability to give direction to others. Everyone has the ability to give life to others and must seek to give life wherever they are. We can only give what we have been given to give.
Romans 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established…
The apostle Paul longed to go to the Church of Rome and impart to them a spiritual gift. He longed to go to them and he had a substance that he could give to them because God had sent Him to them. He couldn’t just go anywhere and impart gifts. He could only go where he was relationally responsible. Apostolic gifting is meant to function out of relationship. Responsibility is not merely task oriented, but it is relationally intimate. We are living in a season where many how to do books are being replaced with intimacy books. I think this is relevant to the present maturation of Christ in His body.
It is on the basis of who he was that man had authority in his creation by God. Man was created in the image and likeness of God. Man had the birthright to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and have dominion in the earth based upon who he was. His disconnection with God as his authority life source forfeited him the ability to subdue and have dominion (Gen. 9:1).
Man still has the gifting to take things over, but due to the fall mankind lacks the ability to subdue and have dominion. Adam failed to be intimate with God, thus the birthright was stolen. Authority was to remain intimate with God, but Adam disconnected from God in his grasp for the knowledge of good and evil. He wasn’t functioning in His responsibility and thus he lost his full authority. Man sold his birthright and was left with power, but he lost the authority. Adam failed to be intimate with God!
The mandate and the birthright are still true today. God hasn’t changed His plan.
Jesus came as a last and eternal Adam to restore the authority to subdue and have dominion upon the earth. Our ability to have authority is directly connected to our ability to be intimate with your source of authority. Authority is connected to intimacy. If we fail to be intimate with God and one another we will fail in our ability to live in true authority.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson