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Whatever happened to civil authority? What is it? When should we honor it? Who has it? Why are police officers frequently driven to use excessive force? Could it be because the law's authority is not being respected? In my generation, we showed more respect. Can America be safe without recognizing the role of authority in society?

Authority is effective only if the jurisdiction behind it uses power to enforce it. The law by itself is weak. Authority requires power. This is true for parents, teachers, evil dictators or good governments. Power backs up authority. Apart from enforcement, it's an all-volunteer universe. Chaos rules and rebels get their way. To put it another way, authority is meaningless without power. What agents of God exercise his power on the earth? I believe God's angels are enforcers. They are holy and sometimes, deadly.

In the natural realm, it seems that order is everywhere in our universe, expressed in matter, space and time. Mathematics is a way to discover order in the world. Beyond the visible world, around us is an invisible realm, occupied by spiritual beings called angels. The Lord put myriads of angels in place to assist his people on the earth. Angels predate human beings. In the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, said, "All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: 'What have you done?'" He came to know first-hand that God uses powerful angels to steer stubborn earthly leaders.

We know from science that this is a well-ordered universe where stars and planets keep their orbits, gravity works non-stop, time advances like clockwork, the sun doesn't flicker out, and electrons circle nuclei at just the right distance. DNA keeps unzipping its spiral ribbon with amazing accuracy. Life goes on. The God of the Bible, the Creator in Genesis, preferred order rather than confusion. God brought forth beauty out of chaos. Why does order exist? God willed it. His word sustains creation so that it remains predictable, orderly, mathematical. Brian Greene, a physicist, described it as "an elegant universe."

Dr. Michio Kaku, renowned theoretical physicist, TV commentator, and author of Physics of the Impossible, recently said that there is proof of God and that humans live in a "world made by rules created by an intelligence." He is not speaking as a Bible believer or a Christian, but as a scientist who has observed the facts and has come to a sensible conclusion. Order testifies to benevolent authority possessing power.

God began preparing an ultimate realm for humanity by revealing his Son. Most believers know some of his plan: repentance toward God, faith in Jesus, birth by the Spirit, turning away from sin, and receiving eternal life. But is that all?

That's all most believers know. If that's the case, we've been robbed of heaven's riches. Most believers suffer from corporate amnesia, a mass loss of identity. The Church is clueless. It's like we can't remember our last name, forgotten our rank or rights. The traditions of men have crept in and reduced our knowledge of our true self as God's elect. People remain untaught, barely knowing enough to be saved. Believers have forgotten (or never learned) who they are in Christ. So, we don't use our authority given us from God so as to overcome. That's why I wrote my book, Engaging Heaven's Army, to describe the work of angels when believers pray in faith.

--RON WOOD IS A WRITER AND MINISTER. CONTACT HIM AT WOOD.STONE.RON@GMAIL.COM OR VISIT WWW.TOUCHEDBYGRACE.ORG. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.

Religion on 11/13/2019

Print Headline: Whatever Happened To Authority? Authority Requires Power

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