AUTHORIZATIONS OF SPIRITUAL POWERBack to Alphabetical Index | Back to Chapter Index
In order to understand how to use an authorization of spiritual power it helps to understand the following things:
1. God the Father is the source of all physical or spiritual power and energy and he has all authority and control over it.
2. The holy spirit is not a person, it is something that consists of energy and power through which God the Father creates, energizes, sustains, and influences all that exists.
3. Spirit-power is neither good nor evil in and of itself; it is raw energy that can be made to perform in many ways to create, energize, sustain, influence, and perform any function that the Father has authorized. Spirit-power is similar to knowledge in that it is neither good or evil. Knowledge is an inanimate thing and incapable of any action of its own. It is what an individual does with the knowledge that they possess that results in good or evil. As with knowledge, the end result of using the Father's spirit-power is determined by the user and not by the spirit-power.
People tend to categorize supernatural acts as either spectacular or not so spectacular, but in reality the power of God and how it functions is awesome and beyond human comprehension. Supernatural acts cause things to happen which would not happen in the normal course of events. Supernatural events are the disruption of the physical universe through the use of a source of power from outside our dimension of time and space. This is the power that God the Father and Jesus Christ authorize the elect of God to use as they seek to accomplish the goals that have been set for them in this lifetime.
There are many examples in both the Old and New Testaments of people and spirit-beings using spirit-power to perform supernatural acts. In order to explain how to access, control, and use the various attributes, qualities, functions, and powers of the holy spirit that are given to the elect of God, it is necessary to review a few examples of how the power of God has been used in the past.
Under the first agreement with national Israel, the Creator God authorized the priesthood to perform certain responsibilities for him in relation to his chosen people and his worship system:
"For the Lord your God has chosen him [Aaron] out of all your tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons forever" (Deut.18:5).
"And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the Lord your God has chosen to minister to him, and to bless in the name of the Lord; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried" (Deut.21:5 KJV). See also 1.Chron.16:2.
Beside being God's representatives, the priests were authorized to use his spirit-power to bless or to curse individuals on his behalf. When a priest used this authorization, the blessing or the curse was accomplished by the power of God. The New Testament records that the same kind of authorization was also given to some of the elders of the early church and will be given to some individuals who will live during the end of the age.
The Prophet Elisha
"And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, now, the site of the city is good, as my lord sees, but the waters are bad; and the ground causes barrenness. And he said, bring a new dish to me, and put salt therein. And they took it to him. And he went out to the source of the waters and threw the salt there, and said so says the Lord, I have given healing to these waters; there shall not be death and sterility there any more. And the waters were healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha that he spoke" (2.Kgs.2:19-22 Para.).
This may not seem to be as spectacular an event as the parting of the Red Sea by Moses or Elisha's resurrection of the Shunammite woman's dead child. However, this is also an authorization of power from God that was used to benefit people by a servant of God. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, the disciples, and the early church, the power of God was used to benefit people through acts of mercy, and it was used to further God's plan for humanity.
"And he [Elisha] went up to Bethel. And as he was going along the highway. And young boys came out from the city and mocked him, and said to him, Go up bald head! Go up bald head! And he turned and saw them, and declared them vile in the name of The Lord. Then two bears came out of the forest and mauled forty-two of the boys" (2.Kg.2:23-24 Para.).
This shows the power of God used to bring the wrath of God upon those who showed disrespect for one of God's servants. The power over life and death has been and will continue to be authorized to some of God's servants in order to show people that they should not have disrespect for the power of God or those who serve him. See 2.Kgs.1:9-14; Acts 5:1-14; Rev.11:4-5.
Authorization to Use Angels
When Jesus was being arrested he indicated that, if he had not wanted to be arrested, he could have asked the Father for more than twelve legions of angels to come to his aid. Roman legions consisted of 6,000 men; therefore, Jesus could have called for more than 72,000 angels to assist him.
The prophet Elisha also had access to a great number of angels to help him in time of need (2.Kgs.6:15-17). Moreover, the elect of God during the gospel age of salvation also have this authority (Heb.1:13-14). Although angelic help must be asked for in some situations, this help is authorized for certain individuals to use when the need arises.
The Fig Tree and the Mountain
"Now in the morning as he returned to the city, he was hungry. And when he saw a fig tree he went over to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, Let no fruit grow on you from this time forward. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw this they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus said to them, Truly, truly I say to you, If you have the faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, remove and be cast into the sea, it shall be done" (Matt.21:18-21 Para.).
This scripture shows that, once a person has an authorization of power, it can be used at one's discretion.
Fire From Heaven
As Jesus traveled toward Jerusalem, he sent people ahead to a Samaritan village to make preparations for his coming. However, the villagers did not want him to pass through their village because they understood that he was on his way to Jerusalem:
"And when James and John heard this they said, Lord, would you have us command fire out of heaven, and consume these people, even as Elijah did?" (Lk.9:54). See 2.Kgs.1:9-14.
These two men had the power to destroy the villagers with fire by using their authority over the physical elements of the universe. These men knew that they had the power to do this thing, but were unsure if it was the will of Jesus to have it done.
These are a few of the many examples of the awesome power that the Father has authorized some people to use in order to accomplish the goals that have been set for them.
HOW TO ACTIVATE AND USE AUTHORIZATIONS OF SPIRITUAL POWER
There are a number of things that one must understand and consider in order to activate and use their delegated authority and power.
1. The name of the Creator God was committed to Israel as a sacred trust. The misuse of the name(s) of God the Father or our Savior is strictly forbidden. Therefore, one should treat the name of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the authority and power that one is given through their authority with the proper respect in order not to be found guilty of blasphemy.
"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain" (Ex.20:7 KJV). See also Deut.5:11.
2. There is a difference between asking the Father for something and using his delegated authority and power through the office and name of Jesus Christ in order to influence, control, or cause an event to happen in the physical or spiritual dimensions of existence. One must realize that to issue a command in the name of Jesus Christ is to access the Father's spirit-power and activate one's authorization to command and control this awesome power.
3. One must be authorized to use the power of the holy spirit. When one has been authorized by Jesus Christ to use a certain attribute, quality, function, or power of the holy spirit, it can be used at one's discretion.
AUTHORIZATIONS OF SPIRITUAL POWER
There are many different attributes, qualities, authorizations, and powers that the Father gives through his holy spirit. Not everyone receives all of these attributes, qualities, authorizations, or powers (1.Cor.12:1-12), but each of the elect of God is given what they need in order to successfully perform their calling and obtain salvation. See Matt.7:7-11; 1.Cor.12:8-10; 13:1-13; Jms.1:5; 2.Pet.1:5-8; 1.Jn.5:14.
Are You Authorized?
It is clear from the scriptures that some of the elect are given specialized gifts and authorizations for the purpose of performing certain functions, responsibilities, and tasks for the benefit of their brothers and sisters in the faith, or to perform the work of the church in proclaiming the Father's good news message. Moreover, if a person has a specialized authorization, such as those of a prophet, evangelist, elder or the discernment of spirits, the ability to heal the sick, cast out evil spirits, or perform other supernatural acts, that person is expected to use these authorizations for their intended purpose. Therefore, if a person has an authorization they must know that they have it in order to use it. But, how does a person know if they have a specialized gift or authorization from the Father and Jesus Christ?
How Do You Know?
Although the scriptures do not reveal exactly how each person is made aware that they have been given a specialized authorization, it is very clear that those who are given these authorizations know that they have them.
Moses was told by the Creator God himself (Ex.3:15-22; 4:1-9); Elisha the prophet was told by Elijah the prophet; Christ told his disciples (Mk.3:14-15; Matt.28:19-20); Christ told Ananis in a vision to tell Paul (Acts 9:10-18); Paul told Timothy (2.Tim.1:6-7). God has also revealed his will to his people through angels, dreams, the holy spirit, visions, and a voice out of the air. Regardless of what method is used to show a person that they have been given special authority or power, the person will know that they have been given this authority and power and will know why it has been given to them.
Other than the examples concerning the use of the holy spirit with prayer and study, there are only a few detailed instructions given concerning how to use spiritual gifts, authorizations, and powers. However, spiritual power is useless without knowing how to use it. Because there are few detailed instructions concerning how to use specialized gifts and authorizations recorded in the Bible, it seems logical that Jesus Christ will make sure that any person who needs knowledge concerning these specialized gifts or authorizations will receive it in order for them to perform their specific function or task.
Much information can be gleaned about spiritual gifts, authorizations and powers, and how to use them from the many examples of their use by God's people in both the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, it behooves anyone who wants to have spiritual gifts and authorizations and to be used by God in a more powerful way to study these examples. See 1.Cor.12-13,14.