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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Authority and Submission by K.P. Yohannan

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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Authority and Submission by K.P. Yohannan


This is a subject with incredible, potential problems and difficulties. The Bible teaches very strongly about obeying authorities over us. The entire kingdom of God is meant to function in an orderly manner under God’s plan of authority. But there is an extreme teaching on submission to leaders in authority, wives to husbands, children to parents, and political or religious leaders to others that can be dangerous, unless we balance it with the fact that each individual must know that he is also responsible to God, His law and His Word. The balance must be kept between submission and individual guidance.

Romans 13:1–2 (NIV) says, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.” First Thessalonians 5:12 (NIV) says, “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the LORD and who admonish you.” Clearly God’s plan is that we live in submission to God-given authority. Watchman Nee, in his book Spiritual Authority, specifically states that in Scripture, rebellion, either passive or active, is sin.

Pay attention. Lucifer became a devil. He was not created a devil. In fact, he began as the most amazing, beautiful archangel, the highest of all angels created by God. But he became the devil as a result of rebellion and insubordination. His pride led him to step out from under God’s authority and set himself up as ruler.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2010/12/4 15:15Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
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 Re: Authority and Submission by K.P. Yohannan

First of all, I want to thank brother Greg for this site as it has been a tremendous blessing to my walk. From Ravenhill, Reidhead, Wilkerson, Washer, Poonen and others, the Lord has used much of the preaching and teaching to awaken and revive me in many ways for which I am thankful.

Now regarding the subject at hand, I understand that those who moderate this site and the vast majority of Christians who visit it, have similar views on the topic of church government or leadership and authority in the Church.

What I mean is that it seems that most Christians believe in the top down, hierarchical structure of having one man(the pastor/presbyter/overseer) in absolute authority over a local church, and everyone else under him in submission to his plans for the church.

The vast majority of the gifted preachers promoted on this site hold to this view of church government.

In this hierarchical structure there is a clergy-laity dichotomy. That is, the teaching and belief that there is a caste of certain gifted ministers(the clergy) who are highly distinct and superior to the rest of believers in the Church(the laity).

According to that view only that certain caste of ministers are allowed certain priviledges in the Church, priviledges such as teaching/preaching, administrating the Lord's Supper, baptizing, making decisions regarding ministries, leading in music, etc.

As some of you know, I along with others who have been posting recently on this subject, disagree with that type of church government or authority. We believe that there does not exist a clergy-laity dichotomy today in the eyes of God, for we are all the laity(people of God) and ministers(a royal priesthood).

We view the roles of pastors/elders as functional roles as opposed to official or professional and authoritarian. Thus we encourage and exhort mutual submissiveness, servanthood and humility within the Body as we believe our Lord teaches in the Gospels.

For many years I accepted the clergy-laity division as being true. Looking back I perceive that I was under much restriction and bondage in my walk with Christ.

For example, I remember having a passion and zeal to preach the biblical gospel to the lost on the streets. Yet I found myself having to go out and minister without the blessing or approval of the senior pastor of my church.

That is because he did not approve of the full biblical gospel but instead was used to a watered-down feel good message that leaves out God's severity and the need for repentance. And he, along with most churches, did not approve of open air preaching which I am convinced is clearly biblical and needful.

About two years ago I began to question much of the structure, traditions, and authority within most churches. And I believe the Lord opened my eyes to see the unbiblical basis for this clergy-laity division and system.

So what is my point in all this? Just wanted to share my heart with you all, and encourage and exhort all to consider and look into these things prayerfully and seriously if you have not done so.

On a side note, I do not have any grudges against pastors, brothers or sisters who are part of a traditional church setting. My only grief and grudge is with that "system" of church government which I believe has hindered the Church for centuries. I see my brothers and sisters who are under the clergy-laity structure as victims who are hindered and held captive to traditions and systems of men.

My hope and prayer here regarding this is that we would all be able to discuss and share our convictions in the spirit of grace, humility and respect, and if need be, to agree to disagree respectfully.


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Oracio

 2010/12/4 17:59Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
On a side note, I do not have any grudges against pastors, brothers or sisters who are part of a traditional church setting. My only grief and grudge is with that "system" of church government which I believe has hindered the Church for centuries. I see my brothers and sisters who are under the clergy-laity structure as victims who are hindered and held captive to traditions and systems of men.


Brother,

Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I agree there is a lack of equipping and realesing the body of Christ in the work of ministry. But in Scripture in the New Testament there are "many" references to those that are honored above the rest, overseers, elders, deacons, who labor hard in the word, prayer, good deeds. One's that watch out for the souls of others etc. I feel it is very important to reconize "leadership" in the body of Christ. "First of all apostles." But the apostles will suffer more then others, therefore in the kingdom of God true leadership is servanthood. This is not clearly exhibited in modern churches much.

So I agree with you pointing out the lack in the current traditional settings but let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. I believe there is clear biblical reference and support for biblical servanthood leadership and authority in the body of Christ.

May God start to lead the church into the true biblical role of leadership that serves, gives, goes under, preffers other before themselves, type of elders, apostles, pastors, etc.

Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. So we can all at lead begin to agree with this! :)


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2010/12/4 20:59Profile









 Re:

Is Jesus' example to us clear enough to recognize that leader/follower and completey willful submission are part and parcel to the way God has established for the way things to operate rightly?

Sadly, many people placed in positions of authority weild their own (organisation's) dictates.
Is this pleasing God?

Worse are those who think that just because things don't go according to the way they consider it should be, they become stubborn fools in the process of seeking their own way.
Is this pleasing God?

Consider the root word from which we get the word Protestant: protest.

The so-called (organizational) 'church' we see today and many who participate are by second nature schizmatics. Horribly, those who thought at one time that they would be different, and true to "the faith once and for all time established", through generational compromise and inconsistency have fallen into the very errors that they rebelled from in the first place. Rather than in all sincerity serving the Lord with clean hands from pure heart, we find more and more people with more and more problems ending in failures and ultimately destruction. The fruit borne clearly shows that though they say they know God . . . REALLY He never knew them. . . "having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof."

This all results
--beginning with the orthodox Roman Catholics, through the breakdown of Protestantism even to the most individualistic of home churches--
through comparing ourselves with ourselves.

The structures and organizational model we see today started when men took God's authority as their own and lorded their dictates over the masses. Church government became no different from the manner used to govern earthly kingdoms.



It's amusing to hear others talk about heaven and rewards after God's judgement seat because 99.9% of the time these idealogies are based on structure, form, and dogma relative to this present age.

Is this what the kingdom of God on earth (established in heaven) will be like?



Let's look at what Paul says:

"...when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.

Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but:
be filled with the Spirit,
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Eph. 5.13-21 (ESV)

How can anybody say they are obeying God in rebellion to what has been estabished by God in the first place?

How can anyone be being filled with the Spirit speaking their own mind (from which THEIR OWN thoughts and concerns stem)?

How can anyone give thanks always and for everything to our Father in the purpose, authority, and power of the Lord Jesus Christ going their own way doing what seems right in their own eyes?

How does any person revere Christ in submission to one another by walking in rebellion?

". . .Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. . ."
I Sam 15.22c-23b (NKJV)



Who will be called great in the kingdom of God?

He who does and teaches Torah. (Mt. 5.19)



Who will be greatest in God's soon fully manifested kingdom?

see what Jesus says:
" Then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest.

But He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles dominate them, and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever is greatest among you must become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving. For who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving? Isn’t it the one at the table? But I am among you as the One who serves. You are the ones who stood by Me in My trials. I bestow on you a kingdom, l just as My Father bestowed one on Me, so that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom.
Lk. 22.24-30b (HCSB)


". . .be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
I Pet. 5.5c-7 (NASB)



Oh yeah,
we can go our own way
but
not without a price to pay:
in the here and now,
and on judgement day.

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
Mt. 7.22-23 (NASB)




Looking foreward to the day when
the Prince of peace shall rule all nations
with a rod of iron,

gregg

p.s. If we do not get this right now, we can't expect to have a chance to do it then---> Mt. 7.23






edit: misnumbering of references, grammar, spelling, and an added word for clarity

 2010/12/4 21:07
Areadymind
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Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
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 Re: Authority and Submission by K.P. Yohannan

Over the years I have noticed a growing spiritual deception which inculcates people into spiritualizing, and scripturally justifying the gainsaying of Korah.

I have seen authority abused as well, but K.P. and Greg are spot on here methinks.

"And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." -Luke 10:18

This verse should be underlined, outlined, highlighted, read, re-read, adopted, meditated on, and utterly imbibed by anyone who claims to follow Christ.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/12/4 22:39Profile
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 Re:

This is another really good sermon on spiritual authority. It is really long and Stephen has a tendency to repeat himself. But it is so worth listening to. It has been a while since I did, but I think it goes well with this article, and other general themes being discussed here the last few days.

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=949


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/12/5 9:50Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Amen brother.

Here is the link to the sermon with description:

A Look At Authority 1: Spiritual & False by Stephen Kaung
http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=949


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2010/12/5 9:52Profile
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 Re:

Woops, that was the link I meant to give, thanks.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/12/5 10:00Profile
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Posts: 449
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 Re:

Quote:
This is another really good sermon on spiritual authority. It is really long and Stephen has a tendency to repeat himself. But it is so worth listening to. It has been a while since I did, but I think it goes well with this article, and other general themes being discussed here the last few days.



Thank you brothers! I am listening now.


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Travis

 2010/12/5 10:06Profile
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 Re: Authority and praying and SI

There is something I also want to say pertaining to what has been addressed these last few days around here.

I believe that when the moderators make rules about how things should operate here on this website, and you are requested to "pray" before you post, and if you post in a spirit contrary to how the moderators have asked you to post, and you think that just because you prayed and "felt" as if God gave you the OK, and yet you ended up posting contrary to the requested Spirit. You are not posting according to the Spirit. You are posting according to the flesh, every time without fail.

I believe that God is so concerned about authority, and our ability to willingly submit to it on a personal level, (I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT ENFORCING IT FROM THE TOP DOWN, but what I am talking about is humbling yourself unto death just like Jesus did, and considering those above you and those below you better than yourself) that God will never ever ever give you the OK to say something contrary to the Spirit of how the Moderators have requested you to speak. Because God himself, via the Holy Spirit would be instructing you to be rebellious. And rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.

If you think that there are people in error within the leadership the bible tells you very clearly not to rebuke an elder, however there is nothing that says that you cannot privately submit your concerns to them in humility. Though SI is not a church, it is a tool for the church to use. And if that tool is always trying to dismantle itself, it will not be easy to use when trying to dismantle the constructs of the enemy.

To publicly question, and to sarcastically vituperate the authorities of SI, or anywhere for that matter, is probably going to be a reflection of how you treat all authority in your life. As a result, God will never give you any authority anywhere in the body of Christ. Any authority you may have will be that which is obtained out of rebellion and carnality, and no matter how doctrinally correct of an individual you may be, you will reap the fruit which you have sown. When I say "authority in the body of Christ," I do not mean authority in a worldly sense. I mean authority to speak to issues, authority that is spiritual, and not authority that is carnal or worldly. The church is not the military, nor is it a corporation. So please do not assume that my words mean something other than what would apply in a Godly sense.

I have seen this both here, and lots in real life. It is a messy business. Leaders, and younger brothers alike can become like Diotrephes or like Demas. And our father in the faith Paul said, "For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's."

I am going to give an example of what I mean and how this has been applied to my life since I started posting on these forums.

By nature I am an incredibly sarcastic individual, I used to be sarcastic in an anarchistic way towards all forms of authority. I am still sarcastic, but my sarcasm is far more "sanctified" than it used to be. Now it is usually a self-deprecating brand of sarcasm. With the occasion to be sarcastic towards others some times.

However, I recognize the spirit in which the moderators here request me to speak and I have noticed by the way they talk, and they way they have laid out there rules that I suspect they do not appreciate sarcasm very much. As a result I have never once that I can recall spoken in a sarcastic fashion. If I have it was certainly accidental. I have deleted hundreds of posts that I started to write that had a flippancy of sarcasm in them. This is so good for me because it crucifies my tongue to the cross, and it has even helped me in my marriage and in my family life with the believers I fellowship with in "real life."

I have some very direct examples that I am thinking of where I see people going against the spirit and rule of this forum, but I think it is better if people just pray and ask the Lord with humility to give them light on their own hearts that they may be better servants everywhere they are in life.

I really hope and pray that this is taken and received in the same spirit in which it was spoken. There are many brothers and sisters here that I cannot wait to meet some day.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/12/5 11:56Profile





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