Real Authority – Not in Moscow, or D.C.

As we watch leaders and nations vying for position and power, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed and powerless, forgetting that the real authority in this world resides at the Throne. It is valuable for us to periodically remind ourselves that all power in the world and universe is found with the Lord God. I believe we often will forget this basic truth as we watch arrogant men strut around making claims, issuing threats and seeking to impress with their positions of power. We fail to remember that the authority they have is delegated, limited and it is very temporary.

In the marvelous heavenly scene, recorded by the Apostle John in Revelation 4 and 5, we are ushered into the place where authority is centered. There we observe the transference of ruling authority from the Father to the Lion-Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Final authority has always resided at the throne of God. And in this scene, preparation is being made to take back the planet from the “god of this world” and his minions. At first, when the call goes out “who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?, there is a stony silence in the universe. John is grieved because this signals the status quo; that is, Satan and his people will continue their cruel rule of the earth. But then, the electrifying word goes out: “the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah” qualifies, and, therefore, He can take the book out of the hand of the One on the throne. This gives Him the authority to deal with Satan and those men who have been given authority by him. But when the Lion-Lamb takes the scroll, the heavenly scene then changes dramatically and there is immediate praise and singing from an untold multitude of angels and men. This event signals the soon termination earth’s domination by the Devil and his malevolent forces.

This transference of authority from the Father to the Son is something that is seen in other places in the Bible. Daniel 7 records the same scene though using different imagery.  There the Ancient of Days is seen giving ruling authority to the Son of Man. But the result is the same: dominion and power are His. In John 5, Jesus boldly declared that all authority to judge and to give life was granted to Him. In Luke 19, as Jesus headed to Jerusalem for the last time with His disciples, He informed them that (like the nobleman in His parable) He would not be establishing His messianic reign at that time but needed to go into the “far country” (heaven) to receive ruling authority. And then, when He received that authority He would return back to the earth and would deal with His servants, and then to deal severely and finally with those who would not acknowledge His right to rule.

All of these scriptures align perfectly with Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 where the Son is seen sitting in a place of honor at the right hand of the Father. He sits until His enemies are defeated totally, and then He returns and rules over the entire earth, not only as the King of Israel but as the King of all the gentile nations. His power will be absolute. The authority of the final, forever kingdom of God will never be usurped. There will be no creaturely coups.

The King has yet to return in power and glory and set all things right. But He will.  And we who believe in Him and follow Him need to keep this future reality in mind. Presently, we may not be possessors of any sort of great authority, but we do have the power to obey.  In His perfect timing, Jesus Himself will handle the Evil One and all of his forces, both demons and evil people. He is neither impressed nor is He intimidated by boastful Satan or strutting people.  But, as He instructed His followers in Luke 19, we are to energetically be doing His will in the time that we have.  We serve the One and only, King of kings, with whom resides all authority in this universe. So whatever, happens in Washington DC or the world, it surely is important for us to focus on the fact that we belong to the One who possesses all authority.

In Psalm 2, the Father speaks:

“He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them (the rebellious kings of the earth). Then He will speak to them in His anger, and terrify them in His fury: But as for me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

And then the Son speaks:

“I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘Thou are My Son, today I have begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession.”

How helpful it is to focus on these ultimate realities.