God's Authority in Us
The acts of God issue from His throne and His throne is established on His Authority. All things are created through God’s authority and all physical laws of the universe are maintained by His authority. Hence the bible expresses it as “upholding all things by His word of His power,” which means upholding all things by the word of the power of His authority. For God’s authority represents God Himself where as His power stands only for His act. Sin against power is more easily forgiven than sin against His authority, because the latter is a sin against God Himself. God alone is authority in all things; all the authorities on earth are instituted by God. Authority is a tremendous thing in the universe-nothing overshadows it. It is therefore imperative for us who desire to serve God to know the authority of God.
The Origin of Satan
The archangel turned into Satan when he over reached God’s authority, competed with God, and thus became an adversary of God. Rebellion was the cause of Satan’s fall.
Both Isiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:13-17 speak of the rise and fall of Satan. The first passage though lays stress on how Satan violated God’s authority while the second passage emphasizes his trespassing on God’s holiness. To offend God’s authority is a rebellion far more serious than that of offending God’s holiness. Since it is a matter of conduct, sinning is more easily forgiven than rebellion, the latter being a matter of principal. Satan’s intent of setting his throne above the throne of God was the thing that violated God’s authority; it was the principal of self-exaltation. The act of sinning was not the cause of Satan’s fall; that act was but the product of his rebellion against authority. It was rebellion that God condemned.
In serving God we must not violate authorities, because to do so is a principle of Satan. How can we preach Christ according to Satan’s principle? Yet it is possible in our work to stand with Christ in doctrine while at the same time stand with Satan in principle. How very wicked for us to assume we are doing the work of the Lord. Please take note that Satan is not afraid of us preaching the work of Christ, yet he is very much in fear of our being subject to the authority of Christ. Never should we who serve God serve according to the principle of Satan. Whenever the principle according to Christ is operating the principle of Satan is fades away. If we would truly serve God we must be completely purified from the principle of Satan.
In Matthew 6:13 the bible says “for thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory forever. All kingdom, authority and glory belong to God and to God alone." What sets us totally free from Satan is the seeing of this most precious truth-that the kingdom is God’s. Since the whole universe is under God’s dominion, we have to subject ourselves to His authority.
The controversy of the universe is centered on who shall have authority, and our conflict with Satan is a direct result of our attributing authority to God. To maintain God’s authority we must be subject to it with all our hearts. It is absolutely necessary for us to meet God’s authority and to possess a basic knowledge of what it is.
Before Paul knew authority he tried to wipe out the church; after he had met the Lord on the Damascus road he saw that you can’t kick against God’s authority. He immediately fell to the ground and submitted to the Lords authority, and then he was able to submit to Ananias. This shows us that whoever has met authority deals purely with authority and not with man. Let us not see the man but only the authority vested in him. We do not obey man but God’s authority in that man. Otherwise we can never learn what authority is?
To serve God we are not called to choose self-denial or sacrifice, rather we are called to fulfill God’s purpose. The basic principle is not to choose the cross but to obey God’s will. Should the principle on which we work and serve include rebellion, then Satan will obtain and enjoy the glory even thru our sacrifices. Saul might offer sheep or oxen, yet God never accepted them as sacrifices to Himself because there was a satanic principle involved. To over through God’s authority is to over through God. That is why the scripture indicates that “rebellion is as the sin of divination, and self-will is as iniquity and idolatry” (1Sam. 15:23).
As God’s servants the first thing we should meet is authority. To touch God’s authority is as practical as touching salvation, but it is a deeper lesson. Before we work for God we must be overturned by His authority. Our entire relationship with God is regulated by whether or not we have met authority. If we have, then we shall encounter authority everywhere, and being thus restrained by God we can begin to be used by Him.