Spiritual Hierarchy & Authority, Part 11
December 29, 2017
If ever there has been a time when the body of Christ needs to understand and walk in true authority — the authority that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ — that time is now. Over the past weeks, we have looked at the various tiers of demonic hierarchy and how and where these wicked spirits operate.
True authority is recognized. If I have to tell you that I have authority, the fact is that I don’t! If it isn’t manifested, there is something really wrong with where I am in God.
Wherever Jesus went, evil spirits recognized him. Why? Because He had all the authority of Father operational in Him. He didn’t advertise Who He was and is. His very presence manifested absolute authority! Consider what Jesus said to the disciples just before He ascended into Heaven.
Matthew 28:18-20: All power (exousia—authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Jesus made it abundantly clear to the disciples that the authority resident in Him would be with them throughout time and eternity. No matter where they went, He was with them. All of the authority of Heaven was at their disposal to teach and to disciple men and women in His onoma. We’ll talk more about that in a minute.
You remember the event that occurred when the centurion came to Jesus asking that Jesus speak the word and heal His servant?
Matthew 8:5-10a, 13: And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marveled…
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
There is a principle revealed here that many Christians fail to understand. Father, Son and Holy Spirit represent the God-head! All authority — the final authority — resides in them. No authority exists anywhere in this universe — and specifically, here on earth — except it first come from them. We’ve already talked about Satan’s attempts to overthrow the throne of God and take that throne of authority for himself, and what it cost him. Satan was a created being. Whatever authority or power he had existed only because it was granted to him from God.
When he attempted to usurp that authority, he lost any authority and power that he had with God. He lost his place in Heaven. In fact, he lost all authority, PERIOD! The only reason we see him at work today is because man grants him the authority to do so.
Let’s go back to the beginning of Creation for a minute. What was it that God spoke to Adam and Eve?
Genesis 1:28: And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
He gave them dominion! The Hebrew word in this text is, radah. It means to rule over, to have dominion, to have final authority. David confirms this in the Psalms.
Psalm 115:16: The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
God gave authority for all that happens on the earth to us. Once again, the fact that we see evil operating around us is only because we have given it permission. Satan was stripped of all authority! Any authority he gets has to come from someone who has the right to give authority.
We come back to the event that occurred with the centurion who came to Jesus. He saw and recognized real authority in Jesus. As one who had been trained in the protocols of authority, he understood that Jesus could not do what He did except He was operating under a divine commission of authority.
The centurion even spelled it out. He said, For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
When the centurion spoke, he knew that those who were under his authority had to obey. There was no possibility of disobedience to his word. His word to those under him was final. To disobey that authority would likely mean death.
The centurion saw that same kind of authority resident in Jesus. He knew that if Jesus spoke the word of healing for his servant, there was no possibility that his servant would not be healed. Jesus’ word carried a level of authority that the centurion knew had to be obeyed.
Sadly, the body of Christ has somehow failed to fully grasp the significance of this. Religion and religiosity have overtaken so much of the body of Christ that there is no manifestation of authority.
We have talked many times throughout the years about the principle of being in Jesus’ onoma. Go back to the statement that Jesus made in Matthew 1:28.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
This is a phrase oft repeated throughout the New Testament. Religion and religiosity — churchianity, if you will — have reduced this to a formula. Use the name of Jesus, and everything will take place exactly as you say.
Nope. Huh Uh! That’s now how it works. Just because we quote the name of Jesus does not mean that we are operating in His name. Onoma, as we have said many times, represents one’s very essence, their personality, their makeup, their authority. It’s who and what they are. Throughout the Word, we see the significance of names being given to various individuals. Those names were prophecies of who and what they were or would become.
The spiritual significance of the name and all that it represents are part and parcel of the authority resident in that name. Jesus twice, in his parables, uses the example of those who spout the name of Jesus and seek to exercise that name but are not operating in His onoma.
Matthew 7:21-23: Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Do you see what Jesus is saying? “I never knew you! How can you be operating in my name if I never knew you? We’ve never had an intimate love relationship with each other.”
The consequence of that is that those who attempt to operate in Jesus’ name without His authority simply cannot enter the realm of Kingdom living. These may well be folks who have acknowledged that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He was the atonement, the remission for and the eradication of their sins and the curse that hung over them.
The problem is that they’ve never taken the time to come to really know Him. They don’t fellowship with Him. They don’t know what it means to be “in Christ” and/or for He and His anointing to be in them! Hence, their authority is a man-made authority. They are not operating in Him and with His mandate.
There is even a more graphic example of this in Acts where we see the seven sons of Sceva, a priest and a Pharisee, trying to duplicate what they see happening with Paul.
Acts 19:14-16: And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Paul clearly operated in the onoma of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was in Christ and Christ was in him. These seven sons of Sceva were educated in religion. Their father was a Pharisee and the Chief Priest. From their perspective, being who they were in religion and being recognized as religious leaders, Paul certainly had no more authority than they did. He was a member of the Pharisees, They were members of that sect. They ought to be able to do what he did. He wasn’t anyone special.
Their issue was the same one so many Christians face today. They’re saved! They’ve been baptized in water. Jesus said that when the Comforter — the Holy Spirit — came, He would be with them, so therefore, they are filled with the Spirit. They are believers! (Really?) They read the Bible. They pray. They talk about Jesus when it is convenient to do so. Exercising spiritual authority isn’t just for the “super-spiritual.”
And none of that is the real qualifier for spiritual authority!
Yes, it is critically important to be saved and baptized in water. It is especially important for us to know the Scripture, but far more important for us to know the Word — Jesus, Himself!
But being filled with the Spirit does not come by osmosis. There’s nothing automatic about it! The beginning place of being filled with the Spirit is the release of the Spirit within us by an act on our part — the release of our tongue. And that’s only the initiating phase. None of that has anything to do with being filled with the Spirit.
Being filled with Holy Spirit is a daily, ongoing function. There’s no such thing as a “once and for all” event. Being filled with the presence of the Lord and operating in His authority is a natural byproduct of living in His presence. And that comes through a daily walk in the realms of the Spirit that God has for us. It comes through a constant flow of worship flowing through our beings. It comes through a 24-hour daily flow of love back and forth between us and the Lord Jesus Christ. It is living in Him and knowing that He is in us.
The objective is for us to be One with Him — not simply knowing about Him, Who He is, and what He has done for us.
Spiritual authority is a product of living in Him, listening to His voice, listening to His very heartbeat, knowing His heart’s desires and obeying His instructions in the time and manner He so specifies.
This is a rarity for me, to be sure, but there have been times when folks wanted me to pray certain things for them, pray for their healing, pray for their deliverance from evil spirits, pray for specific provision for certain needs. I was more than ready to respond and Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me and said, “No! Do not pray for them.”
Authority was being withheld from me to pray those specific prayers at that moment. Holy Spirit later explained to me that they were not willing to meet the necessary requirements. They wanted all the “freebies” they could get from the Lord, but they were not willing to pay the spiritual cost of living or walking in that realm.
Then there have been some cases in which folks came wanting prayer for deliverance from evil spirits, and the instruction was to not pray. Their desire for prayer was to put on a religious show of being righteous while there was no heart in them to be free of the areas that those evil spirits were motivating and driving.
One of the things both Della and I have learned throughout the years is to check with the Lord before we accede to someone’s desire to pray for them or for some particular situation. Many times the request will be OK, but the timing is off and Holy Spirit says, “Wait.”
We have had multiple experiences in commanding the weather, speaking to storms, hurricanes, etc., and seeing the immediate results of our commands. It was puzzling, therefore, when we received no direction to pray over the two hurricanes, Harvey and Irma that recently hit the Gulf of Texas and Florida as well as Maria, which hit Puerto Rico and did such major damage. The damage was catastrophic, yet the loss of life was almost insignificant, and minor by comparison to Katrina where more than 1800 people lost their lives. I won’t try to take time today to delve into the reasons or the things that God is accomplishing in the midst of these disasters.
We’ll pick this up again next week.
For those of you who’ve participated during the past three years in our Monday night Healing Prayer Conference Call, this is just a reminder that the calls have resumed on a once-a-month basis, the first Monday of each month. If you have a need for healing, or you have friends in need of healing, here is the number to call: (712) 775-7035. The Access Code is: 323859#. For Canadians who have difficulty getting in to this number, you can call (559) 546-1400. If someone answers and asks what your original call-in number was, you can give them the 712 number and access code.
At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available by Skype. If you wish to participate by video on Skype, my Skype ID is regner.capener. If you miss the live voice call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
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