Derek Prince - You've Been Given Authority
This is an excerpt from: The Headship of Jesus - Part 1
Now let's consider the operation of headship. I want to turn to a passage that I think really says it all in one verse. 1 Corinthians 11:3. Paul says: But I want you to know Almost every time Paul says 'I want you to know' or 'You should not be ignorant,' my observation is most contemporary Christians are ignorant. In other words, the church hasn't changed in that respect. I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman [or the wife] is man [or the husband], and the head of Christ is God.
Now, change the order and go from the top downwards, you have a chain of authority that starts in heaven and ends in the family. God is the head of Jesus Christ, Christ is the head of the husband, the husband is the head of the wife. I believe that is the divine pattern of government. It's government by headship. There are, in the end of the Bible and in the book of Daniel, a number of strange creatures with more than one head. But not one of them is a creature that comes from God. God designs all creatures to have one head. A many headed creature is a monstrosity. There are two ways we can look at this statement. We can look at the relationship between God and Christ, or we can look at the relationship between Christ and the man, or between the man and the wife. But I would like to begin by looking at the relationship between God and Christ because in that we find the perfect pattern.
God the Father is the head of Christ. What does that mean? According to my explanation it means that the Father receives input from the Son. The Father makes the decisions, the Father initiates the actions and the Father gives ongoing direction. I believe if you look at the picture of Jesus' ministry, that's exactly how it was. Let's look at two passages in John's gospel. John 5:19-20 to start with. Remember, we're looking at this as a pattern of what it means to be under headship because Jesus was under the headship of the Father.
Jesus says in John 5:19: Most assuredly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do, for whatever he [the Father] does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all things that he himself does: and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel. Notice the Son initiates nothing. He does nothing of Himself. He only does what the Father initiates. And He follows the pattern that the Father has set. I invite you to study the ministry of Jesus and I believe you'll find there's not one exception anywhere. Jesus never initiated anything. Always the initiative came from the Father.
You see, this question of initiative is very, very important. Then we look in John 5:30. Jesus is speaking again, He says: I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is righteous, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me. So, again He says I can of myself do nothing. I am not the one that initiates anything. And He said that's not merely true in what I do but it's true in the judgments I make. He says my judgment is righteous, it's reliable, it's accurate because I don't judge anything myself. I only receive the Father's judgment. I have learned the hard way that it's very unwise to make our own judgments.
When I'm confronted with a situation I have to acknowledge that I'm one of those people, I immediately think of about three different ways to handle it. And only by long practice have I learned not to make my own judgments but to wait and hear what God has to say. Believe me, dear brothers and sisters, you'll save yourself a lot of trouble and heartache if you will not jump in and do the first thing you think of but wait to hear the Lord's judgment. What does the Lord say? I'm quick to respond to people in a way.
See, I think people think like I do. I say what I mean. I mean, I don't have a double meaning in anything. So if I say something, I mean it. Well, I've discovered lots of people are not like that. I can't adjust to them. Fortunately, I have a wife who helps me. She says do you think he really meant what he said? You didn't know what was really in his mind.
So, it's disastrous for me to make my own judgments. And it takes humility and patience, doesn't it, to wait for the Lord's judgment. One thing I think I'm learning is I say I take nothing for granted any longer. Nothing. Nothing whatever. It's got to be based on something specific. A Scripture, a revelation, established facts. So, Jesus only judged as the Father revealed it to Him. The Father was His head, you see? And then you go to John 14:10 and you find it really summed up there. Jesus is speaking to His disciples.
John 14:10. Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own authority. But that's not really a good translation. I do not speak of myself. I don't know why in this translation the same phrase is translated differently in different places. Don't let me get you involved in that! The words I speak to you I do not speak of myself, but the Father dwelling in me does His work.
So, who's the source? The Father, that's right. The words that Jesus speaks or spoke the Father gave him. The works He did, it was the Father dwelling in Him that did the work. What's that? That's headship. Perfect headship. That's the pattern that Jesus set. Let me just challenge you with something which is a little beside it, but nevertheless very relevant. If you look in John 20:21, after the resurrection when Jesus appeared for the first time to His disciples in a group, John 20:21, He said to them: Peace to you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you. Put that together with what we've been saying. Jesus said the words that I speak to you, the Father gave them to me.
So, if Jesus sent us as the Father sent him, we should say the words I speak to you, Jesus gave them to me. Jesus said it's the Father dwelling in me that does the works. So we ought to be able to say it's Jesus dwelling in me that does the works. Jesus said: if you've seen me, you've seen the Father. We should be able to say if you've seen me, you've seen Jesus. See that? That again is headship. Once your eyes have opened to this truth, it's really central to the success of the Christian life.