Luke 15:22 – “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
The robe represents righteousness, as we saw in the last study. The ring represents authority. God gives us authority by grace through faith.
Genesis 41:42 – Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. (Verse 43) And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.
Esther 8:8 – “Write a decree for the Jews, as you please, in the kings name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for a letter which is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.”
The king’s signet ring represented authority. We have many symbols of authority today, like a badge an officer of the law has. The Father gives us authority and backs it up with His authority.
Mark 1:22 – And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
When we say that we have authority, it means its “delegated” to us by Him. Romans 13:1 – “all authority comes from God.” So in this parable, the father delegates authority back to the son when he gives him the ring. But as a son or a daughter, can we not walk in that authority? And how do we walk in that authority and how do we use that authority?
The quickest way to lose authority is to walk in pride! Even Jesus showed humility. He laid down all of His divinity and became a human.
Luke 10:1 – After these things, the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. These seventy were “baby” Christians and new believers. Read on down and you will see that Jesus gives them the same authority that He gave the twelve apostles. Then the seventy come back:
Luke 10:17 – Then the seventy return with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” (Verse 18) And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (When Satan crossed the line, he was out.) (Verse 19) “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Keep in mind: serpents and scorpions are demons, fallen angels.) (Verse 20) “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (This next verse proves that these seventy were new believers.)
(Verse 21) In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.”
So what was hidden? What were they talking about? They were talking about authority over demonic spirits. So, in essence, He was saying, “Thank you, Father, that you’ve revealed this to baby Christians but You’ve hidden it from the people who think they know it all. But the ones that are just babes, who walk in humility, they understand this – that they have authority in My name.”
Matthew 8:5 – Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with HIm, (Verse 6) saying, “Lord my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” (Verse 7) And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” (Verse 8) The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.
(Verse 9) “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Verse 10) When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
The centurion understood authority because he had authority and that gave him great faith in Jesus. He recognized that Jesus was under the Father’s authority therefore He had authority!
The word faith in Scripture many, many times is the word belief. For instance: “Put your faith in Christ, belief in Christ. Faith is what you believe. Faith is what we “actually” believe!
If we don’t quite understand “warfare” we will belive the enemies lies that what is happening to us is just normal. What’s normal is for the enemy to war against God’s children, but it’s not normal for His children to “LOSE!” The bad things that happen against God’s children in the natural can be called normal, but it’s not a normal occurrence for God’s children to lose that battle. All through Scripture, yes there’s warfare, but we win! It is normal for the enemy to attack but it’s not normal for the attacks to get through!
A shield of faith, what we believe, quenches every flaming arrow of the enemy! Every firey dart is stopped!
Matthew 21:23 – Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” (Verse 24) But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things:
(Verse 25) “The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ (Verse 26) “But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude for all count John as a prophet.” (Verse 27) So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
(Verse 28) “But what do you think? (Then Jesus tells them where He got this authority.) A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ (Verse 29) “He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. (Verse 30) “Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. (Verse 31) “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first,” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.”
Jesus made a couple of points: One is that one son said that he would obey the father, but he didn’t. Then the second point, the one that said no but regretted it and repented and went and he did it. Remember the prodigal son?
So Jesus is telling them, “You want to know where I go this authority? I got it by doing the will of the Father!” Even as a believer, we can have a “ring of authority” and walk in pride and have no authority at all! We can also belive a lie from the enemy and lose our authority and we can also walk in rebellion and disobedience and lose that authority.
So with humility, faith, and obedience we can walk in authority to cast out and cast down the enemy.