Understanding Authority

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 06/18/2023

Foundation Scripture:
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Romans 13:1 KJV

1. The Higher Powers.
a. There are three:
 - God.
 - Truth.
 - The conscience of man.

2. God—Supreme Authority.
a. God is the Supreme (highest) Authority of all creation.
b. God is self-existent; immutable (unchangeable); eternal; omnipresent; omniscient; omnipotent; sovereign.
c. He is Sovereign—highest; supreme; absolute—having supreme rank, power, or authority.
d. Ephesians 4:6 KJV — One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
e. 1 Timothy 6:15b KJV — …[He] is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
f. Potentate (Greek dynastēs) — powerful; mighty; a ruler or officer of great authority.
g. 2 Peter 1:16 AMPC — For we were not following cleverly devised stories when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty (grandeur, authority of sovereign power).
h. Majesty (Greek megaleiotēs)—superbness, i.e. glory or splendor: —magnificence, majesty, mighty power.

3. God is One With His Word.
a. 1 John 5:7 KJV — For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
b. God will never violate His own Word; therefore, we can fully trust His Word.
c. Psalm 138:2b KJV — …thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
d. He makes Himself subject to His Word and abides by His own Laws.
e. It is impossible for God to lie—He cannot and will not lie. (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18).
f. Ephesians 1:20-23
g. Hebrews 1:1-9
h. God-ordained line of authority in the earth: God—Jesus—The Church (His Body).
i. God, the Supreme Authority, gave Jesus the authority over all things and to be the Head of the Church (His Body).

4. Truth—Veracious Authority.
a. There is an authority that accompanies Truth.
b. Veracious means: To be characterized by truthfulness; true, accurate, or honest in content.
c. John 8:32 KJV — And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
d. 2 plus 2 equals 4.
e. No matter how hard you try you cannot (truthfully) make it 5.
f. In Titus 1:1 (AMPC), Paul speaks of “the Truth which belongs to and harmonizes with and tends to godliness.”
g. Jesus is the ultimate Truth—there is no darkness (lies) in Him (1 John 5:6).
h. John 14:6 KJV — Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
i. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:7, 15:26).
j. John 16:13a KJV — Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…
k. The Holy Spirit will always support, verify, and back up God’s Word.
l. 1 John 2:27b KJV — …as the same anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

5. Lies Versus Truth.  
a. Lies are unstable—they are erratic, fickle, irrational, changeable, precarious, shaky, and unsteady.
b. Lies can be challenged and will disintegrate when brought into the light of the Truth.
c. Truth carries authority because it cannot be moved or changed.
d. Truth is eternal, steadfast, immovable, and unchangeable.
e. Therefore, Truth is always the final authority.
f. Nothing contrary to Scripture can be Truth.
g. Nothing in addition to Scripture can be binding.

6. Search and Study.
a. Acts 17:10-12
b. Search the Scriptures daily.
c. 2 Timothy 2:15 AMPC — Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

7. Authority of Conscience.
a. Romans 13:1-5
b. Verse 5 AMPC: Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God’s wrath and escape punishment, but also as a matter of principle and for the sake of conscience.
c. Conscience—co-knowledge—the inner sense of what is right or wrong.
d. Heart (spirit) and head (mind).
e. When they are in conflict it creates confusion.
f. Romans 2:12-14 AMPC — All who have sinned without the Law will also perish without [regard to] the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged and condemned by the Law. 13 For it is not merely hearing the Law [read] that makes one righteous before God, but it is the doers of the Law who will be held guiltless and acquitted and justified. 14 When Gentiles who have not the [divine] Law do instinctively what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, since they do not have the Law.
g. This explains how people who have never heard the Gospel are going to be judged.
h. Their conscience bears witness that the Law is written in their hearts.

8. Natural Versus Supernatural Knowledge.
a. The knowledge of the Word supersedes natural knowledge.
b. When your heart knows to do the right thing—the Word of God—but you rebel, your heart will condemn (convict) you.
c. Your own heart will be your judge.
d. Romans 14:17-23
e. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
f. Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin.
g. Your own conscience will qualify you to be either accused or excused before God.

9. Authority and Responsibility.
a. Your authority never exceeds your responsibility.
b. You only have authority in the realm of your responsibilities.