The Absolute Authority Given to Jesus
The Father alone is the absolute one with unquestioned authority and due unquestioned loyalty and obedience. He was not given this authority, nor did He have to earn it. He always had it by virtue of the fact that He exists. He is the source of all authority and He alone decides to whom and how much of it He gives.
“The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.”
– Daniel 4:17
As noted above, the Father gave relative authority over various areas of human life to men. But to His son, Christ Jesus, He gave absolute authority over everything in this universe.
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”
– Daniel 7:13-14
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
– Matthew 28:18
“And his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
– Ephesians 1:19-23
Of course, this is with the exception of the Father Himself. In other words, Jesus was not given authority over the Father.
“For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:27
But over every democracy, every theocracy, every form of government or authority, Jesus has absolute authority. He has not given up that authority to men. He remains in that capacity down to this day in spite of whatever theocrats may claim. At best, man has been given a ministry, a commission to spread Jesus’ absolute authority to the ends of the earth. This commission carries with it relative authority to administer and oversee procedural matters. But it does not allow men to establish new rules or teachings that contradict, circumvent or override those of Jesus. And whenever such a conflict does arise, relative subjection requires the subjects to ignore the relative authority on that issue.
For example, Jesus taught:
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”
– Matthew 23:8-9
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
– John 1:12-13
However, when men teach that only 144,000 are brothers and the rest are friends, or that God is the Father only of 144,000 and friend to the rest, they are overstepping and invalidating Jesus’ authority. Such conflicting teachings by men or theocracies should be ignored.
Jesus also taught:
“Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
– John 6:53-54
But when men teach that only 144,000 can eat and drink Jesus’ symbolic flesh and blood, they are overstepping and invalidating Jesus’ authority. Such conflicting teachings of men or theocracies should again be ignored.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
– Matthew 25:31-34, 41
But when men teach that most of those approved by God do not inherit the kingdom, but can live on the earth as a third option, they are overstepping and invalidating Jesus’ authority. Such conflicting teachings of men or theocracies should likewise be ignored.
It is the same with the illustration of the ‘wheat and the weeds.’ (Matthew 13:24-30) If the wheat are the anointed Christians and the weeds are false Christians, who are the ones with the ‘earthly hope?’ Where do they make a showing? Jesus repeatedly illustrated only two destinies – life in heaven or everlasting death. He never presented a third option!
Further, Jesus taught:
“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”
– John 10:9
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
– John 10:14
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
- John 14:6
But when men claim to be ‘the way’ to salvation or ‘the ark of salvation’ such that the only way to get saved is to be in association with them, they are overstepping and invalidating Jesus’ authority and their worship is in vain. (Matthew 15:9)