on Church Leadership
this is both an update to my understanding of spiritual authority and a comment to be placed beneath a Living Liminal post entitled If You Can’t Crucify, Why Not Shun?
I took some hours the other day and translated James 4:4-5 from the Greek. Here’s what I came up with:
You adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hatred of God? Therefore whoever desires to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think it is for nothing that Scripture says, “Jealous with deep desire is the Spirit He has caused to dwell in us”?
As I searched the Old Testament Scriptures for James’ quote here (in order to examine the Hebrew wording underlying the Greek) I found no such concise saying anywhere.
Yes, Scripture teaches that “Yahweh—whose name is Jealous—is a jealous God” (Ex 34:14). His jealous nature is present throughout all three components of the TaNaCH—the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. Wherein also is taught the idea of His indwelling Spirit. We read in the Prophets how Yahweh would one day place His Spirit within His people causing them to live in perfect obedience to His ways.
In John’s Gospel our Lord Jesus expressed this entry into a oneness with the Godhead as a matter of being “born of the Spirit.” Also Paul in his letters to the saints wrote of how our sanctified bodies are now the temple of the living God, the residence of the Holy Spirit.
So although this quote couldn’t be found in such precise form anywhere else in Scripture, the saying—Jealous with deep desire is the Spirit He has caused to dwell in us—is a principle clearly taught throughout the whole of Scriptures.
With that in mind, Living Liminal, I want to remind us of the teaching of Jesus concerning your ex-church situation, particularly why all those church folk treated you so hatefully.
He said, “If the whore hates you, you know that it hated Me before you. If you were of the whore, the whore would love its own. Yet because you are not of the whore, but I chose you out of her, therefore the whore hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
You may know that all I did was replace the word “world” with the word “whore” as found in John 15:18-21. This interplay of terms is proper and true to the logic and teaching of Scripture, for the whore is the one who corrupts and leads the world astray by her sorceries and whoring ways.
She is the world par excellence, the Whore of Babylon who casts her proud and glamorous image upon reality in order to seduce and extract worship and service to herself. By the words of prophecy we see her ruling the world through the system of antichrist, holding the reins of power through her illicit affair with the spirit of this world, riding upon a trampling beast bound on exacting absolute submission to their antichristian ways, and demanding obedience to them to the point of death.
Note: the Greek prefix anti- in the word antichrist means “in opposition to”; “working against”; “in place of”; an antichrist is one who has placed himself or herself “over against” Christ and His Body. We read in 1 John 2:3-6, 18-27 of the lying and disobedient character of the Antichrist and antichrists—with 1 John 2:22b reading, “He is antichrist who denies [arnoúmenos (i.e., refuses to obey, cf. 1 Tim. 5:8; Titus 1:16; Jude 1:4)] the Father and the Son.”
Who then do we mean by the “whore” but the “church” structured as a hierarchy with specially anointed Leaders assuming power and control over God’s people under the clerical aegis of “spiritual authority.”
It should be understood by all Christians that our Master absolutely forbade in no uncertain terms any members of Christ from calling themselves “leaders” (the Greek of Matthew 23:10 makes this patently clear: kathegetai), or from exercising ruling authority over others (as the Greek of Matthew 20:25-28 and 2 Corinthians 1:24 teach).
It is this assumption by church leadership of a spiritual authority over their respective congregations (however the power relations and control mechanisms are organized) that deranges and destroys what might otherwise be experienced as and considered to be a legitimate expression of the body of Christ.
I’d like to say, for the time being I’m afraid the ekklesia of God is far from understanding the dynamics of “spiritual abuse” when most of our underlying assumptions of “spiritual authority” are upside-down inside-out misconstruals of Scripture. There’s some education that needs to occur.
To tell you the truth, the popular idea and expression of spiritual authority within the church is something our Lord finds quite hateful and adversarial!
Here’s the diabolical scope of such ecclesiastical enterprises—any personal assertion of authority or institutional hierarchy is itself spiritual illegitimacy, the governing system of the antichrist, an operation completely estranged from Christ’s pleasure.
It’s not a good gone bad, but an evil masquerading as good. A completely other being. Mystery Babylon. The sorceress queen with her many whoring daughters. The earthly and Old Jerusalem, not the heavenly New Jerusalem; not the faithful Bride of Christ, but the adulterous Whore of the Beast.
So you’ve seen firsthand how these “failures” of church leaders are “systemic as much as individual.” And we are told as much in Scripture how the antichrist is realized as both a person and a system.
It should be known, these church systems planted all across our planet are spiritually abusive by design. It’s their structural disposition. By nature of the spirit of error and antichrist inhabiting these hierarchical beasts the Holy Spirit is at once displaced while the people of God are swallowed whole and placed in spiritual bondage to the Archons and Powers. So from the Dragon’s perspective these houses of bondage are marvelous “successes” as they work to destroy the spiritual life of those who make their home within them.
It is these adversarial systems that God is calling us to come out of. In the Revelation of Jesus Christ we hear His voice from heaven crying:
“Come out of the Whore of Babylon, My people, lest you participate in her sins, lest you share in her plagues. For her sins have piled high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (18:4-5).
The Jealous indwelling Spirit of Christ is the sole Leader in the midst of God’s Ekklesia ruling His Children of Light by His Holy Scriptures.
Any mere human being beyond Jesus Christ Himself who dares (however blind in his zealousness) to assume any fashion of spiritual authority or headship over the people of God has aligned himself with the Adversary and god of this world.
Yes, these presumptuous church rulers place themselves in league with the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day and are likewise to be identified as “Serpents, offspring of poisonous snakes!”
Please know, the spiritual authorities overseeing our churches are just that—the spiritual authorities spoken of in Ephesians 6:12, “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”
So what then is the true nature and scope of spiritual authority for the saints in Christ Jesus?
We find our answer in the Gospel of Luke:
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!”
And Jesus said to them, “I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Observe and understand, I have given you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; not one will by any means hurt you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven”(10:17-20).
Quite simply the spiritual authority entrusted to every member of the Body of Christ is the power to subject dark spirits to the ekklesia. It is not—as the priests of the Whore of Babylon will tell us—a power to subject God’s people to themselves.
“But, but you lie,” Church Leaders will say to me. “I have it right here in my NKJV Bible. Hebrews 13:17 reads, Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive. Or in my ESV it reads, Obey your leaders and submit to them. So you see, God has ordained a division in the body between leaders and laity. The clergy are appointed to rule and the congregation is required to submit to their leadership. It’s right there in the B-I-B-L-E.”
No, No it’s NOT, is my answer to them. Those quoted words are false translations foisted upon the world by intrigue and malice of antichrists and agents of the Adversary. I’m not kidding. It was language mandated by those who assumed themselves heads of the church, for instance, in the days of King James when good translations were getting out of hand and an “authorized” version was needed to contain the situation.
Too much to get into in a mere comment, but the proper way of rendering the Greek of Hebrews 13:17a into English is, “Follow those who are leading and yield.” Actually, our imperatives “follow” and “yield” are in the volitional mood exhorting us in this manner: “Allow yourselves to be persuaded and willfully yield to their leading.”
The wolves of Babylon twist this mistranslated verse to mean They alone are the leaders, when the truth is there is no such division or position of ruling authority over the ekklesia of God outside of Master Jesus Himself. The Good Shepherd alone rules by His Word through His Holy Spirit. The Hebrews context points to the ministry of the entire ekklesia, not to some exclusive submission to a ruling class of Elders, or Pastors, or Board of Directors, or whatever name such unbiblical Leadership might fall under.
“As each one [in Christ] has received a gift, we’re to minister these gifts to one another as good administrators of the many-colored grace of God,” reads 1 Peter 4:10.
And, “to each is given a unique shining expression of the Spirit for the common good of the body,” reads 1 Corinthians 12:7.
So it is the indwelling Spirit who causes us to shine, becoming, Himself, visible in the ministry of our spiritual gifts in service to one another.
Paul goes on to say:
The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another (1 Cor 12:22-25).
Every single member of the Bride of Christ is a minister and servant of God.
The Children of Light stand unified together as princes and princesses of the universe, priests and priestesses of God and of Christ, the prophets and prophetesses of a Jealous indwelling Spirit. Praise Yah!
True Biblical Leadership recognizes no ruling authority outside of God Himself who leads us by His fiery Spirit by the light of His flaming Sword.
So, again, why are all these church folk so hateful and spiritually murderous?
Quite simply—they are oblivious to the good pleasure of our Lord.
Remember what Jesus said, “They will make you outcasts from the synagogues. Yes, the time is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things to you because they have not known the Father nor Me” (John 16:2-3).
Why do they not know Jesus nor the Father?
The answer, I believe, can be summed up with the maxim, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of God.”
Many believers simply do not know the Word of God, and in many Bible Churches where they pride themselves on knowing God’s Word, much of what they conceive as knowledge is but a twisting of Scripture to suit their local or denominational idolatries. It’s not just milk they’re serving, but spoiled milk. In truth their cup of wine and bread of communion are full of poisons and deaths of many kinds.
From myself having been vomited from the Whore, I can see now the Church for the Great Lie she is, a Lie sustained by the mistranslation and twisting of certain Scriptures to the point of even naming herself after the Goddess Circe who turned men into pigs and wolves and lions and tigers and bears, drugging them into submission, taming and training them to perform in her Circus set up to honor her father and god of the Sun.
It should be known, the word “church” is a biblical misnomer, pagan in origin however you trace it—the linguistic keystone locking into position a virtual prison of ecclesiastical concepts and conditions designed to contain and control the people of God.
Christ named His body the Ekklesia. The Antichrist named his body the Church. That’s how all-encompassing the Lie has become. That’s how deeply the world has drunk from her golden cup.
So may the spell be broken. And may the sanctified Bride, at least, stop calling herself the Church—for the word “church” in all it’s speculative and popular etymologies points to a building or temple made with hands, not to a people as the word “ekklesia” means and Scripture intends. Where it does point to a person—it is to the Goddess Circe, a sorceress with many cruel similarities to the Whore of Babylon.
Now may I entreat those saints still inside her to consider: What was true for me may be true for you—the impossibility of thinking outside the church when you’re still inside her.
So let’s Obey God, stop drinking from her cup and come out of her—so that we might more clearly and cleanly partake of the fellowship of the Father, Son, Spirit and the Saints.
Everywhere in these man-made cults particular preachers and teachers point to these words in their English Bibles—Obey your leaders and submit to them—then point to themselves as the body’s appointed leaders.
It is these dishonest points of translation that exalt their precepts against the Word of Christ which leaders within these churches wield like rods to subjugate and scepters to perpetuate the lie of such a sickening thing as an ecclesiastical authority over the people of God.
Children of Light, never forget—we are individually and corporately led by the Spirit in Christ Jesus Who alone is Head of His Body the Ekklesia.
All other such pretensions and presumptions of rule shape that Leader into an antichrist and (wittingly or not) an agent of the Adversary.
Ekklesia literally means “called out ones.” As God first called Abraham and then Israel out of Babylon, He in these last days is calling the saints out of the Church of Babylon, out of the religious institution of the Whore.
“Come out of her, My people, lest you participate in her sins, lest you share in her plagues,” says God (Revelation 18:4).