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Jimm
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Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 498
Harare, ZIMBABWE

 Authority and submission

Hello all

I read a most edifying by Watchman Nee called “Authority and Submission”. It brought into light that there is no power in this world except that which is of God. He outlined the need to be submissive to all authorities, from the police officer on the street to our work managers and people in government. As he says, we must not carefully judge the ability of the person to whom we are to submit but, we must realize as Jesus did when he said to Pilate, “thou couldst have no power over me except it be given from on high”.

We must be aware that God has a hand in everything and that no matter how poorly we think the authorities are handling a situation. We get no points from God for “speaking up” in instances, which we are not specifically appointed to do so. Jesus himself, the son of the living God, had to remain silent for years while he observed the hypocrisy of the scribes until he received the authority and power to speak out. The story of authority and submission had at its centre, the story of David and Saul. Even though David had been appointed by God over Saul, he did not take this authority but waited for God to appoint it.

Our Lord tells us that authority is appointed and not taken. Luke 14: 8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; 9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. 10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. 11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

We may have to witness and experience much injustice before we have earned the authority to speak on certain matters. Meekness and submission are prerequisites for divine authority. This is the wisdom of God. The wisdom of the world places more emphasis on experience, eloquence, age, confidence etc. As God says, “Isaiah55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

One would struggle to find anyone in the Old testament who had more authority than Moses, but what do the scriptures say of this man?Numbers 12:1-3 1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. 3 (Now the man Moses was VERY MEEK, ABOVE ALL MEN which were upon the face of the earth.)

Let us not assume dear sisters and brethren, the position of being God’s finger in spiritual matters, just because we judge (and we shouldn’t do that) what appears to be a problem. If so be that God has appointed it, you will have an opportunity to usurp authority on God’s timing

James


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2004/12/20 2:22Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: Authority and submission

This is available online here There are many more full texts of Watchman Nee's works on this site.

It also contains the works of Witness Lee whose positions have often been more controversial.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/12/20 4:27Profile
Jimm
Member



Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 498
Harare, ZIMBABWE

 Thank you sir!

Philologos

That is a great link!

James


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2004/12/20 4:37Profile
Agent001
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Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re: Thank you sir!

Just a note that another edition of "Authority and Submission" was published by Christian Fellowship Publisher. The book is titled "Spiritual Authority," translated by Stephen Kaung (another speaker featured on this site).


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Sam

 2004/12/21 13:37Profile
Jimm
Member



Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 498
Harare, ZIMBABWE

 Stephen Kaung hey...

001

Thanks for the tip, though I don't think I will getting that one since the one I read was really good anyway so I'll opt for another Watchman Nee book instead...tell me has Stephen Kaung translated any other Watchman Nee books?

James


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2004/12/21 20:59Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Authority and submission

Hi James,

Re: "Authority and submission"

Don't know if that is your writing or Nee's, but good counsel brother.


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Mike Balog

 2004/12/22 0:33Profile
Jimm
Member



Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 498
Harare, ZIMBABWE

 Re:

Crsschk

As much as I would love to claim credit for that, I must admit that it was just a paraphrase of the book with some added scriptures.

James


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2004/12/22 12:14Profile
rocklife
Member



Joined: 2004/4/1
Posts: 323
usa

 Re: Authority and submission

This type of teaching must be balanced that to obey Jesus and love Jesus Christ must be first in the wisdom of submitting.

The apostle Peter says in Acts that he had to obey God rather than man when they told him to stop talking about Jesus. The church leaders told him to stop, and he openly said, NO, he had to obey God rather than man.

God through our Lord Jesus seems to honor His children who respect Him more than people, Jesus teaches us love for Him must be the most important, and sometimes that love seems wrong to people, like Jesus whipping the money changers out of the temple. He had no permit, he did not ask permission, but zeal for God and true love and respect and devotion to the True God, Creator of all things.

Wisdom is needed on the subject of submission, or else you can easily become entangled in the affairs of men and not God, just like the cults do. Cults and false religions feed off this kind of teaching, neglecting the fact that Jesus Christ must first be the one we are submitting to, not mere man. Submit to God through Jesus CHrist, and submission is wisdom will come in accordance with His will. We need Jesus Christ as our head, our love and devotion goes to Him, He is the Lord and Savior of this corrupt generation. The Creator of all things wants us to follow Jesus Christ, not mere man. Too many cults use this kind of teaching to twist religion. Jesus Christ gives freedom, not mere physical freedom, but freedom from sin.

What is done with Jesus Christ is what will save you or condemn you on Judgment day, not following mere men. We must be careful with this topic. Too many sheep are being bullied by this teaching, it is Jesus Christ who must be followed, and submission to godly leaders will come after that. Jesus Christ gives freedom, follow Jesus Christ and Him only serve. He is the only way to God and He is the only one who saves from sin. He submitted to God, and his submission to any man was only when it was in accordance with God's will, not the people's will.

Lord, please help your children submit to You more and more through our Lord and Savior Jesus CHrist, it is not easy on the flesh, thank you for Your help and Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth in this corrupt and sinful generation. Help us love you and be holy. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.


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Jina

 2004/12/22 14:12Profile
Jimm
Member



Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 498
Harare, ZIMBABWE

 SUBMISSION BEING ABSOLUTE, BUT OBEDIENCE BEING RELATIVE

Rocklife

I am so glad that you brought this up actually, and I am sorry I did not mention in my summary. That is a point the book does address at great length…and it occurs to me that many other points are addressed which I failed to mention. At the end of the day it will probably better to read the book than to listen to me but, this is an extract from the book along the lines you arte talking about.

CHAPTER ELEVEN

THE PROPER LIMIT OF SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY
Scripture Reading: Heb. 11:23; Exo. 1:17; Dan. 3:17-18; 6:10; Matt. 2:13; Acts 5:29

SUBMISSION BEING ABSOLUTE, BUT OBEDIENCE BEING RELATIVE

Submission is a matter of attitude, but obedience is a matter of conduct. Acts 4:19 says, “But Peter and John answered and said to them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you judge.” The apostles, however, were not rebellious in their spirit; they were still submitting to all those who were in authority. Obedience is not absolute.

Some authorities we have to obey, but others we cannot obey. The latter include those who touch on basic matters of the Christian faith, such as our belief in the Lord and the liberty of preaching the gospel. A son can say anything to his father. But there cannot be any attitude of rebellion. Our submission should always be absolute. In some matters we can be obedient at the same time that we are submissive. In other matters we cannot be obedient, but we still have to remain submissive. All these are a matter of attitude.

Acts 15 is an example of a church conference. In a conference we can suggest or debate. But when the decision is reached, everyone should be submissive.

THE LIMIT OF OBEYING THE DEPUTY AUTHORITY

If there are parents who force their children to stop attending church meetings, the children should be submissive in their attitude, but they must not obey. This is like the apostles preaching the gospel. When the Jewish synagogue stopped them, they were submissive in their attitude, but in practice they went on according to the commission of the Lord. They chose to preach the gospel rather than be restricted by the synagogue. It was not a defiance with quarrels and shouting, but a defiance with calmness.

At any rate, there must never be any attitude of stubbornness or words of contradiction against those in authority. Once a man meets authority, he becomes soft and pliant. The submission of a person in heart, attitude, and words must be absolute. There must not be any stubbornness or rebellion.

When the deputy authority (the one representing God’s authority) clashes with the direct authority (God), one must be submissive to the deputy authority but must not be obedient to it. We will summarize the matter in three points:

(1)Obedience is a matter of conduct; it is relative. Submission is a matter of attitude; it is absolute.
(2)Only God is the object of unlimited submission. Man, who is less than God, should only receive limited submission.
(3)If the deputy authority gives an order that is obviously contrary to God’s order, we can only submit; we cannot obey. We must submit only to the authority of God. We do not obey the orders that are contrary to God.

If parents ask their children to go to places that the children do not like to go to, and if there is no sin involved in the matter, we have a borderline case. Submission is absolute. But obedience is another matter. If your parents force you to go, then you have no choice but to go. But if they do not force you to do it, you do not have to go. If all children have this attitude, God will release them in their environments.




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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2004/12/22 14:44Profile
Jimm
Member



Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 498
Harare, ZIMBABWE

 Examples of disobedience with submission

EXAMPLES IN THE BIBLE

(1)The midwives and the mother of Moses disobeyed the order of Pharaoh so that the life of Moses could be preserved. The Bible calls them women of faith.

(2)The three friends of Daniel did not worship the golden image of King Nebuchadnezzar. They disobeyed the order of the king, yet they submitted to the king’s burning.

(3)Daniel defied the decree in order to pray to God, yet he submitted to the king’s judgment to be thrown into the lion’s den.

(4)Joseph escaped with the Lord Jesus to Egypt to avoid the killing by King Herod.

(5)Peter went contrary to the charge of those in the synagogue and preached the gospel. He also said that it was right to obey God rather than men. Yet he submitted to the rulers’ chains and imprisonment.

DEFINITE MARKS OF SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY

How do we know if a person is one who submits to authority? Here are a few marks:

(1)As soon as a person meets authority, he will look for authority everywhere. The church is the organ for the training of Christian submission to authority. In the whole world there is no such thing as submission. But a Christian must learn submission. He must, moreover, submit from the heart, not just in an outward way. Once a person learns submission, he will look for authority wherever he goes.

(2)Once a man meets God’s authority, he will soften, wither, and weaken. This is because he has become fearful of making mistakes; he is a truly soft person.

(3)Those who have met authority will not like to be the authority. They will have no desire or interest to be an authority. They have no joy in giving opinions or in controlling others. Those who submit to authority are always afraid of making mistakes. But many love to be God’s counselors. Only those who do not know authority love to be the authority.

(4)Those who have met authority will have their mouths shut. They will be restricted. They will not dare to speak carelessly, because they have the consciousness of authority with them.

(5)If a man has met authority, any transgression in others will be detected by him immediately. He will see through many lawlessnesses and realize many rebellions. He will then come to know that the principle of lawlessness abounds everywhere, in the world as well as in the church. Only those who have met authority can lead others to learn submission. Only when the brothers and sisters are submissive to authority will the church have a testimony and a way on earth.


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2004/12/22 14:56Profile





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