Spiritual Authority: Spirit Science
All spirits see and recognise spiritual substance, including anointing, gifting and the spirit of the individual. The spirit realm is made from spiritual material, much like how the physical realm is made from physical material, or to be more precise, the physical realm is made of energy.
The spirit realm is not made of energy, for that would make it physical matter, as matter and energy are interchangeable. Rather, the spirit realm is made of spirit. So anything that is spirit recognises spirit substance just as light (which is energy) interacts with material, which is matter.
So spirit interacts with spirit and as it does, we can see the effect of it in the physical realm around us, as spirit and physical are connected, primarily through a direct connection in a human through spirit, soul and body connection. Secondly through spirit influence that affects the physical (just as the angel was able to stir up waters in the pool of Bethesda).
In this session, we're going to look at the spirit dynamics of how spiritual authority is imparted to us and how the spirits (angels and demons) recognise it and interact accordingly.
God's Point Of View
God sees the reality that is hidden beneath the surface, perceiving our spirit, heart and mind from afar. He is the only spirit that is all knowing and all seeing, yet other spirit beings also see our spirit and our soul’s disposition. A spirit’s eyes are designed to work in the realm of spirit and so they see in spirit.
So all spirits see the spirit realm, which is hidden from human eyes, but only God’s spirit can know the heart and mind of a person; that which is hidden. Angels and demons can only perceive our spirit, and have learned how to interpret and recognise how our intentions and attitudes that have transferred into our will, appear to the spirit realm. Our spirit has a light, or a colour, which correlates to our innermost thoughts and intentions that have transferred from our inner person, into our will. Spirits draw conclusions concerning us as a result, and can either minister into us accordingly (angels) or form counter moves and cause difficulty (demons). It is only God, however, who sees into our depths, knows our thoughts and emotions before they have formed into a substantial will, is able to be our counsellor in order to move us into a Kingdom perspective and motive.
We have been given the spirit of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and by moving inline with the Kingdom of God, we are also able to see in spirit just as God sees in spirit. Jesus demonstrated how this works in how he judged matters (Isaiah 11:3 - 4).
God sees everything, yet he chooses to judge us with equity.
The scripture tells us God judges everyone with equity, whether they are righteous or not! God is impartial (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11) and so everyone is included in the lavish equity that he dishes out.
What is the Equity of God?
In Psalm 98:9 we see a clear picture of the gospel. God came to the Earth and judged it in righteousness (wrought through the cross of Christ) and equity (proclaimed as good will to all people, by angels around the time of Jesus Christ’s birth).
God saw the world, everything that is in it, including all the good and bad, and judged it with equity by sending Jesus Christ to redeem it. This is the mystery of the gospel: despite the wrath we deserved, God judged us with equity and gave us a route back into perfect connection with him by his Holy Spirit so we may have everlasting life.
When we consider the world it is tempting to look at all the wrong and injustice that happens, which was even more rampant in the times leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. Despite all he saw, God loved his creation: everything in the physical universe and human beings both small and great, good and evil, so he sent Jesus Christ to brings us into perfect connection with himself.
Jesus died on the cross to bring us into the Kingdom of God, and lavish upon us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. After such a rich demonstration of his love toward everyone, God would not shrink back and withhold blessing or love from those who chose to accept his sacrifice on the cross!
As a response to our faith in Jesus Christ, God endows his children with the spiritual authority of Jesus Christ, regardless of lifestyle and choices. Spiritual authority and spiritual equity is a matter of God’s decree, not a reaction to human behaviour.
The same spirit of the Sovereign Lord that rested on Jesus, now abides within the hearts of those who believe in him. We carry the same anointing, power and authority as Jesus Christ because his spirit is in us.
Does this sound scandalous? Consider John 20: 21 - 23.
Just as the Father sent Jesus to Earth from Heaven, we have been sent by Jesus, and as Jesus is now so are we in this world.
The Father sent Jesus with all authority and power under Heaven and Earth, so that the lame would walk, the sick would be healed, the incurable would be cured and the dead would come back to life. The same anointing, power and authority is now in us!
The Father has seen all that we are, and when we first believed in Jesus Christ, he gave us his Holy Spirit and so bestowed his authority into us. The same spiritual authority that Jesus Christ had, which carries the very Name of God!
All angels and demons see our spirit, combined and united into the Holy Spirit of God. So when they see us, they see us and God. Consider the seven-fold Spirit of God (Isaiah 11:2): wisdom, understanding, might (strength), knowledge, fear of the Lord and all combined, the Spirit of God himself. When angels and demons look at us they see us combined with all this seven-fold spirit of God!
This means we are unified with the spirit of wisdom, from whom all wisdom originated. We are unified with the spirit of understanding, to fathom all mysteries of God and perceive spiritual depths. We are unified with the spirit of might, which carries out miracles and powerful works of God, by which wisdom is justified (Matthew 11:19). We are unified with the spirit of knowledge, to know God and the mind of Christ, to ascend in though above Earthly and demonic thought, to access God’s wisdom (James 3:17). We are unified with the fear of the Lord so that we have the power to walk in step with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and keep in with repentance (Matthew 3:8), and finally, being unified with all these facets of the one spirit, we are unified with the Holy Spirit.
As we walk and breathe on this planet, so we walk and breathe with the spirit of God entangled into our spirit.
All Powerful, Lovingly Humble
Despite carrying all the authority under Heaven and Earth, Jesus did not use his authority and power to do absolutely anything he wanted. He set himself aside and only did that which his Father in Heaven did, he could only be about his Father’s business. Jesus even set aside the glory of God and chose to humble himself (Philippians 2:6 - 9), taking on the appearance of a servant despite being the one to inherit the throne of God.
With all the authority that Jesus carried, he could call upon legions of angels to help and defend him (Matthew 26:53). Despite this incredible authority, he chose to suffer ridicule, maltreatment, sufferings, beatings, false witnesses, lies, accusations, betrayal and death. All so that the love of God might be made known to those who are perishing and so benefit by believing in his name and receive the equity of God.
A true mark of spiritual authority, of one devoutly in love with God, who has caught a glimpse of the mighty power and authority that rests in them, is the willingness to set it all aside to serve and love those around them. Even in the most humble of circumstances.
Love, the brightest of the spirit’s light, casts back the darkness of Satan’s dominion.
Recognised By The Spirits
There are several examples of recognised spiritual authority in the book of Acts. We just have to look at the examples given of the Apostle Paul’s life to see many of them. He was always at work and the Lord confirmed the gospel message through the signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:11 - 12). As a result of the Authority of God being present and able to work through Paul, sickness was healed and demons were cast out.
As the shadows of Peter and John passed over people, they were healed (Acts 5:15) because of the authority of Jesus Christ that rested upon them. Even the evil spirits recognised the authority of the Apostles (Acts 16:16 - 18) and could not help but react accordingly.
The Apostles knew how to live in response to such a privilege as having God’s authority upon them. Their secret can be seen by drawing a contrast with those who tried to mimic them, but failed (Acts 19:13 - 16). The seven sons of a Jewish high priest, ranked directly beneath him by blood and were revered in a religious social construct. They were even heralded as “exorcists”. Such a “given title” can carry weight in the eyes of society, yet without being submitted to the true spiritual authority of God, such titles carry no weight when up against evil spirits. The evil spirits did not recognise their “given authority”, or even the authority they tried to claim under “Paul” (the Jesus whom Paul preaches). Rather, the evil spirits saw the spiritual reality of the men’s spirits, and knew they were not “seated” in Christ, with spiritual authority over them. So the evil spirit mastered the men and publicly humiliated them.
Just like the Apostles, our job is to keep our hearts right before the Lord. To recognise where our spiritual authority comes direct from our Father in Heaven. As soon as we slip from this and claim authority from any other name, ministry or granted authority by church leaders or elders, our authority is no longer recognised in the spirit realm.
Notice the stark contradiction of human recognition, versus spirit-realm recognition? We may be heralded in the Christian world with celebrity status, be highly esteemed or revered. Yet if our authority is not submitted under Christ, but taken from our status or recognition, then we set ourselves up for a losing battle against even minor demons, let alone principalities and powers.
Natural Order vs Spirit Order In Christ
The angelic and demonic realms will only recognise authority that is in Christ, because Jesus Christ is the only name that is above all other names, including theirs. In the natural, fallen order of the world, our names are under the angelic and demonic names, because they are greater in power than us and reside in natural procession over the fallen cosmos (this is covered in a later session.) To think demons are beneath us would be to slip into slandering the heavenly beings (2 Peter 2:10). Rather, spiritual beings must be respected for what they are, whether angels or demons. In Christ they are all beneath us because they are beneath Christ, and in his name we can claim authority over them but in our natural, un-born again state, we are born under their rule and dominion (Ephesians 2:2) and it is only through Christ that we are saved from such dominance.
If we step out of the authority of the name of Jesus Christ, laying claim of another source for our authority, whether a church or christian established reputation or otherwise, we may as well hide the light of God that is in us, under a bucket. The light of Christ will shine bright within us and permeate the spirit realm if we humbly place our hearts under his headship.
For The Sake Of The Angels
Paul outlined the spiritual impact of incorrect behaviour in 1 Corinthians chapter 11. Verse 10 in this chapter points how our behaviour affects the spirit realm, when he says (paraphrased) correct cultural behaviour is for the sake of the angels. Considering the interests of others above our own, is to have the same attitude of Christ, to humbly make ourselves as a slave to righteousness and labour to advance the Kingdom of God through love (Romans 14:13).
The angels are sent to minister to us but if we behave in a way that purposefully offends around us and causes dissension or strife, then the angels are going to have a harder time ministering to us. To understand this, it may be beneficial to look at what Paul was actually saying.
In Corinth, it was customary for women to wear a head covering, it was also a sign that they were married and belonged to their husbands. It was a cultural sign of authority. Moreover, prostitutes would not wear a head covering or tie their hair back, instead they would adorn their hair, let it down and even sway it around to cause arousal in their potential customers. So the women in the church were using grace in the Lord Jesus to justify not wearing their head coverings, but were sending out a signal to the outsiders and within the church, that they were wayward women, open to sleeping with any man, married or not.
The angels would have had such a hard time ministering in that church, because they would have to strengthen and support those who were offended, as well as defend the church from any dark spiritual forces that would have witnessed what was going on, and so get a foothold because of the cultural rebellion. Instead, if the people in the church had behaved in a culturally fitting way, the angels would not need to minister to the hearts of the offended or defend demonic accusation and attempts to get into spiritual footholds that opened up. Rather, the angels would have had more free “hands” to minister supernatural signs and wonders, speak to people and work the wonders of God.