From the Foreword of the Book:
“I can think of no topic more misunderstood yet more important than spiritual authority. Generally speaking Bible teachers tend to emphasize just one perspective in dealing with authority; and therefore, by the very nature of the teaching, there is imbalance and extremism.
The subject is so vast that it cannot be dealt with fully in just one book. This book is an attempt to summarize the different aspects of spiritual and delegated authority in a balanced and practical way. The material in the main sections of the book is very condensed. I would suggest that not more than one chapter be read on any given day.
The book is meant to change the heart of the reader to have more healthy attitudes concerning authority. The principles described here were derived by decades of real-life experiences and therefore are meant to be applied in real relationships in everyday life as well.
The purpose of authority is to bring blessing. May you be blessed by studying this training and instruction manual!”
Excerpt from the First Chapter:
To follow Yeshua (Jesus) for me was an act of self-denial and rebellion against everything I had known. It was a total reversal of values. The wheel had gone around 360 degrees. Rebellion had become submission; and submission had become rebellion. Paradoxically, by way of rebellion against all authority, I had come face to face with the one who claimed to be the source of “all authority”.
How could I follow Jesus? This was against every social, family, philosophical, educational, and religious code I had been brought up with. I would have to go “against” everything. In a strange way, this was the ultimate act of moral rebellion. Even if the whole world is against me, if Jesus is the truth, then I will follow him, no matter what will happen.
At the end of the gospel of Matthew, Yeshua made an amazing statement concerning authority.
“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth …” (Matthew 28:18)
If this was true, then I needed to reexamine every thought I had ever had about authority. If “all authority” is from him, then “all” my thoughts about authority were wrong. There was nothing to do but submit. This is a real revolution – a revolution concerning rebellion, and a revolution concerning authority.
A kingdom is an area in which a king has authority. It is the area of his dominion. A king”dom” is a king’s “dominion”. Yeshua is declaring that his dominion as king now includes both heaven and earth. This authority is unprecedented and all-inclusive.
The declaration of Yeshua’s authority is a not only a summary of his life’s work and of his 40-day “post-resurrection” teaching, it is also the basis for sending his disciples out to continue his mission. It is the basis for the Great Commission:
“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations …” (Matthew 28:18-19)
Yeshua came to earth on a mission to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10; I Timothy 1:15); to demonstrate the love of God (Romans 5:8; I John 4:9); to destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:8); and to give us an example of servanthood and obedience (Matthew 20:28; Philippians 2:5-8). However, he also came to receive kingdom authority for himself (Luke 19:12; John 18:37; Philippians 2:9-10).
After his resurrection and before his final ascension, he gave his disciples instructions to continue his mission. He came from heaven to earth with a mission; they were to extend that mission to all the nations. His mission became their commission.
Paul’s version of the great commission emphasizes righteousness by faith (Romans 1:17); Peter emphasizes faith and miracles (Mark 16:15-18); and Luke emphasizes forgiveness and the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5). However Matthew’s version emphasizes authority and discipleship.
Yeshua said that “all authority” was given to him. That statement demands a total reevaluation about how we view authority.