It may have seemed strange that I would begin this dissertation by setting the table with concepts like "free will" and God's irrevocable gifts (which I did in previous posts). We now endeavor to tie it all together - for I am convinced that one cannot begin to comprehend the malaise of this wicked and fallen world until we fully understand the gift of authority as framed by free will.
In my previous post I detailed how corporate authority of mankind was given over to the enemy of our souls through the foolish disobedience of a single man. Adam had been given an astonishing level of authority that would impact the life of every human being to be born after him. We also established that God's ownership of His creation was NOT a part of that wicked transaction – authority and ownership are not one and the same. This universe and everything that is in it belongs exclusively (and eternally) to our God.
So if God holds ownership firmly in His grasp; why, you might ask, did He permit the enemy to wrangle Adam's authority and turn it against mankind as he has? Why not revoke that authority and start over with another son who might prove to be more faithful with that gift?
Two answers to this question - and the first brings us full-circle to where we began.
a. If Abba were to simply erase the transaction and reset the table, He would be doing something that He never permits, not even for Himself (nor for any reason): He would be violating the first and most dreadful of mankind's gifts - the gift of free will. It is also at this point that we remind ourselves that God’s gifts are always irrevocable. What had been done by God’s children in the garden was done with open eyes and with a clear mind - an inexcusable act of defiance and rebellion. We can suppose all the live-long day that God likely wished that He could perform a reset and permit do-over, but in the end we must admit that such behavior would never do. This would have been a blight on the record of One who is perfect – an act of bald injustice that would have been a great dishonor to the only Being in existence who is truly holy. But you can set your mind at ease on the question of how badly Adam's betrayal hurt Him. Among many other things that we may never know nor understand, it cost Him the cross.
b. We must also remember that starting over with someone else would have meant to instantly damn Adam and Eve to hell without the chance of redemption. No matter what you may think of Adam, he is precious in God's sight to this day. The devil was not going to have him if our Holy Father could help it. He feels the same way about you.
Bear in mind that the devil's authority in this world is found in the hearts and minds of individuals who give their personal authority to him freely (as Adam did). Understand, then, that the enemy works tirelessly to leverage that authority throughout the spectrum of mankind. In order to track what is otherwise a highly complex pyramid scheme, let us consider the matter of worldly authority thus:
God's authority within His creation is that of an absolute monarch. He is God, and His Holy Son Jesus Christ is the King of Kings with all power, dominion, and authority. As is found with any great King, however, Yeshua rules by way of delegated authority among men – whether they know Him personally, or not. Most individuals to whom authority is given receives the gift by an act of other men's free will, and even at God's direction if the nation in question is receiving word from Him on the matter. If the one who has been granted said authority is a decent sort, he or she will bless those who have sworn to serve them, and God holds every citizen to their covenant of service as though rendered to Himself (as the peak of that authority structure).
If, however, a leader has chosen to grant his/her personal authority to the evil one, great wickedness and sorrow will consume that nation by way of the devil’s vicarious authority in their leader's heart. Even though the laws may be wicked and good people suffer, an act of corporate free will has granted this authority and God will honor that choice until He is forced to act. Judgment will come in the course of time (it always does and in varying ways), but free will cannot be touched – not even the free will to hurt one another. This authority structure permeates every facet of our existence, no matter what the country is and no matter how the government is formed. Good or evil, from King to dog catcher, authority works among us with empirical consistency. When handed down from generation to generation, one can see how whole nations can suffer for centuries unabated if evil authority is permitted to persist at their head.
2. The Family
If you can visualize a great tree whose trunk represents God’s authority, the branch representing families would be 2nd only to Nations because its impact is less obvious. Taken on the whole, however, the family unit has an accumulative affect second to nothing in creation – permeating far more than just the household in question. Every generation reared among us will produce either good or bad people based in large part on the impact of this authority in their lives. It is a critical chain of command that finds its origins in creation.
The man has been given authority over his household as a microcosm of our Heavenly Father’s authority over mankind. It is a sacred trust that is given him, and every father will one day answer to The Father of all things concerning how wise or unwise – how true or unfaithful, that man was in the charge. And just as The Lord God does not thwart the free will of man in a National setting (except in dire circumstances or in times of great judgment), so also is a father free to be as good or as bad as he wishes while presiding over his family. A good man or woman (whether they know Yeshua or not) will be a blessing for their family that will mark generations of healthy individuals who are (by extension) a blessing to society. That good boy or girl emerging from a healthy environment (if ruled by a fair-minded or loving person) is far more likely to extend that grace to the next generation when they also become parents. And so it goes…
But this is critical for understanding: Just as evil leaders are free to hurt citizens at the terrible cost of their own souls, so also can an evil parent have a devastating impact on the lives their little ones. We have each marveled over the many horror stories that have emerged from households all over the world – perhaps wondering where God was to stop wicked parents from abusing their innocents in ways too terrible to mention here. Alas, free will coupled with family authority has granted these twisted individuals their chance to render this dreadful damage. Thankfully, we Americans have laws in place that give a higher authority the power to intervene on the behalf of the innocents among us. But this is not the case in many countries.
Therefore a parent who may be little more than a monster heaps abuse upon his or her little ones until they succeed in creating more “monsters” for the next generation – and then for the next. This is the great and tragic impact of familial authority. A mom or dad holds daily within their hands the ability to either uplift or crush the human souls of those who have been entrusted to them by an ever-watchful Heavenly Father. Woe to those who do evil to the little ones in their charge. Yeshua was not exaggerating when He said it would be better for them to have a millstone tied about their neck – and then to be flung into the sea.
A healthy household, therefore, will feature a strong man who loves his family, following the Biblical example to love his wife as Christ loves the Church (selflessly and with boundless passion). And though it is exceedingly unpopular to assert it these days, the Bible is also clear (from Genesis through Revelation) that a good wife will submit to her husband’s authority in the home, provided that trust is not abused. When a household is a reasonable microcosm of God’s authority over creation, children grow up with a fair chance to become all that He desires for them. Of course, good and bad people emerge from good and bad homes (no paradigm is perfect in this fallen world), but we must always do our best to imitate our Holy Father when ruling over and raising our precious little ones. When husbands and wives work together as a team, children take note – and then desire the same for their own when the time comes.
Sadly, we live in a world where much of the previous paragraph may prove to be little more than gibberish. So many homes are broken – so many men and women are pitiful examples of God’s goodness in the lives of their children. So many children are destroyed before they have a chance to grasp the meaning of good and evil, by men and women whose focus is inward and self-serving. Yeshua is the Great Physician, however – and He can heal any heart that turns to Him in earnest.
Thus we draw to a close, having only scratched the proverbial surface. In truth, it was not my intention to cover such a momentous subject in its entirety – I’m not nearly deluded enough to suggest such a thing. Rather, the point of his exercise was to ignite a sufficient degree of curiosity so that you might research the matter further on your own. Authority is a deep and wondrous thing that impacts every part of our lives, down to the man or woman who wears a badge and stands among cars directing them as he/she see fit. We do not obey the officer only because he/she may be a threat, but because the badge they wear conveys an authority that we dread. Through that badge, they can (and will) punish those who disobey – and they have every right to do so.
This is authority. It is weighted with the power of free will – and it comes to us from God alone. Guard your authority jealously, Beloved – the enemy of your soul desires it for his own.
Your brother and servant in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Mark Scott Grimmett GoldenLight Ministries www.YeshuasArmy.com