Theocracy * God’s Form of Government
Sozo Short Bible Studies – Category #2 – Order & Authority
This Short Study will cover the concept of Theocracy, which is God’s form of Government as expressed through the Body of Christ on earth.
By Pastor G. E. Newmyer
God as the Head: God established a leadership quorum as a method of Theocracy; in God’s form of government God is always the Head.
Three Orders: From the Head we find two branches: “Governments” and “Helps.” Then, on the base of this Godly trinity triangle we find the “Elders,” making up three orders within the government.
- Offices of Government: The offices of “Government” consist of: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.
- Helps: In “Helps” we find “Bishops and Deacons,”
- Elders: Then we see “Elders” appointed from both groups, each of the three areas supporting the other with the central theme of “building the Body of Christ.”
Holy Ghost decision: No man appoints to the Offices of Government; it’s strictly up to the Holy Ghost (Acts 13:1-3). However, leaders do appoint to Helps and Elders.
Acts 13:1-3 – (KJV): “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
God’s form of government: Since the best form of government is God’s, it stands that the first place we will find the functioning order is in heaven. The heavenly order is “shadowed” on the earth in the Body of Christ; it is not shadowed in the Law of Moses. The heavenly order is based strictly on “Blessing,” whereas the Law of Moses is split between cursing and blessing.
Nature of the orders: The heavenly order is spiritual in nature; but the Law of Moses is carnal in nature. The heavenly is centered on Salvation, while the Law of Moses is centered on Judgment. We can’t view the Law of Moses to determine God’s form of government; but Paul tells us that there is a Godly form of government established by God for the Body of Christ (I Cor 12:28).
1 Corinthians 12:28 – (KJV) “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
Theocracy: Simply, “Theocracy is God’s form of government”; this is not a definition, it’s a description. We could stand with the description, yet not know exactly what the term means; thus, we must know the definition.
We have examples of Theocracy, first of course, is Heaven; and if Theocracy is working anywhere, it’s in heaven. Next, there is the earthly ministry of Jesus and then the operation of order in the Book of Acts.
Holy, Holy, Holy: The Tabernacle of the Old Testament was a “type” showing the three-fold order: there was the courtyard, the holy place and the holy of holies. If there is a holy of holies, surely there is more than one type of holy. In the Book of Revelation and in other places we find the phrase, “holy, holy, holy” usually with the phrase, “is the Lord God Almighty.” Not only do we find a shadow of the Trinity in the phrase “holy, holy, holy”, but also in the title, “Lord – God – Almighty.”
Tabernacle: The Tabernacle was a type of Theocracy; the watchers at the gate had their positions of Helps. Those who carried the Tabernacle would also be positioned in Helps. After all, where would Moses be if no one could move the Tabernacle?
The Holy Place: The Holy Place had its form of Theocracy as well. The priests had duties assigned to them; and each was equally important: not all were in charge of the Menorah, not all were in charge of the Shewbread, not all were in charge of the Golden Altar of Incense; but all had something to do.
Orders in Leadership: God chooses, calls, and equips certain people to be leaders or rulers over His people. He delegates and invests in the Offices, certain power and authority to do His will; and as mentioned previously, those in the Offices are commonly known as: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers in the role of Governments, while Bishops and Deacons serve in the role of Helps. Then, Elders assist in the Operations.
Leaders within the orders: There are leaders within the orders; in every group, God places a mantel of leadership upon one leader. This does not exalt him or her above the others, but makes him or her “chief among equals” for the betterment of the Body. For instance, the Bishop is the leader in Helps, but the Elders come from Helps and Governments.
Checks & Balances: The checks and balances are throughout the system. For instance, the prophets judge the other prophets while the Elders “suggest” to leadership. The positions are respected by all, maintained by Godly authority, and supported by the anointing. As for the mantel, it is in the Office; that is, it’s always the Office making the person, not the other way around.
However, there are divisions, First Corinthians 12 begins with a division and being ignorant of the division brings confusion, while being wise removes confusion.
1 Corinthians 12 – (KJV): (1) “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. (2) Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. (3) Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (4) Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (5) And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. (6) And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. (7) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
(9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; (10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: (11) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (12) For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (13) For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (14) For the body is not one member, but many. (15) If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? (16) And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? (17) If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? (18) But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. (19) And if they were all one member, where were the body? (20) But now are they many members, yet but one body. (21) And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. (22) Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: (23) And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. (24) For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. (25) That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. (26) And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. (27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? (30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? (31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”
Living the words “Jesus is Lord”: No one who speaks by the Spirit of Christ can call Jesus accursed; yet no one can call Jesus “Lord” but by the Holy Ghost. This doesn’t mean just mouthing the words, “Jesus is my Lord”; it means living them. Without the New Birth ones religion becomes their lord, or they become the lord over their religion. When Jesus is “Lord,” the “ways of the servant” prove it; and for those who are servants, there are other areas regarding the reward for their servitude.
There are gifts within the Gift of Grace by the Spirit, as we see in I Cor 12:4 KJV: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” To view these we must travel to Romans 12:6-20 KJV: (6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; (7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; (8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. (9) Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (10) Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; (11) Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; (12) Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
(13) Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. (14) Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (15) Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. (16) Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. (17) Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. (18) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (19) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (20) Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Gift of Grace: These “gifts” are the “attributes” of the nature obtained by the Gift of Grace (Charis); meaning the gifts are the “Charisma of Charis.” They are: prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhorting, giving, ruling, and mercy. These are not issues of Government; they are the attributes within each Born Again Believer as kings in the Kingdom. As kings we can say, “Well, no prophecy here,” just as we can say, “Mercy reigns as a prince with me,” thus we “allow or disallow” as we rule; however, we will have to face the King of kings.
Administrations: The next area in Corinthians is administrations or more about the Offices given by the Lord. The Offices are found in Ephesians 4:11-12 as: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. In the Operations (I Cor 12:28) of the Church we find: Apostles, Prophets and Teachers. So did God forget the Evangelist and Pastor? Not at all, it’s about understanding the positions.
- The Apostle… brings commandment and opens up virgin areas, just as the apostles did. “Now wait, they started in Israel; and it’s hardly virgin territory.” It is though, when you are talking about what they were preaching.
- Prophets… give the Body direction; they also deliver doctrine as did Judas Barsabas and Silas in Acts 15:32.
- The Evangelist… seeks converts for established bodies, as did Philip in Acts 8. Philip didn’t begin the First Church of The Eunuch; rather he baptized the Eunuch at the request of the Eunuch.
- The Pastor… is the shepherd over the flock. We tend to label the Pastor as the “preacher,” but there is no office for Preacher. Rather, we are all preachers of the Gospel. The Pastor guides the local flock as they watch over them, mainly in prayer and making sure they are equipped, as Peter points out, or as James demonstrated.
- The Teacher… gives us insight to the Scriptures and Doctrine; they don’t take the place of the Scriptures and they don’t attempt to replace them. They expound on them. These offices are not for all; not all are apostles, yet all have a position in the Body. We all begin as Sheep, thus Jesus made disciples who later became leaders. Jesus as our Shepherd makes Sheep; and then the Sheep become Shepherds (leaders).
Within the Operations of the Father, after the Apostle, Prophet, and Teacher are established, we will find “miracles and gifts of healings” being done by the two-fold operations of Helps and Governments, with the final area of “different tongues along with interpretation” which we see in I Cor 12:28 KJV: “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
This is called “The Operations” or the “manner in which God desires the gathering to operate.” Thus, in the gathering we must have interpretation so all can benefit; but this doesn’t include our private prayer life.
Role of the Holy Ghost & the Holy Spirit: Leaders, even Apostles, are not to appoint to the Offices since only Jesus can give these gifts. The reason we cannot appoint to the Offices is simple; it is a matter of Authority. We have the Spirit, but we are not the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost brought us the Spirit; thus the Spirit in us cannot take the place of the Holy Ghost (leading element of God) which would be “usurping authority,” something the Holy Spirit will not do.
The Manifestation & Operations: It seems like we covered the Spirit (gifts), the Son (offices), and the Father (operations); but wait! Here is something else; in First Corinthians 12:7, we see the “manifestation of the Spirit”: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
“The Manifestation” is the Witness of Jesus exhibited by the New Man for “one on one” situations, as part of the Order of Theocracy. The Operations and the Manifestation have some like areas; but we do see differences. In the Manifestation, it’s gifts of healing; but in the Operations it’s gifts of healings (I Cor 12:9, “To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit.” Then in 1 Cor 12:28 we find, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
Both have “gifts,” but the Manifestation is one for healing, showing a one on one situation; whereas the Operations are “healings” showing the masses.
The Government order is provided for the group; whereas the kingly principle is for the individual. The problem arises when someone has formed rules as a “king” and then attempts to enforce them over the group. For instance, a person may respect one day over another, such as “keeping Sunday”; and for them it’s is a “kingly rule.” Yet, if they make that choice, they need to keep it between themselves and the Lord. They are not to think, by “keeping a particular day,” that they are any more or less than the rest of the Body, neither are they to make it doctrine. The same is true when a person doesn’t keep one day over another; they too are not to supposed to think they are holier than those who do. The Holy Ghost instates Doctrine, and then uses the Prophets to deliver it. Kingly functions are not to be mixed into governmental functions.
More about Helps: “Helps” was first established by the Apostles in Acts 6:3: “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.”: but Jesus had His helps as well, such as what we read in Matt 27:55: “And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him.” The Helps are the Deacons; but the overseer of Helps is known as the Bishop and both are appointed by leadership.
The Offices are different, Paul never sent anyone to appoint Pastors, Evangelists, Prophets, Teachers (in the office) or Apostles since those areas are the Doma (gift) appointed by the Holy Ghost on behalf of Jesus. Leaders only confirm the position, they don’t grant it (Acts 13:1-3).
The so-called qualifications for positions are not elements that one must meet to gain the position, but these qualifications are areas seen from the person’s nature to show that they belong in the position. It’s obvious when reading Timothy or Titus, how certain elements are not seen. If the Commandment is, “Ye must be Born Again,” why don’t we see it? In Acts 6:3 the requirements to obtain the office were, to be “full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.” It wasn’t to be Born Again, although it’s obvious that they had to be, since they were also full of the Holy Ghost.
The Order was established to be over “this business.” (Acts 6:3). What business? “There arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because the widows were neglected in the daily ministration.” (Acts 6:1).
Appointment of Deacons: The appointment came in order to deal with people in the Body regarding matters of the daily ministration. Thus, the appointees had to be Born Again; they also had to have Wisdom as the sign of the Holy Ghost using them to deal with the masses. For what reason and why was this important? It is because these appointees would represent the Body to those who would wander in from the outside; and therefore would usually be the first seen by the public. For instance, if someone would enter the service and find some legalist pounding them half to death with rules, regulations or making fun of them, this would be the impression guests might acquire of the entire Body.
Appointment of Elders: Elders come from both Helps and Governments; and they are also required to have the evidence of God’s Wisdom in their life. They make helpful suggestions; but they don’t dominate the Offices. Peter as an elder, made suggestions to James, who was the Pastor, “And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.” Acts 15:7
James saw the wisdom and accepted it (Acts 15:14); and then the people saw the wisdom of the leaders and accepted the decision, “Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.” (Acts 15:31)
So, Elders are picked by the Governments, as are the Bishops and Deacons. It would be upside down and out of order for a Bishop, Deacon or Elder who was appointed by leadership, to be over leadership, such as Bishops over Pastors.
The first order of our individual Theocracy in Salvation is, “The Spirit bears witness to our Spirit”; then our Spirit guides our souls in the order of authority and leadership. The New Man doesn’t make up his own agenda; he hears and guides us on the path. Our souls are either going to follow the order by submission or interject carnal opinions; the latter is a reverse of the established Order which God has set forth. The soul may presume that it is the leader; but really our soul is “Helps,” while the New Man is “Governments.”
The order for the Body was defined by Paul as: “Christ (Anointing) as the Head,” then the leaders, then the congregation; yet the leader is no more important than the congregation. The leader came from the congregation, not the other way around. Where would the leaders be without the congregation?
The Book of Acts taught us the importance of helps, as well as displaying how order removes disruption and strife (Acts 6:1).
Are there Twenty-Four elders in heaven who represent the leadership roles over the masses? Yes. Do they tell God what to do? Hardly, do they hold meetings? No, elders are not supposed to dictate; they suggest, as examples. The twenty-four Elders in heaven agreed with the Lord, cast their crowns before the throne and worship. They did not tell the Lamb what to do they did not tell the Throne what to do. Therefore, their “ruling” is by example, not manipulation or governmental.
In the order of things in heaven, do we find angels above other angels? Yes. Do all of the heavenly elements center on God or operate for God? Yes. Was the entire effort in the wilderness centered on and working around the holy of holies? Yes. Were all subject to God? Yes. Is the purpose of the Body to promote Jesus? Yes; then each has an order of government coupled with responsibilities, along with the granted authority and power to carry out those responsibilities.
The family of Kohath was assigned to carry the things of the Tabernacle; and among them was Korah the grandson of Kohath. What would happen if the order of Kohath decided they weren’t going to carry the things of the Tabernacle? What would happen if the high priest decided not to enter the holy of holies anymore?
We know what happened when Korah the grandson of Kohath made the decision to have the position of another; thus whether we say. “No I’m not going to” or “I want what you have,” we lack spiritual guidance and awareness of our own position. If we just accept the premise of “being called,” and then allow the anointing of the office to form us, we will save ourselves from some hard times and difficult moments. A square peg attempting to fit the round hole is frustration in the making.
The Holy Ghost will operate in the areas where Theocracy is in order, whether in the gatherings or with the masses. If our worship service is in order, but nothing else is, the Holy Ghost will operate during worship, but nowhere else. If our worship and pulpit are the only areas in order, then the Holy Ghost will operate in those areas. A pastor can call out, “The anointing is here today,” and the guy in the first row might say, “I don’t feel a thing,”; in this case, the Pulpit is in order but the pew is not. If the teacher says, “The Holy Ghost is here today,” where was the Holy Ghost before? Why is it such a surprise?
Order & the Unction: The Order can be momentary in that, on a week prior, there was no order, but today there is; thus the Unction works where there is order. We have to seize the moment; but it begins by having and maintaining Order in government.
Revival: Revival is not the same as Evangelism; Revival by the word’s nature means to Re-Live again or to restore. Most Revivals begin by bringing order back to the local Body. In the Book of Revelation we find Jesus making suggestive corrections to several of the seven churches; thus Restoration to gain Order was the call. Revival is the result of the Holy Ghost operating from proper Order; if we are carnal, murmuring, bickering, or inducing strife, what kind of Revival would we produce? At times people are more concerned with their name being spelled right in the bulletin, then being in Godly order.
We pray, beg, yell, and teach, expecting Revival; but it doesn’t happen. So then, we use emotionalism to make it happen; and the results last about as far as the parking lot. Establish Order in government and helps will produce Holy Ghost Revival.
Evangelistic efforts depend on eagerness; do the people want God? The more they want the Truth, the more the Holy Ghost will move. Faith comes by hearing. Thus, one can read verses aloud; and if the people are eager for God, they will hear and faith will come to them. Signs follow the Believer, even if the speaker doesn’t believe (Mark 16:16-18) – “(17) And these signs shall follow them that believe.”
Consequences of being out of order: Congregations remaining Out of order are invaded by natural thinkers or “take over” artists who wear the mask of righteousness, but are looking for a place to gain self-importance. When we allow Balaam, Jezebel, or the doctrines of men into our group, we have opened ourselves up to the “gates of hell.” Reject the God sent-teacher and we leave the door open for the take-over of the wicked. Theocracy in the hands of man is no longer Theocracy but carnal religion. Giving the devil opportunity is not wise; of course there are some bodies so out of order even the devils don’t like to be around them.
Beyond emotional revivals: Order in the things of God involves a willingness to experience God in a Godly manner. We can be eager and yet use carnal methods, but end up none the better. We will have emotional experiences; but they will fade. Emotional revivals seem to be very exciting for the moment, but within hours or days, the impact is gone. Man doesn’t begin revival; rather people are used of God to bring revival.
Understanding Authority & Power: Authority and Power are different; and being out of order doesn’t mean we won’t have Power. We can use Power outside of the confines of the Authority as Korah did or as Judas did; but it doesn’t mean that the actions are holy. Judas had authority to do certain things in certain places; he did not have the authority to betray the Lord. Judas was a member of the Ministry; he had responsibilities and duties. But, he went beyond his authority into an area causing him to lose what little he thought he had.
Stephen ended in a dispute with certain of the synagogue; he preached his one and only recorded sermon and then, he was stoned to death. His last words were, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” (Acts 7:60). His very last act was one of Mercy; he displayed a Christ-nature to those without Christ, becoming an example of a Christian to the public. Did it violate his Helps status? He wasn’t operating in Helps; he was a person with the Holy Ghost in a place, but as a Christian. He “preached” and discipled the masses who were outside of the Family; but they refused to hear, rather they attacked, thereby destroying their hope. They were even in One Accord; so were they in proper Order? No, they had no authority to kill someone for preaching (Acts 7:57) – “Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord.”
Assigned to more than one position: Philip represents a different case. Philip proves that one can be assigned to Helps, yet be assigned an Office as well. Paul held many Offices: Peter was an apostle and elder, as was John, while Philip is another example of a person in Helps, but also holding an office.
Thus, he is the only man in the Bible called an Evangelist. If one wants to know what an Evangelist does, they need to read Acts chapter 8. If we are assigned to Helps, yet feel the Lord calling us to an Office, one doesn’t negate one position for the other, we can operate in both, we can also operate in more than one Office.
Counterfeit of Theocracy: The counterfeit of theocracy is a dictatorship, as strange as it may seem. However, we know that God sits on the Throne and that the angles don’t. Neither do the twenty-four elders. No one “voted” the Father into position; and no one voted Jesus into position. But the Father placed the Son at His own right hand.
A dictatorship is a one-person ruling order without the voice of the people; but it’s carnal, self-based, and motivated by pride, ego, and arrogance and therein, we find the counterfeit. Theocracy is void of any self-importance as it hears the voices of the people. Moses was told that God heard the cries of the children; thus the Bible shows that God does hear. The question however is, “Just because God is talking, does it mean, we hear?” God heard the cries, and then sent Moses as His representative, which was Theocracy in action.
Dictatorships & Cults: A dictatorship would be like one person claiming to be an apostle, prophet, teacher, or spiritual guide, but who refuses to listen to elders, or rejects discipleship. Some call them a Whacko, while others see them as part of cults.
A cult is simply a group who uses God as a means to enhance their self-righteousness or exercise the lust to be superior. The seeds of a cult are found in the heart of pride or as the desire to be special among the special, believing that they are the “only” ones of the Body doing the will of God. They believe that they have something special; sometimes they believe themselves to be or have a secret order. Some think that they have all the holiness or are the only ones who see all the “evils” while presuming that they are so above us all, that they are the Head of the Body. A very dangerous thought process, very dangerous indeed.
Two governmental orders: Theocracy, however, is based on the spiritual wisdom of God, motivated by His love, mercy, and grace (by the Holy Ghost). Two governmental orders can be found in the Body: one of God, the other a counterfeit in the hands of man.
Voting: When the congregation or the leadership votes on any matter, it is no longer Theocracy, but a republic. The only place in Acts where a vote was taken was in Chapter One, before the Holy Ghost came. People who are not Born Again hear nothing but their own opinions; in their religious bodies, they make appointments based on opinion, which is always dangerous.
Being prepared & ready for the job: Timothy was excited; he appointed some to positions who should not have been. But then Paul gave Timothy the qualifications that one should see in those appointed; and if any lacked those areas, those should step down. Timothy was told to “mix the water with the wine”; so, although Mercy is an attribute and requirement, we can still find ourselves making appointments because we want to fill positions which have us ending in big trouble.
Apply Mercy, but also apply Grace (seek the Spirit) for the understanding; and really, the biggest dis-service one can do, is appoint someone to a position which they are not ready for or designed for. Their joy turns to bitterness as they end up struggling in a place that they should not be.
In the Upper Room: When the disciples voted, several things stood out. First of all, the disciples were told to “tarry,” not vote. Second, the Holy Ghost had not yet fallen upon them; thus the Gift (offering spiritual insight with the Spirit) was not yet granted. Third, they were voting on filling a position which only Jesus can fill; and last of all, they were attempting to replace the man, not fill a position.
They prayed and had Scripture; but they were out of order. Later in the Book of Acts we do find Theocracy when the Holy Ghost says, “Separate unto Me,” (Acts 13:1-2) two completely different forms of government. The first was a republic lacking spiritual authority and the last was spiritually motivated within the bounds of heavenly authority, yet both involved “Appointments”. What is the difference? It is that the Holy Ghost, as the essence of God, is the deliverer of the Gift, the Appointer of Offices for the Lord, the Teacher and Guide over the Body.
Building of the Body into the Church: The Holy Spirit is the Spirit which is of God, also known as the New Man or the “Glory in us,” and is delivered by the Holy Ghost. Thus, we only see the title “Holy Spirit” seven times in the entire Bible because it’s a very special title assigned referring to the building of us into the Church.
The system of a “Republic” involves the seeking of confirmation from people, rather than affirmation from God. So, in spite of what went on before the Holy Ghost had fallen on those in the Upper Room, after Pentecost we find the disciples operating in proper Theocracy; we also see how the congregation agreed with the decisions of the Apostles, rather than hinder, rule over them, or vote.
At that point, the Apostles didn’t say, “What do you people think? They told the people the decision, the decisions were wisdom-based; and the people knew it. The people weren’t asked to vote on the decision; but they did accept it.
However, the Book of Acts also shows leadership listening to the congregation; thus it’s a two way street. Proper Theocracy positions the leaders as “servants of all,” yet “given an authority” in the Doma (office gift) to lead; and since the Office is respected, the Congregation listens and submits.
Doma Gift: Grace is a gift; but the Office is also a gift (Greek Doma), not a gift so much for the person in the office, but a gift which makes the leader a leader for the benefit of the saints. The word Doma means “Gift or Present,” but in the context within Ephesians, we find that Jesus “gave” based on the meaning of Doma. Thus, we refer to the Offices as the Doma Gift, rather than the Charis Gift.
The Office is not designed to make the person in the office famous, or rich; but the Office does have specific authority to accomplish the goals of perfecting the saints for the work of the ministry, as well as for the edifying of the Body of Christ (Eph 4:12).
Are the leaders outside the Body? No, they are members of the Body. One reason we read about Stephen is to assure us that the “work of the ministry” isn’t restricted to the Offices; there are Helps as well.
Control vs. Discipleship: Leadership is not a license to control, dominate, or dictate. The “old man” (old nature) and his friends love to control or have the final say in any matter; and the unsaved soul will gather with those of like reasoning. There is a vast difference between Control and Discipleship; control is when the “self” is involved, such as… we want people to do what we want, so we feel better. Discipleship involves bettering the disciple for the work ahead of them, much different
What we do with the opportunity to serve: Jesus “gives” the offices; He doesn’t dominate them. A person in the office is anointed (by the anointing on the Office); but what they do with the Office is like unto the “talents.” They/we must answer in the end. Judas is a prime example, (what Judas did, he did); he had the power to remain at the table and say “No” to the devil or say “No” to God. The power was in his hands and the authority which he had, gave him the right to use the power within the confines of the granted authority; yet he figured that he could also use the power outside of the granted authority.
Could Jesus have broken his leg to stop him? Yes, He could have; but He didn’t. Could Jesus have said, “Judas if you do this thing, you will die.” Yes, He could have, but He didn’t. Why? The power of the office was in the hand of Judas; and the authority was already known to Judas. The man was responsible for his actions; thus it took his position to betray the Lord or obey the Lord. In fact it was the Office’s position which granted him audience before the religious leaders; thus the religious leaders wanted someone close to Jesus, like one of the disciples or an apostle and Judas was the one. He had training, experience, as well as the teachings of Jesus.
What would have happened if after the fact, Judas ran to the Cross and asked Jesus to forgive him? Jesus would have, since the blanket statement was, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Jesus didn’t say, “Father forgive all but Judas, for he knew what he is doing.” But, Judas didn’t run to the Cross; he ran from it. The wording “draw back” in the phrase “draw back to perdition” means they sneak back undercover, attempting to fool or trick everyone into thinking they are Christ-like, when inside, Satan rules.
Judas is also a mark of the difference between “nice” and “good.” No where do we find anyone rebuking Judas because he was liked; and the evidence of this is seen when he said “Why was this waste of the ointment made?” (In reference to the oil being applied to Jesus) while the rest of the disciples murmured against Mary (Mark 14:5 & John 12:4-6). Actually, Judas said this because he wanted his hands on the money; but the disciples response shows how they liked Judas and joined with him.
Many who run the risk of hell do so, because they confuse nice with good and because people “like them,” or because they haven’t really done anything illegal in the eyes of the world’s justice system, they think they are “good.” But, they are not Good, because only God is Good. In order to be Good, one needs to have God.
Jesus went about doing Good; thus He is Good. However, Barnabas was also called a “good man,” because he was full of the Holy Ghost and faith. What made Barnabas good however, was the Holy Ghost, not the personality of Barnabas. Judas may have been “likable,” but his heart was evil. Judas had power over devils, but he simply didn’t want to take authority over himself.
The flaws with “voting”: In the Book of Acts the leadership was seeking ways to “do” things, not to stop them. The second we grant the power to stop anything on a one vote basis, we have given power to the enemy. If all it takes is one vote to stop, then we have allowed a hindering agent to enter in. It’s worse than majority voting; at least with the majority voting, the masses would be heard. Whether we call it, “no rule,” “ruling by the masses,” or simply seeking unity in the masses, if we allow one carnal-minded person a vote to halt any activity the Lord desires, we will have to answer for our own folly. The “power to stop” is the power to hinder; if we allow a “one vote” can stop all activity we are out of order.
If we are in Unity, how can one vote stop everything? Did anyone ever consider the “one vote” may be out of order, with the rest In order? When the power to hinder is given into one hand, is a very dangerous mode of government, just as the power “to do,” in only one hand is very dangerous. In Acts 15 James didn’t say, “Sit down Peter, I say what to do and not do,” neither did Peter say, “I’m an apostle, no pastor tells me what to do”; they looked at the problem, then sought a Holy Ghost solution to help the people.
The Order of the Original Appointments: In First Corinthians 12:28, the placement of the Apostle, Prophet, and Teacher is not by mistake; there is no “one vote rules all,” just as there is no “one vote can stop all.” The Apostle was the first position appointed and for good reason. How can we have local bodies, if no one is sent to establish them? Next comes direction, with doctrine delivered, which is up to the Prophet. Then we see the Teacher, the true check and balance, to determine if the Doctrine is sound; and if so, the others also teach it accordingly. What good is an unteachable teacher? What good is a prophet who refuses to deliver doctrine? These positions each “check and balance” the others:
- The Apostle gives the commandment,
- The Prophet bears witness, then delivers it as Doctrine,
- The Teacher tests it to the Doctrine of Christ, and then teaches it.
With all in order, then the congregation can pray, prophesy, and do many wonderful things, (all “In Order and Decently.”)
Bearing witness: The term “bears witness” becomes very important in the “decision roles” yet; it’s not the only means. When Peter had his vision on the roof, he didn’t run to James and say, “Does it bear witness?” Yet, the Witness came when the men from the house of Cornelius arrived at Peter’s door; therefore, God did confirm the vision to Peter.
We also, can run around seeking to find someone… anyone, who can “bear witness”; but in the process, we could possibly miss the witness standing before us. Ears “that hear,” are coupled with “eyes to see.” Let’s face it, there are times when the term, “bear witness,” ends up as nothing more than running around attempting to get someone to go along with our carnal plan. We might ask someone, “Does it bear witness? And if the answer we get is, “No? You’re not of God,” then does it bear witness?
We ask again, and get, “No, you’re not of God,”… hey does it bear witness? Then when we find someone with whom it does, we say, “Finally, a prophet of God.”
Sound funny? Well, we do the same with our fleeces; we keep changing them until we find something coming close; and then we run off saying, “God has ordained our mission.” Order has limits and rules. If we make a fleece, stick to it; and whatever the outcome, accept it.
When we allow the unsaved soul to run things or become a leader, we’re in trouble and usually operating completely out of order. There is one thing worse than carnal leadership and that is natural leadership. First John gives us a “ruling order”: In heaven we have the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; they are One and bear Record (I Jn 5:7): “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
Since they are “One,” we find that “The Word” doesn’t dictate to the Father or the Father to The Word, or the Holy Ghost to the Father; they are in Unity,” as One,” complete God, all in all: God the purpose, God the mind, God the source, one God all in all.
The Record in Heaven & the Witness on Earth: “A Record” is a listing of events or words recorded. Thus the plan of God is complete, as: the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost; all agree as One to the result and no vote is needed.
On earth we find:
- The Spirit (New Man), birthed by the Holy Ghost as the Word in us
- The Water, which is the Mercy of the Father
- The Blood of Jesus, as the Grace of God
These three, the New Man, the Father’s Mercy, and the Blood Of Jesus agree “in One”, rather than “As One.” (I Jn 5:8): “And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”
What “one” do they agree in? It is within the person who is Born Again; this agreement is a Witness of God, which Witness we have in us (I Jn 5:7-10): (7)”For there are three that testify: (8)the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. (9)If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. (10)The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.”
There was no vote taken, not even on our part; but we asked; and God gave and we received. The soul has no vote in the matter; it either submits or rebels. It is not a Witness, but it can join to the Witness and be saved.
We have some positions in the Body today, which aren’t mentioned in the Bible. We have also moved some positions out of their intended order, into another and then wonder why we lack power.
We can’t elevate positions outside of God’s intended theocracy; it only makes the position an idol. We can’t seek a position based on the importance of the position: pride seeks a position for the glory of the position, not for the service involved. None of the apostles who came to Jesus said, “You know what? I think I’m a prophet!” Even Paul remarked how he “was made an apostle,” but he didn’t seek it. If we are seeking a position, we have to ask why? Is it for our glory or the Lord’s?
Emotionalism: There are times when we’re in the gathering or a meeting and see occasional power displays; but then things go right back to the same old flatness. Then there are the emotional displays often becoming confused for “the anointing.” Emotionalism is not the anointing; it’s the “old man” exercising himself.
Emotionalism and Enthusiasm are different. When our Government is out of order, we will not function as we should. When Helps members are either made slaves or become some ruling order dictating rules to the Offices, we are out of order. When the Authority is out of order, we have put the Yoke back on the Neck of Government.
Titles & Positions: As far as misuse of titles, we took the title of Elder, and then elevated it to “ruling elder”; yet nowhere in the Bible do we find a “Ruling Elder Board.” Elders can come from either Governments or Helps. For instance, John called himself an Elder, yet we know he was an Apostle. Today we see “ruling elders” in many local bodies; and we also see “bishops” teaching and preaching, which is not the position of a bishop. Bishops are overseers regarding Helps; thus they are appointed by leadership.
At times we get locked into some “position of the month club,” wanting whatever is fashionable at the time: apostle this month, prophet the next, bishop, and then around the tree one more time. What about First Timothy 5:17, where it says the elders rule? “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” Ahh, the word “rule” is the Greek Proistemi meaning, “To aid”; thus we must separate Helps, Elders, and Governments or we end with an upside-down ministry.
Realm of Authority: We must also keep these orders in the proper realm of authority. This issue of Authority is so important; Paul saw the failure of proper authority as the very reason the Corinthians had the Spirit, but were not spiritual. Their leadership was so far out of line, they had separated themselves from their Head (Head references Authority). The result was the congregation (wives) had to “remain silent.” If being carnal-minded is death, yet the Corinthians had the Spirit, but were yet carnal, were they not attempting to mix death into the Spirit? Yes. It became the basis of the (via Paul) rebuke, to “either become spiritual, or face the consequences.”
Out of order bodies’ leave their doors wide open for “the False” to enter; then the false in their sneaky fashion, take control. The Greek word Psithuristeas is akin to the Greek word Psuche, which means a “secret slanderer” or “an accuser” who is a backbiter (Rom 1:30): “Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents.”
How is this done? It is done by deception; they use jokes or other means to slander, yet it doesn’t appear on the surface. For instance, they come into the local body, establish themselves and then begin to back-bite the pastor. They gather like-minded people to them; and as the wolves that they are, they set out to divide and steal the sheep.
They also joke about other groups of the body to those who will accept them; but it’s still slander and if we agree with them, we are more the slanderer. A backbiter never confronts anyone to their face; they go about slandering people behind their backs.
The term, “lying in wait to deceive” means one makes plans to deceive, so they can control the conversation or their attack; or they seek to trap others by their deceptive ways. A back-biter sits in board meetings slandering people; but then tells the person, “Hi brother, we sure love you.” They pat us on the back; but they are merely looking for a soft place to insert their dagger of slander.
Perhaps the best example of being out of order is the church of Corinth. The Lessons regarding Corinth require a deeper study; but here, we want to view some of the out of order conditions and how this affected their position.
By now it has been mentioned, that the metaphors “Husband and Wife” stand for the “leaders and congregation”; we also know now, how the Head refers to Authority (I Cor 11:1-16): (1) Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (2) Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. (3) But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (4) Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. (5) But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. (6) For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. (7) For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. (8) For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. (9) Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. (10)For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. (11)Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. (12) For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. (13) Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? (14) Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? (15) But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. (16) But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”
When the leadership inserts a false covering between their Head (Christ) and God (Head of the Body), they shame their head (Christ); they don’t shame themselves, they shame their Head (Christ). The congregation is then in a position where they cannot pray or prophesy; rather they have to learn at home, while remaining silent in the gathering (I Cor 11:2-16). Although the ability to pray and prophesy is based on having the Spirit, the out of order leadership hinders the Holy Spirit by which we are sealed; this alone should bring the incentive to correct those out of order areas.
Does this mean that we can openly rebuke out of order leadership? No, First Corinthians just told us to remain silent; but we do have places of hope, one of which is the Communion Table; and then there is our “prayer closet” at home. Of course the Table and Prayer Closet are not to be used in a manipulative manner; we seek clarity, wisdom, and mercy on our leadership, believing that God is able to bring correction and order. Of course the teaching is restrictive to the gathering; thus the out of order assembly calls for the congregation to remain silent.
Our example of not tossing the leaders out on their ears is found in the ministry of Jesus. Could Jesus have stopped Judas? Yes; but it would have been out of order. Could Jesus have stopped Peter from denying Him? Yes; but it would have been manipulation and completely out of order. Leadership is not to dominate or lord-over the congregation or be motivated by filthy lucre, but to be of a ready mind, easy to be entreated, as an example to the flock, regardless of the size of the flock (I Pet 5:1-4): “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: (2) Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (3) Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. (4) And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
Prophets and Prophecy: Prophets are a part of the Order in the Body; and thank God for prophets in the land. But Prophets, “prophecy in part.” The role of the Prophet is directional (bring direction); in their role they bring expansion of doctrine as did Judas and Silas in Acts 15. The test for what they bring however is whether the change violates the Doctrine of Christ or not. If it does, they are false; and if they lead us in the wrong direction, they are false.
As for any of us with the Spirit, giving a “Word of knowledge or wisdom” means that the Spirit in us manifested; it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are a Prophet.
The chore for the brethren in Acts 15 was to present a set of guidelines which didn’t lead one back to the Law of Moses, but which didn’t lead them back to the world either. The guidelines had to be within the authority of Christ; and in no way, could they cause a separation or false covering between the Head of the leaders and God. Their list complete, prayed over, and agreed to, in reference to the Doctrine of Christ, had to be delivered. The Apostles didn’t deliver it, the Teachers didn’t, but the Prophets did. As just mentioned above, prophecy based in edification, exhortation, and comfort, can come from any member of the Body being used of the Spirit; but the Office of Prophet is much different, it’s guided by the Holy Ghost.
Godly government is not under man’s control; rather it must be under God’s control. If one can’t hear the Holy Ghost, how can they lead? On the same note, does God allow the workers to govern the administration? Why even have leaders, if they are controlled by others? Paul’s warning to Corinth points out this very issue. The husbands (leaders) were out of order, yet it affected the wives (congregation); thus it was better for the congregation to remain silent. The leaders have their position of service, the congregation has their position of service; and neither is granted the power to control the lives of others. Neither have the authority to do as they will and then claim “it’s of God.”
We are the Body of Christ, and subject to the Head of the Body; we must submit one to the other or find ourselves out of order, lacking authority and power.
Handling ungodly authority: What about ungodly authority? Do we run from it? Do we submit to it? Listen to the “New Man” within; he hears from the Holy Ghost. We may be under ungodly authority for a period of time in order to learn “what not to do,” when we become leaders; we may be there to pick up the pieces when it all falls apart or we may be in a place we should not be. Knowledge is awareness; so, we may see something out of order, yet not know what to do about it. We lack wisdom to deal with it; thus in that case it is best that we simply observe, but we do not act.
The Apostle Paul also made it clear; a novice must not teach, going further than Sunday School; it means that they shouldn’t “disciple” others. The warning is not about how the people will be in danger; rather, he shows that the novice being lifted up with pride will fall into the condemnation of the devil. The Novice might have the authority for a position; but they are not trained, nor do they have the experience of power. A prideful novice will jump out of the boat prematurely and begin to make displays of self-importance. They see the anointing work and presume that this is based on their intellect or study; and then they allow pride to take its hold.
Qualifications for Office: Titus was sent to make elders, but he was not sent out to make Teachers, Pastors, or Evangelists. The qualifications in Titus are specific for Elders and Bishops and included the area of the aged women; but no where do we find Titus being given authority to appoint any Governmental office. He was really sent to finish the work, not begin it. How important is this? So great, we find many who are called of Jesus for an Office walking away because someone who didn’t understand these areas, told them they failed to meet the so-called “qualifications.” Woe to the one who hindered a child of God from becoming what God called them to be. The qualifications for the Offices are known to Jesus and surely Judas didn’t fit the “qualifications”; but Jesus ordained him.
On the other hand we have Timothy who had appointed some members who became “carnal nightmares”; thus in his case, the “qualifications” which we find involve “what the Office forms the person into,” rather than seek the qualifications in a person before they enter the position. Instead, we look for them after they have the position, to determine if they fit the position.
Once Timothy had the “qualifications” in hand (after Paul’s counsel), he felt he could weed out those he appointed; but his intent was based in his disappointment. The second letter to Timothy shows how Timothy was attempting to clean up the mess; but he slipped into using the “spirit of fear,” rather than the Spirit of Christ. It would have been far better to “lay-on hands slowly,” and only after viewing the person through the eyes of Mercy and Grace; thus the warning and experience of Timothy shows what happens when we act based on personalities or when we ordain too quickly, placing people in positions in a local body without exercising spiritual awareness.
The Book of “Timothy” offers a great lesson in leadership; first Timothy thought, “I’m out of here”; but then when Paul gave him the qualifications, he began using them as a whip of fear to control. In so doing, he would soon be subject to the same spirit.
Paul instructed Timothy by the Holy Ghost, so he expected Timothy to do the same; but Timothy was fearful to begin with and therefore he wanted to run. But when he was given the upper hand, he was about to use fear as a power to control. Timothy would never have appointed the carnal-minded if he wasn’t fearful of what people might think. Paul’s answer was simple, “Bread and Wine,” get it right in the Authority and then the Power will work accordingly.
Theocracy in the Hands of God: Theocracy like theology or knowledge can be found in two separate veins: first is God’s and next is man’s. When theology became a science it loses its ability to gain the clarity of God’s desire for the moment. They had God’s desire for yesterday, but they didn’t know God’s desire was for Now, causing them to reject the Proceeding Word. The very early schools of theology, such as Origen, Lucian, and Nestorian placed their efforts on God himself (thus the term theology). Much later, the stress fell to the mind of man without clarity from God. Theocracy in the hands of God is perfect in all its ways; in the hands of carnal man its imperfect in all its ways. However, the truth remains; this is “The Day,” and repentance can always bring us back to a place to “hear, do and understand.”
The basic description of Theocracy is “God’s form of Government”; however, there is much more to the definition than the description. Theocracy without the Holy Ghost cannot be in accordance with God’s rule. Paul give us three areas as foundation to Theocracy: first, the Gifts of the Spirit, next, the Administrations of the Lord, and then the Operations of God, all being watched over by the Holy Ghost giving us Order (I Cor 12:28): “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
The Government rests on the Shoulder of the Body; but if the foundation isn’t “The Rock,” we end with a type of “soulish democracy” formed after the world. Each Theocratic order has gifts to fit the order; and each position within the order, has authorities fitting the position. In the Offices, the person is not anointed, but the Office is; but for those who are Born Again, the anointing is within. Thus, Paul divided the “Theocratic Order” from the “Manifestation of the Spirit.”
The Body also has an anointing over it, which anointing covers anyone in the Body until the Rapture. Then the “Anointing unto Salvation” ends on the earth, as the “anointing unto Judgment begins.”
There are those who are in this for power, social prestige, the feeling of importance or they love the feeling they get from thinking that they are morally or intellectually above us all. They love the Lord, but they love the pleasures of “the self” even more. They are “self-run, self-willed,” and rebel the moment responsibility is applied. They are still using the “old man,” like Balaam or Korah, they are “a people of authority,” but “refuse to submit to authority.” They are masters at using emotions to get the response they desire, such as “they cry on cue,” they “shout at the darkness.” In short, they are actors; they are not preachers.
Handling Authority: Korah had authority in his called position; but he assumed that his authority gave him the right to attack, control, and dominate over other positions within the grouping. He used the power of his position outside the granted authority; in the New Testament he is used as a “type and shadow” of “one who seeks the position of another without the authority for the position.” It’s the same as the “self-driven person,” who seeks an Office, but lacks the ability or calling for the Office.
Some in positions think that since they have a position, they can attack others in position; but not so. It’s still a failure; all must remain within the confines of their authority. It doesn’t mean we can’t rebuke when the Lord leads; but it means, we don’t have a license to attack or usurp authority. A disciple never has the authority to rebuke the master; but the master never has the authority to abuse the disciple.
Using the Right Authority: Korah is a perfect example of “God knows”; God knew what Korah would do before Korah knew he would do it. But God allowed Korah to make his own decision in the matter. Just because “God Knows” doesn’t give man a right to attack, slander, or fall into iniquity. Some use the excuse “oh well God knows”; but God knew what Judas would do and yet allowed Judas to do it. God knew what Balaam would do and what the devil would do as well as what Adam would do; but so what? They all paid for their iniquity. Ignoring the deeds of the “old man” when they surface, is a failure to walk in the authority granted us to reach Salvation. The Cross is a mass barrier; the devil, the works of the devil, the darkness, the old man, the wiles of the old man, sin, even the old nature lost their power and ability the second we accepted the Cross of Jesus. The problem is, that some of us don’t believe it and “what a person believes, so are they.” Using the authority of the old man in any degree is still using the authority of darkness. Not wise at all.
Authority is Theocracy’s badge; and misused authority is an attempt to overthrow the Government which God has established. The Authority in the Name of Jesus produces Acts while being in the Name produces the Ways. However, the Name (Authority) of Jesus works for those in the Body, regardless of where they stand with Jesus. This conclusion is based on the disciples before the Cross, who used the Name (Authority) of Jesus with effectiveness; yet among them was Judas (Luke 10:17-20).
Was Paul an Apostle? Yes; but he was also a teacher and prophet, yet he submitted himself to James, the Pastor in Jerusalem. Was Peter an Apostle? Yes; but he still had to answer for eating with the Gentiles after the conversion of Cornelius (Acts 11:1-4). Did Peter say “Wait! I’m an Apostle, so I don’t answer to you.”? No; he gave a detailed account of the event (Acts 11:4-18).
A Pastor attempting to enforce his authority will push it into the soulish realm, ending up with fighting everyone, including himself and God. A Prophet attempting to be a Teacher is out of order; thus when a Prophet teaches on a prophecy which they gave, they usually miss the point of the prophecy.
A prophet is merely the voice used by God; the prophet didn’t come up with the prophecy. Thus, it takes the Holy Ghost to bring the intent and meaning of the prophecy. Personal prophecy or speaking in unknown tongues is by the Spirit in us; thus it takes the Spirit to interpret. However, in the Offices we find that the Holy Ghost appoints; thus, the Holy Ghost brings the interpretation regarding the prophesies of the Prophet in the Office.
Used by the Power & Authority: When anyone in a calling allows the Authority to operate, then the power of the Gift will manifest. In the world, one must use the power and authority; but in the Kingdom one is used by the power and authority.
Therefore, submission is a key element; we are the tools used by the Authority of the office, it’s not the other way around. Submission within the gift stops debates, power struggles, or the carnal fighting from going on behind the scenes. Submission is a powerful weapon; it will halt abuses and defuse aggression.
Power struggles are always soul-based, seeking to bring division. The authority granted us, is for Unity, not division; but when it’s twisted into the self-nature, it will divide. Splits within a local body are based on power struggles on the part of people with their own personal religious agendas or who have an overwhelming lust to control. It doesn’t mean that all involved in the split are self-run; it means that in order for there to be a spilt, there has to be someone who is self-run or who is using authority in an ungodly manner. Someone assumes they should be the Pastor and they hear from a lust; and then form plans of a takeover. They used authority, but in the wrong manner. Leaders are appointed by God, they serve us; but they don’t work for us.
Discipleship is always the foundation for good leadership: The disciples were taught to trust God by watching Jesus as He trusted the Father. They were taught submission by watching Jesus submit; and after Pentecost, they were taught to understand by the Spirit. They were led by the Holy Ghost. Thus, the training continued; it didn’t end on Pentecost. How many of the disciples were cast into jail before Pentecost? Not one was imprisoned; but how about after? How many of the disciples were killed before Pentecost for standing on the Word? True Judas died; but it was self-inflicted. He was hardly standing on the Word. Not one disciple was injured, much less killed before Pentecost; but after? The difference is the Holy Ghost plus the Spirit; it always is. After Pentecost their discipleship became a way of life; Jesus didn’t make leaders, He trained disciples, who became leaders by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Both Paul and Barnabas were apostles (Acts 14:14); after preaching in many cities they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples (Acts 14:22). Before making any of the disciples into Elders they warned them about how a disciple must enter the Kingdom of God by much tribulation. Then the Elders were appointed; thus the Elders were first disciples, it’s not the other way around (Acts 14:22-23). The making of an Elder is not an Office of Governments or Helps; rather it stands as the suggestive arm for leadership.
Grace is the gift, but there are different Greek words for the English word “Gift.” For instance, the Greek “Charis” is translated as, “Gift and Grace.” In respect to the Gift for the Offices, it’s the Greek “Doma.” The Greek word “Dosis” refers to the “act of giving.” “Dorean” is an adverb meaning, “giving without charge.” “Dorea” means, “Giving freely or free gratis,” which places the emphasis on the gift itself. Doreomai means, “To make a gift of something or someone.” Dorema is the thing given by the Doreomai. Doron means, “A gift to express honor.” There are two verbs translated “To Give”; Didomi has a variety of meanings depending on the context; and Doreomai means “To grant,” showing the generosity of the giver.
James 1:17 reads; “Every good gift (dosis) and every perfect gift (dorema) is from above.” Dosis is the act showing the intent of giving, which intent is always benevolent and purposed to do good for others, although it depends on how it’s used to determine if it remains good. When Dosis reaches its intended goal, it becomes Dorema. Dorea involves the very Character of God’s intention; it doesn’t involve all of God’s Character. God intends for all His gifts to do good; it’s man’s handling of the gift which determines if God’s Will in the gift is complete. God is not sorry for giving the Gift or Calling; what we do with it, determines our end.
Charis is perhaps the most well-known Greek word for Gift; but the meaning may not be. Charis demands Rejoicing, Joy, Peace, and Blessing; it’s termed “Grace” and the famed “unmerited favor” definition. But the nature of Grace is a granted Gift from God, Spirit in nature, and based on God’s love for us alone, to bring both He and us Joy and Fellowship in a Spiritual Unity. Grace is the Gift; thus Grace and the New Birth are the same, making “result of Grace,” the Spirit of Christ in us, something none of us deserve. Grace is not only a Gift; it’s a nature by having the New Man.
Union with The Gift: The Holy Ghost initiates, motivates, connects, produces, encourages, and teaches through the Gift, as the gift activates unto its purposed goal; it’s our faith bringing us into union with the Gift to reach the goal. Charisma is Charis with the suffix Ma, showing the action or result based on the action. The Gift is Charis; the activity of Grace is Charisma. Thus there are gifts in Charis to perfect the Gift of Charis. The Doma is a gift given to some to enhance the ability of many; it was used in more places than the Offices, but best describes the Office as a Gift, rather than the person in the office as the gift.
Those within the Office are neither better nor any the less than anyone else in the Body; rather, they have been called to serve so the Saints can be edified, allowing the Saints to build the Body. To assume that the Office is given so one can dominate or control the congregation is foolishness. For whatever reason God has, He picks some for the Office; and it’s not our position or right to question, debate over, or become jealous about it. It’s our duty to know the Gift (Doma) is a call to train those with Charis. The mistake Judas made was thinking that the calling of the office was due to his holiness; and it’s a mistake every leader must beware of.
To assist the Saints: The Office is not Grace; it’s not Salvation. It’s a tool to assist the saints. The Office has an anointing and power on the Office, just as Aaron’s robe had a protective power. When Aaron and Miriam challenged Moses, Miriam broke out with leprosy; but Aaron did not. It wasn’t until the robe was removed from Aaron when the price of his folly was paid. Leadership has a protection; but it is not a sign of the person’s relationship with Jesus, nor a sign of their holiness or righteousness.
When Ezekiel saw the whirlwind, he also saw Theocracy at work (Ezek 1:4). Ezekiel saw four living creatures, all separate, yet all moving straight forward in unity (Ezek 1:9). Each creature was a type and shadow of the Gospel. They had burning coals of fire with the appearance of lamps. The coals represent the prayers of the saints and the lamps, the seven churches (Ezek 1:13). Ezekiel saw one wheel upon the earth and the appearance of wheels, with the appearance of the works as one wheel in the middle of another (Ezek 2:15-16).
The two wheels worked one with the other, yet they were separated, giving us “Helps and Governments.” The wheels of Theocracy spin around the throne of God; and God is always the center, always the goal, and always the force behind perfect Theocracy.
God System & Choice: When Theocracy is in order, there is a protection or hedge around the protected of God. When the servant of the prophet saw the enemy round about, he didn’t run to his own cave for protection, he ran to the one with the anointing (II Kings 6:15-18). The enemy circled the mountains; but God’s chariots of fire were round about the prophet (II Kings 6:17). There is a difference; the chariots of fire circled the prophet not the enemy. When the enemy was subdued, the prophet of God extended Mercy (II Kings 6:21-22). The anointing on the prophet provided protection, but both the prophet and his servant had to remain in the anointing to be protected.
Elisha was a man of God, but only because of the calling and anointing, not because of the man; therefore, the calling and anointing made the man, the man didn’t make the calling or the anointing. There was something in the heart of Elisha causing God to pick him; but the something was only known to God. We tend to say, “I wouldn’t pick that one”; but we’re not the one doing the picking and we’re not God. Thus, we only confirm whom God has already picked. Samuel found it out, that when God picked David, not one person there, including the prophet of God, thought David could ever be a king. God looks on the inside; man looks to the outside and the prophet obeyed the voice of the Lord by confirming God’s choice.
Does God’s system always work? Yes; but we must enter it before it works for us. Does God’s plan always entail blessing? Yes; but we must enter it to obtain the blessing.
Mark was sent to minister unto Paul; did he complete the course? No, (Acts 13:5, 13:9 & 13:13). Mark was later restored after he grew up in the Lord; as he knew, it was better to serve than complain. However, Joshua was the minister to Moses. Did he do his job? Yes; he not only saw the Promised Land, but he became the leader of the people (Joshua 1:1 & 1:6-16).
Mark was in the upper room when he received the Spirit. However, as far as serving, we find Joshua, who was not Born Again, was who completed his course. The Spirit didn’t force Mark to serve; yet Mark grew in the guidance and instruction to become beneficial. The Holy Spirit will not make us obey; the Holy Ghost will not force us into an Office. Paul was open, he said, “Lord what would You have me do?” The Lord responded; and Paul accepted.
Moses was the leader in the wilderness; but he acquired the position by being known as the Servant to God (Ex 14:31) as Joshua was known as the servant of Moses (Ex 33:11). Before Joshua became the leader, he was first a loyal and dedicated servant to the man of God. Joshua knew that the mantel was on Moses, but the way to obtain his own mantel was to serve the one who held one. Joshua didn’t use the mantel of Moses; rather God gave Joshua his own.
There were two dramatic changes in the Body, neither of which took a vote from the masses. Peter going to Cornelius marked a drastic change in the process of the Body, since the door to the Gentile was being opened.
Yet Peter didn’t feel that he had to gain approval from the others regarding what the Lord told him. Prior, no Gentile had received the Spirit and no member of the Body would be caught eating with a Gentile; they were sent to the Jews. However, we must also conclude from the Scriptures that Peter had no idea that the Lord was going to give Cornelius the Spirit. As far as Peter was concerned, he was not to treat what God has cleaned as common (worldly). Peter was just as surprised as anyone else when the Holy Ghost brought the Spirit to Cornelius and his house.
Although Peter didn’t obtain permission from the elders to go to Cornelius, he was questioned regarding the event when he returned. Peter left nothing out; he rehearsed the matter from the very beginning to the very end, which doesn’t mean that he ran the events over in his mind. It means, he left nothing out when he spoke to the elders upon his return (Acts 11:1-4). If Peter was an Apostle, why would he have to answer to anyone? Why did he feel he should rehearse the matter? The Body is not one person over another, as the world terms leadership, but parts working together to obtain the goal.
How can these Elders question the Apostle? “How dare they! Don’t answer them; you’re above all that Peter, you’re the anointed apostle.” However, Peter knew he was a man with authority, but also under authority. He answered the Elders; and when the Elders heard it was God, they were satisfied.
When Paul declared the closing of the door for the Jew and the opening of the door to the Gentile, it changed the course of “gaining entry into the Kingdom,” by removing the Gospel of the circumcision; yet no one wrote letters to Paul or fought it (Acts 28:26-31). Was this a major change? Yes; it was one of the biggest of all time. But did Paul ask Jerusalem for permission? Did he take a vote? No, he was moved by the Holy Ghost; thus casting lots or guessing at what God desires is not theocracy. It’s man’s way of appeasing the soul of man. The letters after the fact show that Paul’s prophecy was accepted; and the “Gospel to the Gentile” became The Gospel of Peace. It in no way means that when some Whacko makes a decision, we have to follow like dumb sheep; rather it shows that the other leaders at the time were also hearing the Holy Ghost.
On the same note, one cannot use “so saith the Lord” to get their own way or to make their own self-based changes. When Paul spoke, it was based on the Holy Ghost, with the circumstances supporting the prophecy. If any other prophet of the Lord would have judged Paul’s words in error, we would have read about it. The prophets still judge the prophets.
Theocracy is a combination of: Submission, Responsibility, and Accountability. But, how does it begin? The position is first “imputed” on a person in the “calling”; but it is not imparted until the training process is complete. Paul preached in small gatherings before he was appointed an Apostle; but the same man said he would not have a Novice to teach. Wow. Wait! Paul was not a novice; he spent nearly his entire life learning the Scriptures; yet, after his conversion, the Spirit brought Life to the verses, producing a man who was not a novice.
The leaders are accountable to the Chief Shepherd (I Pet 5:4). Any leader has two possible methods of operation; they can feed the flock of God taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind, neither being lords of God’s heritage, but examples to the flock (I Pet 5:2-3).
They can also use carnal methods to enforce their authority, taking the oversight by constraint, using their own will, looking for the self-benefit in filthy lucre, not with a ready mind to be accountable, ending as lords over the flock using manipulation to dominate, instead of being an example, they can project a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality. Whichever, the truth remains, they will face the Chief Shepherd to receive the reward of their doings, some the crown of glory, some the sword.
Caring for the leaders: It’s just important to care for our Godly leaders; and when we do, God cares for us (Ph’l 4:6, 4:14 & 4:19). Does the term “Filthy Lucre” mean that the leader should not be paid? Hardly; the term doesn’t mean money alone; thus it’s not Lucre, but Filthy Lucre that becomes the problem. If taking money was a sin, then Paul was up to his neck in sin; thus, it can’t be about money. Rather, “Filthy” means that one doesn’t care where the money comes from or what strings are attached; they don’t care what they have to do to get it. If they have to preach a certain way to get paid, they will; and if they have to say certain things to get paid, they will. If they have to refrain from saying certain things to get paid, they will; thus, they make the lucre filthy.
Paul refused money from Corinth because of the strings attached; but he received from Philippians and other churches. The elder who labors in Word and the Doctrine of Christ is worth double the honor; don’t ever muzzle the ox (I Tim 5:17-18). Only carnal churches refuse to honor their leaders (II Cor 7:1-10 & I Cor 4:8-14). When we preach to get money, we are in this for filthy lucre; when we preach to please the “big givers,” we’re preaching for filthy lucre. When we preach to see people come to the Lord to receive His saving Grace, regardless of the money or personal reward, we are a saint of God.
What about the congregation? Are they responsible? Acts 5:1-5 is an example of theocracy at work, who did Ananias lie to? Was it to the Board, the Apostles, the deacons, or God? (Acts 5:3-4). If Theocracy wasn’t involved, how could he lie to God? He made his vow to the men of God; many of us assume we are making vows to men, when in fact it’s to the position, calling, or gift, not the person we’re speaking to. Always pray before making a vow; we could be binding ourselves to a wreck. This is a simple premise, one overlooked by carnal minds, but considered serious by the spiritual. When the Philippians needed help in areas not financial, they still knew to give of their material things to the man of God, then God would provide their rescue (Ph’l 4:2 & 4:16).
When Paul was in Thessalonica, who took care of him? (Ph’l 4:16 & I Thess 2:9). What type of labor did Paul do in Thessalonica? He preached the Gospel night and day (I Thess 2:9). How could he do it without the help of the Philippians? When Paul was in Corinth he worked as a tent maker, but why? Did he use the money for himself; if so he lied to the Corinthians, when he said “I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.” (II Cor 11:8). Paul worked to make sure his people were cared for; in so doing God cared for him. But what about the carnal church? Paul refused their lucre; they would use their money in some attempt to control Paul. Paul knew better, he would rather suffer before taking their lucre.
Remaining In Order: Theocracy has many titles, topics, and subjects; but the one word causing us hardship or joy, peace or disruption, is the word “Order.” If we are out of order in our family life, prayer life, church life, or calling, we will be out of order with God.
If we allow God to bring Order, we will have order in our family life, prayer life, as well as in all areas concerning God. The Apostles knew something was wrong when the Greeks came to them with complaints; but instead of rejecting the Greeks or the complaints, they made a Godly decision, keeping the Body in proper Order and then miracles began to happen (Acts 6:2-7). It was still in the very early days; thus we can get out of order, but it doesn’t mean it’s all over, rather it means we can be restored to proper order.
There is a reason for us to enter Theocracy and have things in Order. The Dictionary tells us that the word Order means: A row, series, rank, class, or arrangement, something set in place to bring harmony, an established function of authority, a body or society of persons living in function under order, or to arrange a method to regulate and conduct a function. The Greek language has six words relating to Order, all of which are important to Theocracy: There is “Diatasso” meaning “an order of appointment,” such as ordination (Acts 7:44, I Cor 7:17 & Titus 1:5). This places a person in the order; it doesn’t make the order subject to the person. Then Epidiorthoo meaning “To proceed in correcting order”; this Greek word is only used once in Titus 1:5, which reads “for this cause left I you in Crete, for you to set in order the things wanting (left undone)”.
This completes the order; thus if there are parts of the order we have left undone, God will send someone to finish the work or assist us in bringing proper order. Then the Greek Kathexei meaning “A succession of the order,” or “those who follow after in the order established” (Acts 3:24, 11:4 & 18:23). Then Stoicheo meaning, “A line or rank of people with a leader(s), with the remaining members forming the Order,” as a file of soldiers, consisting of those in higher ranks on down to those in the lower ranks (Rom 4:12, Gal 5:25, 6:16 & Acts 21:24). Then “Tagma” means “To arrange in an orderly manner” (I Cor 15:23). There are times when we have all the pieces, but in the wrong order or as some put it, not having our priorities straight; and then God brings Tagma to put things In Order. Last is “Taxis” or the “setting in order,” which refers to adding pieces to complete the Order (I Cor 14:40). All these help us understand why God shakes all that can be shaken. There are times when nothing is shaken off; rather it is shaken into order. We can have G where B belongs, or J where A should be; God will shake them into the proper order to produce the Godly result.
God’s Theocracy is not only for the local church, but for the many facets of our walk as well. It’s not only a subject for the leader, but for all those in the Body. Each letter written (in Scriptures) to a church centers on Order in Theocracy. The spiritual reproofs, correction, edification and encouragement, all focus on Theocracy and proper Order. Paul told the Corinthians “Let all things be done decently and in order” (I Cor 14:40). What order? That would be “Theocracy, God’s Order.”
God has established an order, even in the wilderness. Moses had Aaron and Hur to support him, with Joshua as his minister. Jesus picked three men out of the twelve for special training. The trio of James (not James the Less), John and Peter were the three Jesus took with Him on special assignments. Jesus had the Three, the Twelve, the Seventy, the four thousand, and the five thousand. The Three were taught the Ways of God; the Seventy did the Acts of God. It was the Seventy who came back rejoicing about the ability of the Name of Jesus. The 4,000 received from Jesus, they didn’t make the same mistake as the 5,000.
The 5,000 followed Jesus to gain the bread and fish; thus they didn’t know the Ways or Acts, they just wanted the “goodies.” Applying this to the Body today: The 4,000 and 5,000 show up Sunday morning looking to be ministered to or searching out the goodies; the 70 show up Sunday night, the twelve show up Wednesday night; and the Three show up whenever there is a need. Which group requires the most knowledge on the Ways? The twelve, they love God, they show up to learn the Ways, and the Three are already operating in the Ways and Acts. The 4,000 show up to partake of the Word and benefit; but the 5,000 show up at all the prosperity meetings, the healing meetings, all the praise and worship meetings; but they never show up when the Ways of God are taught. The 5,000 are yet Babes, unable to understand the importance of the Body or the Blood. Therefore, the 70 and 4,000 will minister to the 5,000, while the 3 and 12 minister to the 70 and 4,000.
In light of this Jesus said, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they exercise authority over them are called benefactors, but you shall not be so” (Luke 22:25-26). Clearly this is an Authority issue, not a power issue. When we use our position to gain lordship over the flock or use fear tactics and manipulation to control the flock, we’re using the authority of darkness. The methods of the Gentiles are not the methods of God; a mixed seed is still corruptible (Deut 22:9).
Leadership in the Body can only be held and maintained by those with “servant’s hearts.” He who is Chief among us, let him know how to serve (Luke 22:26). We know how to serve by serving; and discipleship consists of learning how to serve. There must be a Godly way to have a Godly man or woman formed into a leader without us doing the forming, but nonetheless helping. There must be a method wherein man is not the center of the process, but God is. There must be a teaching method for discipleship wherein the teacher is merely a guide, not the source, a method where the person being discipled is face to face with Jesus, without the hand of man in the way. There is; and it’s to be found in the Bible. Did Jesus allow His disciples to make mistakes? Yes; the best example is Peter. Jesus prayed for Peter. But, did Jesus stop Satan from sifting Peter? No; the lesson was far greater for the sake of God. Although Satan did sift Peter, it was Jesus who healed him. There was a purpose, as Jesus said, “When you are converted, strengthen your brethren.” There are times when we tend to be overly protective of those being formed into leaders, we need to pray, know when to speak, and when to allow things to take their course.
Jesus was Servant among them all; He said “Even as the Son of man” thus He didn’t serve as the Gentiles do; He served based on God’s mercy. He never trained by cruelty, force, or manipulation. He was an example, yet it was obvious He had authority, power, and position. Could Jesus use power anyway that He wanted? Yes; He told Peter He had the power to call many angels down. But did He do that? No; there are things within our power, but not beneficial to God or us. Jesus didn’t think on His own things, but on the things of others (Ph’l 2:4). This Mind of Christ must be in us by submitting to the Lord through the Spirit.
Jesus, The Example of Leadership: Jesus humbled Himself and became Obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross (Ph’l 2:8). The Father exalted the Son After the Son humbled Himself (Ph’l 2:8-9). Does this mean the Logos (Word) wasn’t in the beginning?
Hardly; the Logos was In the Form of God; the Logos thought it not robbery to be equal to God. But the Logos took on the flesh of man and became “A Servant” (Ph’l 2:6-7).
Was Jesus still God in the flesh? Yes, but He took on the form of a servant, and maintained it until the purpose was complete. From the highest of all, Jesus “submitted” to become the lowest of all to serve, in order to please the Father; in turn the Father exalted the Son back to the Right Hand side of Majesty.
Jesus emptied Himself of deity to be found in the form of man; He suffered and was tempted as you and I, yet never fell to temptation. One might say, “Well it was Jesus”; however, we also know “Greater is He in me.” When the people attempted to make Jesus king, He walked from them. He won’t allow man to exalt Him. He was only interested in pleasing the Father. If we desire leadership so we can be exalted, we err. In our case we are the lowest form; but with Jesus in us, we are elevated to the right hand side of Majesty.
Whatever pain Jesus suffered, He knew the Father is a Rewarder of them who diligently seek Him. Jesus was looking to the needs of others, whether He worked all day or ministered to thousands, there was always enough left to serve the disciples and minister the more. Jesus did empty Himself of deity, but was Resurrected as Deity (Rom 1:3-4). He is our example; and we offer ourselves a Living Sacrifice, which is the only reasonable (logical) thing we can do. If anyone has a desire to be a leader, they must, without exception, be an emptied servant to be filled with the Holy Ghost and power.
The disciple learns their life is not their own; they are bought with a price. During His earthly ministry, Jesus names those who followed Him as: Disciples (under training) and Apostles (sent ones). He didn’t call them prophets, pastors, teachers or evangelists. Can one be an apostle yet sent to a specific area? Yes. Just after Pentecost, the apostles were sent to the Jews alone; but then the Holy Ghost removed the borders and then they “were sent into all the world” However, some were sent to specific places while others like Paul, were sent to the Gentiles alone. Peter was sent to the circumcised. However, all the apostles were sent to virgin areas, even before the Cross. Can an Apostle be sent to an area with bodies already established? Yes, to bring Commandment; but the Prophet and Teacher will confirm that the Commandment is of God.
Did any of them think their position gave them the right to dominate others? No, did Thomas write back and say, “You know Luke is spending too much time writing about Paul; and there are others out here you know?” No he didn’t; yet the man went to India and preached with the same results as Paul. Thomas, like the others was not concerned with “how many people” knew what he was doing; he was concerned with “how many people came to know Jesus” by what he was doing.
Can a leader still be in training? Yes; before the Cross, the apostles were still apostles, but they were also disciples. Luke 14:25-35 lays out some of the requirements for leadership; one cannot be a leader, unless they are discipled correctly. Any leader must count the cost. Although Grace is a gift, keeping it does cost, just as leadership is a gift, but nonetheless costs us. We count the cost; can we finish the building?
No. God can; but it takes a decision to hate (love less) our father (past life style), mother (religious thinking), wife (world), children (Ishmaels), brethren (thinking more about what God is doing with a brother, than with us); sisters (looking to other servants or handmaidens of the Lord to do our work for us), and even our own life (souls). These requirements determine if we desire to serve or desire to be served.
Home fellowship leaders are no different from other leaders; they need to be trained in the position they have accepted. They must make the same decision to enter God’s will and be crucified with Christ. We must enter the death of Christ, no longer inserting our opinions, self-wills, or self-determinations. Then Jesus will raise us up and bring us into leadership. God is interested in disciples, not self-based controllers. He wants servants not masters. He desires to Birth us into a New Nature, not enhance the old.
Building the Leader & the Ministry: A leader and a ministry must be closely connected; the attitude of the leader will reflect on the ministry. A leader must have a blessing attitude, as they walk in the fullness of Mercy. This is a positive motivation, not a negative de-motivator. There is much said about positive thinkers and negative thinkers, but the thinking alone is not the only factor. The word “Negative” means “expressing denial, refusal to do something, refusing consent,”; it means “one who lacks positive attributes, denoting subtraction, or removing from the total,” all which connect to unbelief and doubt. The word “Positive” means “Confident, fully assured, real, based on experience, not based on opinion, one who proceeds in a set direction,” which denotes “adding to,” rather than “taking away from.’ Positive is not a “yes man” to men, but a “Yes Lord” to Jesus.
Born Again Ministry: Any ministry must die and then be resurrected; but this doesn’t mean that we kill the ministry, nor does it mean we invite some son of perdition in to murder it. It means we allow the Holy Ghost to crucify it. This doesn’t mean that the ministry will cease to exist; it means that the carnal activity will cease to exist. When the death pains come, let them, but don’t enter sorrow, be glad, for the Resurrection into the newness is at hand. The ministry begins like unto the Son of man; and then comes the Spirit and the Resurrection to bring it into a spiritual nature.
When a ministry is Born Again by the Spirit, then the Power of the Resurrection with the Revelation of Eternal Life become an immovable force to survive the boat rocking storms. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those Planted in the House of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God (Ps 92:12-13). Self-righteousness never endures; rather we must be Planted (Engrafted) in the House of the Lord by the Spirit . A brutish (senseless) man knows not, neither does a fool understand this (Ps 92:6). “When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; they shall be destroyed forever (Ps 92:7). But, the Lord is the Most High for evermore, join Him and endure.” (Ps 92:8).
This brings us to Psalm 51, with the question “Why?” Each has to ask, “Why do I want a ministry?”; we also need to ask ourselves, “Why am I in this?” Why did we enter the Body? Why do we want to serve in an Office? If our reasoning is God-based, we can enter Psalm 51:
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. (2) Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (3) For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. (4) Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (5) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (6) Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. ( Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (8) Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. (9) Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. (10) Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (11) Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. (12) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (13) Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. (14) Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. (15) O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. (16) For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. (17) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (18) Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. (19) Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.”
Leadership with the right heart: We want God’s Mercy and Loving-kindness to blot out our transgressions before we can help others with theirs. We need the washing of the Water by the Word to scrub us clean, as the Blood of Jesus removes unrighteousness, as the Spirit guides us into truth. The Water, Blood, and Spirit still bear Witness on earth (Ps 51:1-2 & I Jn 5:7-8). Being open before God is always a key to conducting an honest ministry (Ps 51:3). We fight to remain free of becoming a super-soul or falling into their traps. We must keep in mind, that the ministry is God’s; we’re merely workers and caretakers. The moment we assume “It’s my ministry,” we will demand for God to serve us (Ps 51:4-6). The renewing of the mind is the same as a renewed spirit (attitude); every day is a new day in Jesus (Ps 51:10). The purpose is to “fill the net,” for the day will come when He who now lets, will take the Bride home; thus we pray for God not to take His Holy Spirit from us, but to take us with the Spirit at the Rapture (Ps 51:11). This shows that it’s not God who takes the Spirit from us; rather it’s the self-willed ones who separate themselves from the Spirit. The Joy of the Lord will carry us through the various tests; holding to the Ways of Christ will open the ministry. Attempting to get the Holy Ghost to follow our agenda is foolish; allowing the Holy Ghost to guide us in the agenda of God is wise.
Psalm 51:13 shows the purpose of all this, which is to teach transgressors the Ways of God, that the Acts will come and it’s “The Ways” people need to know. Spiritual conflict is a battle to remain spiritual; we trust in God to deliver us from the Wicked (Ps 51:14). Condemning the Transgressor and showing the Praise of God are different. God isn’t looking for some great self-effort on our part; He is looking for the broken attitude (spirit), a contrite and humble soul, a servant who operates out of love, not hate (Ps 51:17). We pray for God to do Good unto all, rather than justice unto any. After the broken and contrite heart, comes the sacrifice, attempting to give the sacrifice while pride and ego reign produces a carnal leader (Ps 51:19).
The Old Testament tells us that God did establish priests, pastors, and prophets; but they left their callings (Jere 2:8). The priests didn’t look for the Lord; they twisted the Law to fit their “self-gains.” The pastors transgressed and the prophets prophesied by Baal for profit (Jere 2:8). God said He would give pastors (plural) according to His heart, who will feed the people with knowledge and understanding (Jere 3:15 & Ps 51:13).
The verses in Ezekiel 34 are prime examples of how a leader goes astray; the shepherds of Israel did feed themselves; they failed to heal the diseased and sick, failed to heal the broken, neither did they seek those whom the devil had driven away. However, God came in the flesh to become the Great Shepherd (Ezek 34:12-16).
The Greek word “Poimaino” often translated as “Shepherd,” means “To tend” or “take general care” of the flock. It doesn’t mean to Teach; it means “to watch over.” It’s from this word we get Poimen or Pastor. Peter was called to Pastor in the last chapter of John, which added to his position; it didn’t take away from it. Peter was not a Pastor; but he was called to be a Shepherd. Thus a Shepherd makes sure the lambs and sheep have a place where they can receive the Good Word of Life. Peter told us about how a Shepherd leads by example, yet his Pastor was James.
Jesus is both the Bishop and Shepherd of our souls, why both? The Bishop relates to Helps, He is helping us in the process of the saving of our souls; as our Shepherd He is watching over us making sure we have all it takes to win. The Archipoimen (Great Shepherd) is Jesus (I Pet 5:4); yet He has given Some to be Pastors (Shepherd helpers). Jesus is always the Great Shepherd of the sheep (Heb 13:20), but He appointed Pastors to watch over the flock under His leadership.
Ordination: In conclusion we will look at Ordination and how it affects each of us. First of all, as already mentioned, no human has the right to place people into the Doma Offices; they merely confirm the obvious calling which Jesus has given the person. There are several Greek words used for the English word “Ordain,” all of which are important; the Greek “Cheirotoneo” means “Stretching out the hands,” connecting to John 21:18 and the doctrine of the laying on of hands (Heb 6:1-2). In John 21 we find the ordination of Peter, as the confirmation, “But when you shall be old, you shall stretch forth your hands, and another shall grid you” (Jn 21:18). The word “Another” refers to “Another Comforter,” thus, one requirement of ordination in this case is not only to be guided by the Spirit, but to “Allow” the Spirit (New Man) to guide and instruct us. Of course they must also have the signs of the Holy Ghost as the ability to deal with the masses in a Godly manner. Without first being Born Again, the rest would be out of order.
The Greek “Ginomai” means “To come into existence,” or “pass from one state to another.” Ordination calls for us to leave the past behind, as we surrender ourselves to Jesus for whatever work He so desires. The Greek “Diatasso” means “to Appoint or Set in order” (Titus 1:5). This area is the one where we do set people as Elders, Bishops, or Deacons. The purpose of Ordination is to set things in order. The Greek “Kathistemi” means “To be set in an office,” relating to the Doma Offices.
Who can remove someone from Office? When Jesus Sets someone in Office, no man can remove them; only Jesus can remove them from office. David couldn’t remove Saul, although David was the appointed and anointed king.
God placed Saul in position; thus God would have to remove him. David understood Authority, the understanding kept him in his position during the tests, even during those most dangerous and hazardous situations. Whomever puts the person in the office is the only one with authority to remove them; thus if man removes us, it was man who put us there. If it’s the case, it’s better to be removed.
The Greek “Kataskeuazo” means “To prepare a vessel or build”; thus ordination is not the finish of the work, but the beginning. The Greek “Krino” means to “Sit in judgment, or to separate, or to judge in one’s own mind.” When faced with the qualifications, we must judge in our own mind, “Do we have sufficient to finish?”; if we look inside and see the Greater He, then we do. If we think we can do this by mind power, or intellect, we will either fail, or become so carnal that the only one who can stand us is Satan.
We must also be open for Jesus to judge us at any time. The Greek “Horizo” means “a Limit or Boundary,” calling for us to know the Limit of the calling and not venture past it. The Greek “Poieo” means “The completed action of God”; this is the goal of ordination. The Greek “Prographo” means “To write openly or make public the notice”; we must make known to the members of the Body any ordination affecting them. The Greek “Proetoimazo” means “To make ready beforehand, or foreordain,” meaning that God has already ordained, man merely confirms. The Greek “Tasso” means “to Place or set in a Certain order, rather than a general order.”
What about Helps? They also fall within the order of ordination, calling for the laying on of hands as Timothy found out. The placement of Helps is very important; in this regard we find one warning concerning ordination, yet it’s the greatest caution of all as it applies to Helps and Government appointments. We know about the problems of Timothy; but his warning was “lay hands suddenly on no man,” it was not “watch out who lays hand on you” (I Tim 5:22). The word “Suddenly” is the Greek “Tacheos” meaning hastily or without due consideration. Simply because it appears that someone may be beneficial to the Body, doesn’t mean they will be.
The Doctrine of the laying on of hands will be covered in the study on the Book of Hebrews; but for here we ask, “What if the one doing the ordination, and the one being ordained are miles apart?” The purpose of “laying on of hands” is presentation; in the cast of ordination, if the one doing the ordination presents the person to the Lord by prayer, as well as to the people by certificate, the obligation is complete. In any case, the one doing the ordaining must have ears to hear, one sign Paul notes is prophesy (I Tim 4:14). Paul recalls his own experience when he and others heard the Holy Ghost say through the prophets, “Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2). It still comes down to spiritual awareness of matters concerning the people of God. We are not to become paranoid, nor refuse to lay hands on anyone because we don’t want to make a mistake, neither are we to sell ordination papers as it they were a magazine. Listen to what the Spirit of God says, and obey. Selah.
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King James Version – KJV: For greater understanding of these commentaries, please use the Authorized Version of the King James Bible for confirming the Scripture passages mentioned. Please see the article, “Why KJV” by Ann M. Wolf for information regarding why we use KJV. Thank you for visiting our Sozo Short Bible Studies area.