© 2021 Philip M Spence
The following is an excerpt from the book Kingdom Authority. To download your copy, go to Amazon.com or click the button below:
Being people of the Kingdom of God and possessing the authority of the King will automatically bring us into conflict with the other kingdoms in this world. When we confront these other kingdoms, how we function in Kingdom Authority is very important.
Authority in Obedience to the Father
Firstly, we must never attempt to exercise Kingdom Authority of our own volition. Jesus never did so, and the Holy Spirit never will. Kingdom Authority must only ever be exercised according to the will of the Father in whose authority we function (John 5:19, 30; 8:28-29; 12:49; 16:13-15). In order to be totally obedient to the Father and fulfil His will, we must always be led by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is in His people, upon His people, and always with them (John 14:17). Therefore, the Christian life is a partnership with the Holy Spirit of God who is the lead partner. The apostle Paul stated very clearly that we are in the Spirit, so we must keep our minds fixed on the things of the Spirit; we must live and walk in the Spirit, and we must be led by the Spirit (Romans 8:1-11).
Therefore, we don’t go back to the ways of the flesh, but rather, we do the will of the Father as the Holy Spirit leads us. This ensures that no matter the adversary, we will produce Kingdom outcomes as we exercise Kingdom Authority.
Authority to Deal with Fleshly Issues
The apostle Paul wrote about exercising Kingdom Authority in dealing with the conduct of Kingdom people. He told Titus that he should give instructions, exhort people toward God’s right order, and even rebuke people, using his Kingdom Authority, because the flesh is at war with the Spirit (Titus 2:15). Also, we must not forget that witchcraft is a work of the flesh, so we have authority to deal with this work of darkness (Galatians 5:19-21).
Paul charged Timothy to not hold back from exercising Kingdom Authority in similar ways in his overseeing role in the church at Ephesus and surrounding regions. Paul told him that Kingdom Authority transcended natural issues such as his age. Paul instructed Timothy to be humble, wise, and gracious, but not hold back regarding functioning in his Kingdom Authority no matter what season he and the church might be in (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
Authority to Forgive Sins
We are very comfortable with the fact that Jesus has the authority to forgive sins (John 17:1-2). However, we are not so comfortable with the reality that Jesus gave His apostles authority to forgive sins. He also gave them the authority to withhold forgiveness of sins (John 20:19-23).
This authority was bestowed after Jesus’ resurrection when He appeared to them in a locked room in His glorified body. He commissioned them as His Apostles, breathed the Holy Spirit into them, and then bestowed this incredible dimension of authority upon them.
Because of the enormity of this dimension of authority, we now understand why exercising Kingdom Authority can never be according to our own ideas, motivation, or thoughts. Apostles can only forgive sins when the Father wills it and the Holy Spirit leads them.
Authority to Execute Judgement
To execute judgement is the role of a judge presiding over a court hearing or tribunal. The Father gave Jesus, both as the Son of God and the Son of man, authority to speak to the righteous who were dead and to determine their eternal judgement. The Father gave Jesus the authority to execute judgement over their eternal destinies (John 5:25-29).
Jesus told His disciples not to be amazed at this. He had previously said that He was involved in ousting the devil from Heaven, and of course, they already knew of His role in the creation of all things along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Also, He continued to shift their mindsets when He said that His disciples would do greater things than they saw Him doing. Executing judgement is one of the greater things.
In the Book of Acts, we see the Apostle Peter executing judgement when Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit. They fell to the ground and died when Peter exposed their sin by a word of knowledge. Everyone knew that this was a dimension of authority that could only have come from God, so the fear of God gripped the church and others who heard about it (Acts 5:1-11).
A while later, following the evangelist Philip’s city-changing ministry in Samaria, Peter and John arrived and ministered the baptism in the Holy Spirit to the myriad of believers now in that city. One of those who had come into the Kingdom was Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:9-24).
Simon had amazed the people for a long time with his sorcery, but he recognised that the Apostles carried a greater authority and power, and he wanted to have it. Unfortunately, his motivation came from an unsanctified heart. Peter exposed these things and declared judgement if he did not repent. Fortunately, he repented.
What we have seen here are amazing dimensions that are available to Kingdom people if we will come to understand and function in Kingdom Authority. There are some areas in which we should never function alone because it requires the agreement of a faith-filled group. There are dimensions we are yet to come into, but I believe that God is taking us onward and upward in realms of authority in order for His greater purposes to be accomplished.