should be interested in authority. Everyone is under authority
and many are in a position of authority. The Bible is about authority
from beginning to end. Authority is what all the hoopla is about--
Woman?s rights; gay rights; children?s rights; animal rights;
civil rights. The ground of authority has been the battlefield
for over 6000 years. The first sin (and all subsequent sins) was
a rebellion against authority (Isa. 14:12-14). Therefore, rebellion
is a Satanic principle (1 Sam. 15:22).
God is a God of ORDER and authority (1 Cor. 14:40). When God is ignored, anarchy results (Jud. 21:25). When God and the Bible were removed from the public schools in the early 1960's, students were left with the awful assumption that man is the highest authority-- Man is a law unto himself. Now humanism reigns supreme.
talk about authority, what are talking about? We're talking about
POWER. We're talking about "Who gets to run whom?" (Mt.
8:9; 21:23-27). "Who gets to arrest, imprison, release, and
appeal? Who's in charge? Who has the final say-so? Authority the
subject of newscasts; newspapers; TV "talk-shows"; sporting
games, etc. Newspapers are simply one endless list of competitors
seeking "top place."
Authority is about GOVERNMENT. The issue is a THRONE, a KING (2,000 times in the Bible), and a KINGDOM! Government is: The act or process of governing and controlling; rule.
There are SEVEN major forms of government:
Government by God (1 Sam. 8:1-7; 10:19).
2. MONARCHY- Rule by a single individual (usually a King) within a particular family (Eccl. 8:4). A monarchy is God's preordained form of government for governing the entire world (Rev. 19:10-16; Ps. 110:1-2; 2:6-10). When the Germans got rid of their king (Kaiser Wilhelm), they ended up with Adolph Hitler. The Russians assassinated their king (Czar Nicolas) and they got Lenin and Stalin. America rebelled against her king (King George of England) and got the likes of FDR, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. The Bible says, "HONOR THE KING" (1 Pet. 2:17). Peter wrote those words when Nero was King!
3. DICTATORSHIP- Rule by a single individual.
4. OLIGARCHY- Government conducted by a small council or group of elite individuals.
5. DEMOCRACY- Government conducted by a direct vote of the people and by popular referendum.
6. REPUBLIC- Citizens elect representatives who administer governmental policies on their behalf.
7. ANARCHY- (Really the lack of government)- Every individual is his own authority, determining his own rules and standards (Judges 21:25).
Authority is the imparted right to bring the power of another into operation. One stands at the crossing of two great intersections. Crowds of people are surging by; multitudes of high-powered automobiles rush along. A man in a uniform raises a hand. Instantly the traffic ceases. He beckons to the waiting hosts on the cross street, and they flow across. What is the explanation? The traffic officer has very little physical "power." His most strenuous efforts could not avail to hold back one of those passing cars. But he has something far better. He is vested with the "authority" of the state whose servant he is. The moving crowds recognize the authority and obey it. Authority, then, is DELEGATED POWER. Its value depends upon the force behind the user.
comes from God who is the final authority. The Bible says that
God removes kings and He sets up kings (Dan. 2:21). When Jesus
was brought before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, Pilate asked
Him, "Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that
I have power "authority" to crucify thee, and
have power to release thee?" However, Jesus answered,
"Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except
it were given thee from above" (John 19:10-11). Daniel
4:17 says, "The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men,
and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the
basest of men."
The only authority anyone possesses is whatever authority that has been delegated by God. God is the only real authority. He has merely deputized us to do business for Him. Even the state is not sovereign. Only God is sovereign. "Jesus is the Lord." The only authority that the state has is was has been delegated of God. When any delegated authority loses sight of the Source of it?s authority corruption and abuses will follow.
Authority is to be used (1) to serve and please the one who gave you your authority and (2) to protect those under your authority. It is given for the purpose of fulfilling the agenda of the one who delegated the authority. When authority is used to serve selfish purposes, it is an abuse of authority and corruption results (e.g. David's misuse of authority in the case of Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite).
This is the difference between fundamentalism and a cult. In the case of Jim Jones, he used authority to get people to make poison Kool-aid and drink it. In fundamentalism, no leader has the authority to command people to do that. The authority we have, we received from God via His written Word. There were no Bibles in Jonestown. Jim Jones was the authority. The authority of a Bible believer is delegated authority predicated upon the Word of God (the FINAL AUTHORITY in all matters of faith and practice). How can a preacher command his people to tithe? Win souls? Attend church? Get baptized? Because it is in the Bible. A fundamental preacher must always ask himself: Do I have Biblical authority to say that? Where in the Bible is it?