The author reveals the absolute authority of God and the limited authority which He gives to men. Topics in this booklet also include assigned and assumed authority.
The priests and the elders asked Christ who gave Him His authority. He refused to answer them but later told his disciples that all authority was given to Him.
Bill Letkeman shows a difference between the absolute authority of God and the limited authority which He gives to men; also the error of those who claim to have authority which he has not given them. Men, and we all, need to be reminded today to obey only the true authority.
Nebuchadnezzar was probably the most powerful king who ever lived on earth. Daniel tells us that people of all countries and languages were afraid of him. Why? Because Nebuchadnezzar had authority and power. He could kill anyone he didn’t like by giving an order. He could give anyone a better job or a lower job, and nobody could ask him why, Daniel 4.18,19. He did as he pleased.
When Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about an image, Daniel was asked to explain what it meant, Daniel 2.31,32. The head of the image was made of fine gold, the breast and arms were made of silver, the rest of the image was made of brass, iron and clay. God told Daniel that Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold, v. 38. Gold speaks of power and authority. It speaks of a king. Nebuchadnezzar was a king with great power and authority. When the Lord Jesus was born, wise men brought him gifts. The gifts were gold, frankincense and myrrh. The gold shows that He was not just an ordinary baby, but a king. The frankin- cense was a sweet smelling perfume, which reminds us that He always pleased God the Father. His life was as a sweet perfume because He had no sin. The myrrh was a bitter herb, and re- minds us of the suffering Savior when He died on the cross for our sins, Matthew 2.1-11.
Nebuchadnezzar was a proud and powerful king, but he for- got that there was someone who had more authority and more power. Nebuchadnezzar thought that he himself had planned and built the beautiful city of Babylon. He forgot to give God the glory, Daniel 4.30. God soon showed Nebuchadnezzar that his beautiful city could be taken away. God also showed Nebuchad- nezzar that his power, authority, his money and even his wisdom could be taken away from him. God told him that he would live like an animal in the wild, 4.32, and he did. When the Lord gave him back his mind, Nebuchadnezzar praised and honored the King of heaven. He knew that there was a God in heaven who has all power, wisdom and authority to do what He pleases.
Authority means to have the right to make rules, give orders, and expect obedience. There are three kinds of authority that we want to think about in our little study.
1. Absolute authority – no one gave God His authority.
2. Delegated authority – God gave some authority to His creatures.
3. Assumed authority – some creatures try to get more au- thority.
Bill Letkeman, commended worker and former missionary to Colombia and Ecuador, and was the Executive Director of EPI for 26 years. Now "retired" from active duty with EPI, Bill now lends his wisdom and expertise as a member of the EPI Board of Directors.