Friday, November 19, 2004

The Authority of Heaven and Earth

Did you know that Christians have authority in heaven and on earth? We have authority on earth because we were born here. In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, He created man. The Hebrew for “man” is, adam, from adamah, the Hebrew word for “earth.” Not only did God create man, but He gave him dominion, or authority, over the earth (Genesis 1:26).

We have the authority of heaven because, if we know the Lord Jesus Christ, we have been “born again” — literally, “born from above” (John 3:3) by the Spirit of God. Not only that, but Paul tells us that God has seated us in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). Jesus is seated on the throne of heaven, at the right hand of the Father, and we are seated there in Him, far above all principality, power, might and dominion (Ephesians 1:21).

In His earthly ministry, Jesus taught His disciples about how to exercise the authority of heaven on earth.

We have the authority of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). These are not requests, by the way, because the mood is imperative: “Kingdom of God, come! Will of God, be done!” Jesus has given us the authority to look at how the will of God is done in heaven and call it forth to be likewise done upon the earth.

We have the authority to bind and loose. Jesus has given us the authority of heaven to bind and loose things upon the earth. “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” (Matthew 18:18).

As we bind and loose things upon the earth, we will see that they are also bound and loosed in heaven. The Greek tense actually means that what we bind and loose on earth will have already been bound and loosed in heaven. Here again is the authority to bring forth the realities of heaven upon the earth.

We have the authority of agreement. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).

This is earth and heaven coming together, like Jacob’s ladder, with angels ascending and descending. As we come into agreement with each other on earth, it will be done for us by our Father in heaven.

Have you ever applied for a grant before. Well, this is a heavenly grant from God that changes things on the earth.

Our agreement must be, not only with each other, but with the will of God as well, because God will not do anything for us that goes against His revealed will. Fortunately, we can discover the will of God by meditating on His Word, because His Word reveals His will.
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)
We have the authority of Jesus’ name. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18.20). In another place, Jesus said,
Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16.23-24)
You see, this is all about Jesus. We come together in His name, we bind and loose in His name, we ask in His name. That does not mean tacking on “In Jesus’ name” to everything we do. It means we have the authority to act on His behalf and according to His purposes. It means to do as He would do and ask as He would ask, because that is where our authority is — in Jesus.

We have the authority of the Great Commission. After the resurrection, and before Jesus ascended to heaven, He gathered the disciples and said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). This was not idle chatter, Jesus was going somewhere with this. He was preparing to extend this authority to His disciples. How else would they be able to fulfill this next command?

“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.” (Matthew 28.19-20)

If you have received the Lord Jesus Christ, you have both the authority of heaven and earth. Are you learning how to walk in it?