The Higher Liberty
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The Higher Liberty
by Gregory HHC, d
Minister of His Holy Church
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The word εξουσία appears at least 93 times in the New Testament. It can be correctly translation "authority" or "power" or even "strength" but of course the question must be asked as to the meaning of the word power since it may have numerous definitions in the dictionary today.
It is also translated "right" twice, "liberty" once, and even "jurisdiction".
In every case where it is translated "authority" or "power," it is referencing either general authority, of the authority that someone has to make choices for themselves or others.
This might lead some to think that the word exousia [εξουσία] almost always refers to governments.
Modern Christians are commonly taught that:
"In Romans 13:1, the word is used in the plural and means “authorities” and refers to the civil governmental authorities in Rome who were delegated authority and power by God as His servants to govern the affairs of men and to exercise justice against law breakers. The word speaks of the power or right to govern and to exercise authority over the citizens of the Roman Empire." 2013 William E. Wenstrom, Jr. Bible Minis.
But governments are not established by God but by men. God does establish the means by which men may establish governments for themselves and gives a great many warnings, guidelines and laws about what to do and not do concering that process.
A great truth concerning civil governmental authorities is that it is only established by the Consent of the governed.
That is why there are so many warnings in the Bible about not consenting.
Proverbs 1:10 "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not."
That consent is often established by applications for protection from harm or want and often validated or sealed by swearing oaths, signing under penalties or going into debt.
Considering the Biblical prohibitions concerning coveting, debt and swearing oaths christian should seldom be found consenting or granting more power to governments, especially the power to take from their neighbor.
They would also not desire their neighbor to provide any benefits to them as the result of force or intimidation, The only benefits of society that they would desire to enjoy would be those freely given by faith, hope and charity and the perfect law of liberty. The would desire to enjoy their own natural right to choose, to govern themselves as free souls under God.
The phrase Consent of the governed "refers to the idea that a government's legitimacy and moral right to use state power is only justified and legal when derived from the people or society over which that political power is exercised." This theory opposes the automatic divine right of kings and was invoked by early Americans in the Declaration of Independence due to the usurpations of the King.
Even Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government". That will is only collective, rather than individual, when the people bind themselves by means of Natural law and legal systems.
But the following study in Appendix 1 of the book The Higher liberty shows that the word εξουσία is speaking of Jesus and His power 51 times, Revelation 14, Right 12, Adversarial jus. 4, Conflicting jus 11 times.
So, considering that the Pharisees rejected Christ by saying they had "no king but Caesar" and the Apostles were saying that "there is another King one Jesus" yet prohibited his ministers to exercise authority one over the other we should come to one conclusion. Jesus preached a government of the people, for the people and by the people who would love one another rather than rule over one another. His ministers were to teach and facilitate that way so that the people would not be entangled again in the yoke of bondage and instead govern themselves as free souls under God.
Jesus preached and appointed a government that does not feed on the people who will love one another. It is our natura right to seek the government and its righteousness.
Appendix 1. Exousia
First, in Matthew 7:29 the scripture is speaking about Jesus, the King of Judea and Messiah who appointed a Kingdom to His Ambassadors1 as he said he was going to do.2 [Jesus 1] “For he taught them as one having authority [εξουσία], and not as the scribes.”
In Matthew 8:9 [see also Luke 7:8] there is clearly talk about authority over others, but it is also clear that the officers have authority or the “right to choose” over the actions of their men because the soldiers have singed up for a term of service. [excousia is used twice as the Governments of men ] “For I am a man under authority [εξουσία], having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.”
In Matthew 9:6 the right to choose to forgive sins is back in the hands of the son of man, Jesus: [Jesus 2] “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power [εξουσία] on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.”
Matthew 9:8 Is also talking about Jesus. [Jesus 3] “But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power [εξουσία] unto men.”
Matthew 10:1 Is also talking about Jesus giving power to His apostles; [Jesus 4] “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power [εξουσία] against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”
Matthew 21:23 [see Mark 11:28, Luke 20:2] Is also talking about Jesus having authority to rule and choose: [Jesus 5,6,7, 8, 9,10] “And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority [εξουσία] doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority [εξουσία]?”
Matthew 21:24 [see also Mark 11:29, Luke 20:8] Is also talking about Jesus:[Jesus 11, 12, 13 ] “And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority [εξουσία] I do these things.”
Matthew 21:27 [see also Mark 11:33] was the answer given because they would not tell by what authority John Baptized: [Jesus 14, 15]“And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority [εξουσία] I do these things.”
Remember “Herod’s scheme of initiation into a new form of Judaism ... at baptism”3 into the Kingdom of heaven. Herod’s Kingdom was decidedly different than that of John and Jesus.4 Jesus took it away.
Matthew 28:18 is again talking about “all power” having been given to Jesus, so that when he appointed a Kingdom it was a government: [Jesus 16] “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power [εξουσία] is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
Mark 1:22 Is talking about Jesus’ power and authority: [Jesus 17] “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority [εξουσία], and not as the scribes.”
Mark 1:27 references Jesus’ power to choose:[Jesus 18] “And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority [εξουσία] commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.”
Mark 2:10 Is talking about Jesus’ power to choose to forgive: [Jesus 19] “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power [εξουσία] on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)”
Mark 3:15 Is also talking about Jesus’ power and authority to choose to heal:[Jesus 20] “And to have power [εξουσία] to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:”
Mark 6:7 is using the word to describe power and right granted by Jesus to his people: [Jesus 21] “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over [εξουσία] unclean spirits;”
Mark 13:34 is talking about the Son of man giving the right and authority to choose to his servants just as God gave us dominion over the earth to dress it and keep it: [Jesus 22]
“For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority [εξουσία] to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.”
Luke 4:6 is talking about the authority and right to direct the governments of the world. This verse is talking about governments over men controlled by the adversary of Christ who will let Christ be in charge of those governments if he will bow down to that adversary of the ways of God. [Adversary’s power over governments 1]“And the devil said unto him, All this power [εξουσία] will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.”
Luke 4:32 is talking about the words of Jesus in Capernaum, a city of Galilee, having the right to speak with authority: [Jesus 23] “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power [εξουσία].”
Luke 4:36 continues to show Jesus’ authority was in truth and in spirit: [Jesus 24] “And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority [εξουσία] and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
Luke 5:24 is talking about Jesus having the right to forgive sins: [Jesus 25] “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power [εξουσία] upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,)I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.”
Luke 9:1 shows that Jesus delegated his authority in the spiritual realm effecting the physical realm of the world: [Jesus 26] “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority [εξουσία] over all devils, and to cure diseases.”
Luke 10:19 Again Jesus delegating the right and authority to do something:[Jesus 27] “Behold, I give unto you power [εξουσία] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Luke 12:5 Is speaking about the right to choose who will be cast into hell.[Jesus 28] “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power [εξουσία] to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”
Luke 12:11 is not talking about magistrates and governments but formal assembly, the one who is the principle or leader of that assembly or has the right to decide over you and could be a “judge” if he has jurisdiction.[Conflict of jurisdiction 1] “And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates,5 and powers [εξουσία], take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:”
Luke 19:17 Jesus is talking about those servants of God being given authority or the right to choose over more if they do well over a little. [Jesus 29] “And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority [εξουσία] over ten cities.”
Luke 20:20 Finally they mention the authority of the governor: Eventually Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate who was going to sit in the judgment seat. Pilate did not judge Jesus, choosing to wash his hands of the case, because Jesus’ Kingdom was not of his “world”.[Conflicting jurisdiction 2] “And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority [εξουσία] of the governor.”
Luke 22:53 [Conflicting jurisdiction 3] “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power [εξουσία] of darkness.”
Luke 23:7 Herod eventually sent Jesus back not having true jurisdiction. [Conflicting jurisdiction 4] “And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction [εξουσία], he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.”
John 1:12 Jesus power to empower those who believed in His government. [Jesus 30] “But as many as received him, to them gave he power [εξουσία] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
John 5:27 Jesus’ governmental jurisdiction as king. [Jesus 31] “And hath given him authority [εξουσία] to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.”
John 10:18 Clearly Jesus power of choice. [Jesus 32,33] “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power [εξουσία] to lay it down, and I have power [εξουσία] to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”
John 17:2 Jesus total power [Jesus 34] “As thou hast given him power [εξουσία] over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”
John 19:10 Pilate’s incorrect claim to jurisdiction over Christ. [Conflicting jurisdiction 5, 6] “Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power [εξουσία] to crucify thee, and have power [εξουσία] to release thee?”
John 19:11 Pilate lacked the jurisdiction and liberty to judge Jesus. [Conflicting jurisdiction 7] “Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power [εξουσία] at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.”
Acts 1:7 Jesus recognizing His Father’s right to choose [Jesus 35] “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power [εξουσία].”
Acts 5:4 Individual rights or liberty to choose. [Right 1] “Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power [εξουσία]? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.”
Acts 8:19 Individual rights or liberty to choose. [Right 2] “Saying, Give me also this power [εξουσία], that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 9:14 Unjust right to judge. [Conflicting jurisdiction 8] “And here he hath authority [εξουσία] from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.”
Acts 26:10 Unjust right to judge. [Conflicting jurisdiction 9] “Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority [εξουσία] from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.”
Acts 26:12 Unjust right to judge. [Conflicting jurisdiction 10] “Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority [εξουσία] and commission from the chief priests,”
Acts 26:18 Unjust right to judge. [ Adversarial jurisdiction 1] “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power [εξουσία] of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
Romans 9:21 The right to choose how a thing is done. [Right 3] “Hath not the potter power [εξουσία] over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”
Romans 13:1 You have the power to choose what Paul meant. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers [εξουσία]. For there is no power [εξουσία] but of God: the powers [εξουσία] that be are ordained of God.”
Romans 13:2 You have the power to choose what Paul meant. “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power [εξουσία], resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
Romans 13:3 You have the power to choose what Paul meant. “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power [εξουσία]? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:”
1 Corinthians 7:37 The individual free will to choose. [Right 4] “Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power [εξουσία] over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.”
1 Corinthians 8:9 The individual free will to choose. [Right 5] “But take heed lest by any means this liberty [εξουσία] of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.”
1 Corinthians 9:4 The individual free will to choose. [Right 6] “Have we not power [εξουσία] to eat and to drink?”
1 Corinthians 9:5 The individual free will to choose. [Right 7] “Have we not power [εξουσία] to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?”
1 Corinthians 9:6 The individual free will to choose. [Right 8] “Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power [εξουσία] to forbear working?”
1 Corinthians 9:12 Here we see the right to rule as a government but leaving the right to choose in the hands of the people because to do otherwise would defeat the gospel of the Kingdom brought by Christ. [Jesus 36] [Right 9] “If others be partakers of this power [εξουσία] over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power [εξουσία]; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 9:18 Again this is the power of Christ’s government but exercised under the perfect law of liberty. [Jesus 37] “What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power [εξουσία] in the gospel.”
1 Corinthians 11:10 Clearly talking of individual right. [Right 10] “For this cause ought the woman to have power [εξουσία] on her head because of the angels.”
1 Corinthians 15:24 In verse 23 the text speaks of “every man in his own order” referring to the first fruits of Christ’s Kingdom and in verse 26 he states Christ must reign. [Conflicting jurisdiction 11] “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority [εξουσία] and power.”
2 Corinthians 10:8 The power of choice given by Christ to His ambassadors. [Jesus 38] “For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority [εξουσία], which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:”
2 Corinthians 13:10 The power given by Christ. [Jesus 39] “Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power [εξουσία] which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.”
Ephesians 1:21 Christ’s power above all. [Jesus 40] “Far above all principality, and power [εξουσία], and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:”
Ephesians 2:2 Adversarial power.[ Adversarial jurisdiction 2] “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power [εξουσία] of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”
Ephesians 3:10 Christ’s power above all. [Jesus 41] “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers [εξουσία] in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,”
Ephesians 6:12 Adversarial power.[ Adversarial jurisdiction 3] “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers [εξουσία], against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Colossians 1:13 The choices of darkness. [ Adversarial jurisdiction 4] “Who hath delivered us from the power [εξουσία] of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son:”
Colossians 1:16 All rights are endowed by God but that includes our right to give others power over us. [Right 10] “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers [εξουσία]: all things were created by him, and for him:”
Colossians 2:10 [Jesus 42] “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power [εξουσία]:”
Colossians 2:15-14 tells us of the “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us...” This was done when Christ sealed in His blood the Rome proclamation nailed to the cross that He was the rightful king. [Jesus 43] “And having spoiled principalities and powers [εξουσία], he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
2 Thessalonians 3:9 [Jesus 44] “Not because we have not power [εξουσία], but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.”
Titus 3:1 From our study of Titus there is little reason to believe the text is talking about any thing other than our original endowed right to choose. [Right 11] “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers [εξουσία], to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,”
Hebrews 13:10 Christians did not eat or take benefits from the civil altars of Herod or Rome but neither did those people have a right to take from their free sacrifices. [Right 12] “We have an altar, whereof they have no right [εξουσία] to eat which serve the tabernacle.”
1 Peter 3:22 God’s government. [Jesus 45] “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities [εξουσία] and powers being made subject unto him.”
Jude 1:25 God’s government. [Jesus 46] “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power [εξουσία], both now and ever. Amen.”
Revelation 2:26 God’s government. [Jesus 47] “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power [εξουσία] over the nations:”
Revelation 6:8 Temporary power. [Revelation 1] “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power [εξουσία] was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
Revelation 9:3 Temporary power. [Revelation 2] “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power [εξουσία], as the scorpions of the earth have power [εξουσία].”
Revelation 9:10 Temporary power. [Revelation 3] “And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power [εξουσία] was to hurt men five months.”
Revelation 9:19 Temporary power. [Revelation 4] “For their power [εξουσία] is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.”
Revelation 11:6 Temporary power. [Revelation 5] “These have power [εξουσία] to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power [εξουσία] over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.”
Revelation 12:10 God’s government. [Jesus 48] “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power [εξουσία] of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”
Revelation 13:2 Temporary power. [Revelation 6] “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority [εξουσία].”
Revelation 13:4 Temporary power. [Revelation 7] “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power [εξουσία] unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”
Revelation 13:5 Temporary power. [Revelation 8] “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power [εξουσία] was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”
Revelation 13:7 Temporary power. [Revelation 9] “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power [εξουσία] was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
Revelation 13:12 Temporary power. [Revelation 10] “And he exerciseth all the power [εξουσία] of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”
Revelation 14:18 Temporary power. [Revelation 11] “And another angel came out from the altar, which had power [εξουσία] over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.”
Revelation 16:9 Temporary power. [Revelation 12] “And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power [εξουσία] over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.”
Revelation 17:12 Temporary power. [Revelation 13] “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no Kingdom as yet; but receive power [εξουσία] as kings one hour with the beast.”
Revelation 17:13 Temporary power. [Revelation 14] “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength [εξουσία] unto the beast.”
Revelation 18:1 God’s government. [Jesus 49] “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power [εξουσία]; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”
Revelation 20:6 God’s government. [Jesus 50] “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power [εξουσία], but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
Revelation 22:14 God’s government and the right to the tree of life. [Jesus 51] “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right [εξουσία] to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
[Jesus 51] [Revelation 14] [Right 12] [Adversarial jus. 4] [Conflicting jus 11]
What is it and who does it?
Religion, NN Video Series:9-10 4:27
Return to the Table of Contents, Alphabetical Index or purchase the book The Higher Liberty
Related Articles and Audio:
Romans 13 part 1
ROMANS 13 verse 1 the higher liberty
Does God want us to be subject or to be free?
Romans 13 and I Peter 2,13-14
Is the Bible consistent about setting men free or does it contradict itself?
Romans 13, NN Video Series:7-10 4:32