Robert Morris - The Ring Of Authority
We're in a series called, "Sons, Not Servants", and we're talking about the Prodigal Son returned, and when he returned, the father gave him three gifts, and those three gifts represent something that the Father gives us when we are sons and daughters, not servants. And so, last week, we talked about the robe. This week, we're gonna talk about the ring. So, Luke 15:22 says, "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand'", and then next week will be, "and shoes on his feet". And so, what I did was I took the robe, the ring, and shoes, and went through Scripture and see to look at what they represent spiritually. And, just showing you a few verses last week that the robe represents righteousness, that He robes us with righteousness. A ring represents authority.
So, this week, the message is called, "The Ring of Authority". God gives us authority, and again, I want to declare and make it clear that it's by grace, through faith God gives us this authority. But, we're gonna talk about can we, even as sons and daughters, not walk in the authority that God gives us? Let me show you a couple of Scriptures to show you how the ring represents authority in Scripture. Genesis 41:42-43, "Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph's hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen, put a gold chain around his neck, and he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, 'Bow the knee'! So he set him over all the land of Egypt". He gave him authority, and the ring represented that.
In Esther 8:8, the king, Ahasuerus, is talking to Mordecai and to Esther, and he says, "Write a decree for the Jews, as you please, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's signet ring; for a letter which is written in the king's name and sealed with the king's signet ring, no one can revoke", why? Because the ring represented authority. So, we have representations even of authority today, but what I want to focus in on in this message is that, that ring of authority that the father gave to the son, okay? But, let me just talk about authority for a moment. Pastor Olen Griffing is one of our apostolic elders. But what some people didn't know was before he was a pastor, he was a Texas State Trooper. And he said, "I could stand in the middle of the highway and hold up one hand and stop an 18-wheeler", why? Because he had a symbol of authority, which was a badge. What he was saying was he had authority, but it wasn't his authority. The whole State of Texas was behind him when he spoke.
Now, I want you to think about that. The Father gives us authority. So when we're rebuking the enemy from our family, it's not our authority, it's His authority, right? Jesus comes on the scene with authority. Look at this, Mark 1:22. "And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes". You need to know something about authority, by the way. All authority is delegated. Romans 13 says, Verse 1, "All authority is from God". So, all authority is delegated, except God's authority. His authority derives from Himself. But, all authority on this earth is delegated. So, it's all delegated.
So, the father in this parable in Luke 15 delegates authority back to the Prodigal Son, but as a son or a daughter, can we not walk in that authority? And how do we walk in that authority, and how do we use that authority? So, I want to share three things with you, all right? Number one is humility. The quickest way you'll lose authority is to walk in pride, because it's not your authority, it's His authority. Jesus showed up with humility. So, Luke 9:1 says, "He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases". Now, many people will say, "Yes, he gave the twelve apostles (disciples, or apostles, we call them) the twelve apostles authority". That's Luke 9, but some people don't realize what happened in Luke 10. In Luke 10:1, "After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also".
Now, let me tell you something about these seventy others. They were baby Christians, but He gives them the same authority that He gives the twelve apostles - the new, baby Christians. And then, they come back. Look at Verse 17. "Then the 70 returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name'". And He said to them, "Wow"! No, he didn't say that. I just think how crazy that is to tell Jesus, "Did You know even demons are subject in Your name"? and Jesus go, like, "Really? You've got to be kidding Me"! No, His actual response was, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven". So, here's what He's saying. "Listen, when Satan crossed My Dad, he was out like that. This doesn't surprise Me that they're going to bow to My name, because I know who I am. I'm My Father's Son. I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven". And then, watch what he says. "And He said to them, 'Behold, I give you the authority'".
Now remember, these are the seventy, and I'm gonna show you again in a minute of how they are baby Christians, they are new believers. I'll show it to you. "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions", that would represent demons, "and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice", watch, "because your names are written in heaven". Told you they were believers. Their names wouldn't be written in heaven if they weren't believers.
And you say, "Well, how do you know they were new believers"? The next verse. "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, 'I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things'", now, we're going to talk about these things, "'from the wise and the prudent'", watch: "'and revealed them to babes'", new Christians, babies. "'Even so, Father, it seemed good in Your sight'". And what was hidden? I just want you to notice. What were they talking about? They were talking about authority over demonic spirits, and here's what He was saying. "Thank You, Lord, that You've revealed this to just baby Christians, but you've hidden it from the people who think they're smart. From the prideful, arrogant people this is hidden, but the ones who are just babies, who will walk in humility, they understand this, that they have authority in My name".
Some of you know when, after I had been saved just a little while, I started traveling with James Robison, who's one of our apostolic elders, and he was doing crusades back then. And I would go in and preach in churches before he would come, and then I would do school assemblies on drugs and alcohol, and thing like that and funny stuff, and then I would invite the kids. I'd meet with the athletes afterwards and I'd invite them to invite the whole school to like a youth night at the crusade, and we'd have churches make pizzas, and then a bunch of young people would come and get saved. So, I did that for a few years for James. So, then during that time, James Robison, he talks about this openly in one of his books and still talks about it, but he started learning about demonic spirits and how we could be in bondage, even though we're Christians, and so he began to preach on that.
When he would preach on it, he would then pray, like a prayer of deliverance. Sometimes when he would pray that prayer of deliverance, like a demonic spirit might manifest, and we had kind of set up where we could take that person to another room and pray more extensively with them, because Satan will try to draw attention to himself. If you remember in Scripture, he would try to do that, and Jesus told him, "Be quiet". You know, you're not going to draw attention to yourself. Okay. So, that happened sometimes. So, one time James was praying and this lady, these demons began to manifest. They took her to another room, and James was still doing the altar ministry time. And, someone came and got me and said, "Hey, there's a lady and she's manifesting demons, and they said, 'Go get Robert Morris, he can handle this'".
Well, I'm walking down there and pride starts welling up in my heart, you know? They've got to bring in the spiritual person now, the one that really understands deliverance, you know? So, I walk into the room. Now, this woman is sitting in a chair and there are men on both sides of her. actually holding her down. When I walk in, this is what I remember. She threw these men off of her, and it's like there was a wall behind them, and they hit that wall and kind of slid down the wall. She turned and looked at me, and a voice came out of her that was not her voice, and looked right at me and said, "I've been waiting for you". All the pride left. I was scared to death, and I didn't know whether to run out of the room or what. I mean, I just stood there, frozen in fear.
And all of a sudden, I heard this little voice say, "Stop it", just like that. And I looked... now remember, she's sitting there; I'm here. Over here in the corner was a little elderly lady that weighed about 97 pounds, and I looked at her and she said, "Stop it". And she starts walking up to this lady, but she's not talking to the lady, she's talking to the spirit. And she said, "You stop it right now. You stop talking, you stop making a scene, and you let this precious woman go in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the Word of God and the blood of the Lamb". And when she got up 'till when she finished, she was about this far from this lady's face, and she put her hand up on her face and she said, "It's okay, sweetie, they're gone", and they were gone, and that woman, they just started hugging. I'm just... And then I went and changed my shorts, and then went... She had authority, 'cause she walked in humility. I had no authority, 'cause I was walking in pride.
So, number one is humility. Here's number two, is faith. Matthew 8:5, "Now when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him". Century, "cent", that means 100. "Cent" is a Roman solder, over 100 men. "The centurion came and said, 'Lord, my servant is lying at home, paralyzed, dreadfully tormented'. And Jesus said to him, 'I will come and heal him'. The centurion answered and said, 'Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed'". Now, I love how words will jump out at you from the Bible, and I want this one to jump out because we're going to come back to it. Watch what he says in Verse 9. "For I also", also, remember the word, "also". "I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go', and he goes; and to another, 'Come', and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this', and he does it. When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and He said to those who followed, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!'"
In other words, not even among my people. This is a Roman. It's not even a Jewish person, and he's got great faith. Why did he have great faith? Because he understood authority. Here's what's amazing. Jesus said, "I'll come and heal your servant". He said, "No, you don't need to, just speak the Word. Because I also am a man under authority and I have those under me". Here's what he's saying. I recognize that You are under authority, therefore you have authority. I also am a man under authority. I also, just like you. Just like You're under authority, Jesus, I'm under authority. So, I have authority because I'm under authority. And he had faith because he understood that. Now, this is what the Lord showed me something about faith this week, never seen it before. Never seen it. I've been preaching almost 40 years now. I know faith is the word, "belief". It's the same word many, many times in Scripture. Many, many times it'll be translated "faith", and the same word will be translated, "belief" somewhere else. "Put your faith in Christ", "Believe in Christ", same thing. Faith is what you believe.
Okay, so this week - I was talking to you about Debbie's here in the service. Some of you might have seen it on social media. So, on Monday, we're in the kitchen and she said to me, you know, "I'm coming up on the fifth day of the flu and the fourth week of shingles", and so, she said, "So, tomorrow, I'm going to be well. Tomorrow I'm gonna be well". So, we're in the kitchen and we had this conversation. I walk out to the garage. About five minutes later, she walks out. She's crying. And as she rounds the car, I can see she has a towel and her hands are bleeding. What happened was she was washing a vase with soap and water, a big flower vase. It fell because of being soapy. She went to grab it. We have a concrete sink. It hit the bottom of the sink. She's trying to grab it. She basically just shoved her fingers into shards of glass.
We're going to the ER for the third time in 30 days. And while I was walking in, I can tell you the thought that rose up in me, "Why am I not being able to cover her? What is it? Is there an open door in my life"? And if you remember, I'd had one word from the Lord. Why all this warfare? The Lord said, "Because we're winning". Okay, so, but I'm saying, "Lord, what's the warfare? What's the open door in my life"? Now, listen to me. Remember, faith is what you believe. It's not what you say, it's what you actually believe. So, the Lord told me, and I had preached a message a few weeks ago, called, "Stop Believing Lies".
He said, "You believed two lies. One is, when all of this started, you started believing this was just normal". I mean, shingles? People get shingles, so this is normal. And then she got a urinary tract infection. This is normal, that ladies get UTI's. This is normal. She got the flu. This is normal. The flu's going around, this is normal. He said, "You started believing it's normal, so that's one lie. The second lie, even though you knew it was warfare, you were believing a lie because you didn't quite understand warfare, son". So, please hear me. This is so good. You've got to hear this. He said, "Yes, it's normal for the enemy to war against My children, but it's not normal for My children to lose. That's not normal".
And He started taking me through the Bible, just a few things. He said, "Yes, the Egyptian army followed the Israelites, but they also drowned. Yes, Daniel got thrown into the lion's den, but I shut the mouths to the lions. Yes, the children of Israel went into the fiery furnace, but they came out and their clothes didn't even smell like smoke. All through Scripture, yes, there's warfare, but we win". The shield of faith, what you believe, quenches every flaming arrow of the enemy - every flaming arrow of the enemy. And so, we called our intercessors. We have seven precious families that pray for us. We called our intercessors. We had them come over to the house Tuesday night. We had Pastor Tim Sheppard come over, and led worship, walked around the house, prayed over Debbie. Then we're having the elders come this Tuesday night.
So, I'm telling you, yes, warfare is normal, but losing is not normal. You can't believe that. Are you hearing me? So, here I'm a pastor, and yet I'm still learning. But, I had believed something, so I had lost my faith because I was believing the wrong thing. So, that's the second is faith, and here's the third, is obedience. This is how you walk in authority. Matthew 21:23. "Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and they said, 'By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority'"? "Who gave You this authority"? "Jesus answered and said to them"...
I just love Jesus. He's just such a cool guy, you know? He said, "I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things". Isn't that cool? Okay, I'll ask you guys a question. If you get Mine right, I'll give you My answer. If you don't, everyone here will know you're an idiot. All right. "'The baptism of John - where was it from? From heaven or from men?' And they reasoned among themselves, saying, 'Well, if we say it's from heaven, He will say to us, "Then why then did you not believe him"? But if we say, "From men", we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.' So they answered Jesus and said, 'We do not know.' And He said to them", "Well, I'm not going to answer you either, then". "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things".
Okay, now here's the thing I want to bring out, is that there's like a paragraph there in the Bible, but that's actually not where the conversation ended, because let me show you the very next part, the first part of the next verse. Look at this, Verse 28. "But what do you think"? "But what do you think"? And then He tells a story. So, okay, so now let's just go back for just a moment. They said, "By what authority do You do these things? Who gave You this authority"? So, He makes a point and then He says to them, "But what do you think"? Where do you think I got this authority? Let me tell you how I got this authority. You follow me?
So, you can't stop there, you've got to keep reading. All right, but watch, Verse 28. "But what do you think? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in my vineyard.' He answered and said, 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went", or repented and went. "And then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go. Which of the two", watch this phrase, "did the will of his father"? "They said to him, 'The first.' Jesus said to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots,'" prostitutes, "'enter the kingdom of God before you.'"
Now, He's making a couple of points. One is He's saying, "You said you would obey the Father, but you didn't. They said they wouldn't, but they are. Because I've come now and they're listening to Me, they're receiving Me. So, they're going to go to heaven before you". Now, remember I love grammar, you know. So, "before you", He's just clarifying His sentence. He's saying they're gonna go to heaven. Prostitutes, they're gonna go to heaven. Why? Because they regretted it and then they started following God. They repented and started following God.
They said, "Where did You get this authority? Who gave You this authority"? Here's what He said. "You know how I got this authority? By doing the will of the Father. I got it from the Father. What do you think? Where do you think I got it? I'll just tell you a story. One guy didn't do what his father said, one guy did. Where do you think I got this authority"? Are you all following me? I'm just telling you that even as a believer - even as a believer, you can have a ring of authority, but you can walk in pride and you have no authority. Or you can believe a lie and you'll lose your authority, or you can walk in disobedience and rebellion and you lose your authority. Are you all following this? Am I making it clear? Okay.
So, my daughter, Elaine (I have three children; Josh, James, and Elaine). My daughter, Elaine, when she was about 16 or 17 years old, began to rebel, but she did it secretly. She came to church, went to Youth, did all of that, but she wanted to see what the world had to offer, and for a little over two years, she lived in rebellion and she lived in sin. You might be saying and showing, and everyone on the outside thinks that you're a good Christian boy or a good Christian girl, but you're not.
Here's the problem. You're opening the door to the enemy in your life. It doesn't matter what your age is. At some point, you begin making your own decisions, even if you don't tell your parents. But if you start making your own decisions and you start choosing to walk away from God, you're going to suffer consequences. Our daughter started getting these cluster migraine headaches. It's where you not only have one migraine in your system, but you have four or five and they cluster together. Steve and Melody would come to the hospital, and we watched our daughter scream in pain, and they couldn't stop that pain, and we didn't know what was going on. But when she repented, no more migraines.
You are a daughter of the Lord. You are a son of God. We are adopted into the family of God, and God has given us authority over the enemy. We don't have to walk in bondage. We can walk in freedom. But it's when we exercise the authority that God's given us, and He's given to us - I want to emphasize this again, as a gift. We are not hired servants. We don't earn the favor of God. We receive it freely. We are sons and daughters of the Most High. We are not servants - even though we serve God - we are sons and daughters of the Most High, by His wonderful grace.