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Continuing with our lessons on authority, I would like to bring your attention to a very interesting passage from the Bible.
I cannot begin to count the number of times I have read 1 Corinthians, where the Apostle Paul is describing what most would see as end time prophesy. This time, I saw something that gave credence to my discovery of the dual nature of authority.
Beginning with verse 1 of Chapter 15, Paul gives a quick synopsis of why Jesus came and what transpired after His resurrection, then goes on to use himself as testimony to the grace of God. After providing evidence for the resurrection, Paul goes on to explain how this is foundational to the faith, then describes the order of events at the end of time.
In 1 Cor. 15:24 Paul makes a remarkable statement that sheds light for our understanding of the dual nature of authority when he says, “Then comes the end, when He (Christ) delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.”
Wow! God puts an end to all rule, all authority and power? Since God is the ultimate ruler with ultimate authority and power, doesn’t this mean He puts an end to Himself? Not possible of course! He cannot put an end to Himself! So, what could Paul be talking about here?
Not wanting to add to what has been written, we can extrapolate from the context. Christ has just delivered the Kingdom to God the Father. This includes everything there is or ever has been, including every kingdom (rule), all authority and all power on earth. The often stated “Jesus is Lord” means He is Lord of all or not Lord at all!
To my mind, this scripture can only be understood by assuming that God the Father ends all delegated and FALSE rule, power and authority as the rule has been reduced to one Kingdom of God.
This revelation helped me fully understand that not all authority is legitimate. False or claimed authority is not from God. Just because someone acts in “authority” or claims to have “authority” does not mean it is true. Some is, to be sure, but then some isn’t, either.
In order to make sense of what I will be presenting it is important to be clear on what is meant by rule, power and authority.
A rule can be seen as a jurisdiction. This includes family, government, church, community, work, economy and so on. Every rule or jurisdiction needs a ruler or “king” who has “dominion,” hence the word “kingdom.”
A ruler is given power and authority. The power given is not limitless, but is, in reality, limited to the jurisdiction or the rule. That is, there are boundaries to this power which restricts it to the jurisdiction.
Authority is another form of power, but this power is used to create a chain of command. For instance, the boss (ruler) has power over his men using a chain of command (authority) that goes from boss to superintendent to foreman to worker.
So, a jurisdiction or rule has boundaries to limit power and an authoritative order or chain of command. Rule, power and authority. All are needed and all can be corrupted.
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