Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
In our last study, we considered the topic; “Learn to be exalted.” We learnt that Our "High Priest" offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, and that He’s now seated in the place of honour at God's right hand. And that our being in Christ entitles us to sit where Christ sits. In today’s study we will consider the topic: “The Keys of Authority”
Revelation 1:18 says; "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Isaiah 22:22 says: “And the key of the house of David will I lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.”
A key is (usually) a metal implement that is turned to open or close a lock; start or stop an equipment, cars, and other engines. When reference is made to keys; it can also imply something of crucial importance. So in relation to the “Keys of Authority”, we will refer to that which opens, and gives us access to authority; as well as the crucial understanding we need to possess for the “unlocking” of the authority we have been given.
THE KEY AS A SYMBOL OF AUTHORITY
Usually, keys are only given to those who have authority. And the Bible says He has given us the keys of the Kingdom. Matthew 16:19 says “And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
So the enemy has no authority over us anymore. Instead we have authority over Him in Jesus’ name! We have authority to bind and lose and authority to trample on snakes and scorpions!
Revelation 1:18 says: “I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Jesus Christ took the keys away from the devil, glory to God!
These keys aren’t just the keys to get into the doors of heaven, (salvation) but they are the keys to authority & dominion over every situation in our lives. It’s access to the throne room. It’s the power to call things as though they are. It’s the power to overtake the enemy and drive him back. It’s the power to rip our loved ones out of the enemy’s hands! It’s the power to call down the blessings and abundance from heaven!
However, just like these keys, we have to do something with it; we must take action.
Let us consider four principal requirements - keys that can unlock the authority we have been given. We need to meet these requirements if we want to operate in God’s authority.
1. KNOWLEDGE OF THE SOURCE OF AUTHORITY
Our authority is dependent upon our knowledge and understanding of the situation we are in. Authority operates under authority and within authorities. We must realize that our authority is a delegated authority that comes from God.
The centurion in Matthew 8:8 understood delegated authority. He had an active faith – not a passive one. He went to Jesus and asked Him to heal his servant. Jesus said that he would go to him but the centurion stopped him, “no need to go all that way Lord, just say the word and I know it will be done. I have servants under me – I say go they go, do this and they do it.”
He understood authority. His authority did not come from himself either. He had a commander over him. The military, and people above him is where his authority came from and he understood that all it took was a word.
2. OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY
We must be obedient to God’s will and His authority for us to have authority. We must be submitted to God’s authority in our lives as well as authority He has delegated in leadership. The world has taken the word submission and made it into a “weak thing”. So that as soon as the word submission is mentioned, everyone gets into an uproar. If we are not submissive to the divine line of authority in our lives, we will have no authority. Also, if we do not submit, we open ourselves up to the enemy. James 4:7 says: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Submit to God – that’s your line of authority. You can’t say you are submitted to God and then not be submitted to your pastor; you will be out of the line of authority.
Faith is involved in exercising spiritual authority by providing access to authority. And authority will not become a force within us until we take God‘s Word to heart and obey it—through Faith. If one does not have faith or believe that they have authority then they would not be able to exercise it. And even if they go out to “exercise authority” without faith, the devil will see through their emptiness as in the case of the sons of Sceva. Acts 19: 13-16: “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, we adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 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.”
4. THE NAME OF JESUS
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:17-18 (Emphasis mine)
The name of Jesus has tremendous power and authority (Philippians 2:5–11)! In Acts 16:17–18, we read of how Paul commanded an evil spirit out of a young girl in Jesus’ name. We see the same in Acts 3:6–9, 16.
It is important to note that the enemy tries to discredit the things that give us authority over him such as knowledge, obedience, faith and the name of Jesus. That is why he works hard to keep people in darkness (ignorance) – lacking in the knowledge of the authority they have over him (Hosea 4:6)! He makes people resent submissiveness in the name of liberality because he knows that is the only way we can put him to flight (James 4:7)! He beclouds the minds of believers with doubt; negating the potency of faith and dragging them into his zone – the place of reason where he has the advantage and because they have lost the faith needed to exercise authority, they are unable to deal with him! (Mark 11:23) He has tried to cheapen the name of Jesus and make it into a curse word. For instance, why don’t people say “Oh, Buddha,” or “Oh, Muhammad”, because there is no power there! So to those he has deceived into treating the name with levity, it becomes nothing to them; like the sons of Sceva. But we know there’s power in that name! (Philippians 2:5–11)
We know better than to trade our access to authority for the trickery of the enemy. So let’s hold on tightly to the keys of our authority in Christ!