Another friendship hits the dust. That’s three long-term friends I’ve lost since starting this blog. None of them at all in relation to the blog. All three former friends abused me as they went, one over the phone and two by email. I was left speechless by their words. Not that I was hurt, but because they all call themselves Christians and I expected more from them.
I refused to defend myself to any of them. Not a word. Let them be frustrated by that. But I learned this art of no self-defence in Bible College. Too bad I didn’t use it sooner in my marriage. Pastor Bill taught us through Watchman Nee’s book Spiritual Authority.
For those who don’t know, Watchman Nee was a Chinese Christian who died in prison having spent 20 years there. His punishment for raising his head on the battlefield. He gave numerous sermons which have since been translated into books, and wrote one book, The Spiritual Man.
The Chinese Christians back then were expecting Yahshua to come back any minute and rapture them off to Heaven. Hence they neglected to prepare for what really happened: the Cultural Revolution in China in which millions of Chinese Christians were brutally persecuted, imprisoned, and martyred.
This Spiritual Authority book is a gem I’ve read numerous times. Evangelist and writer John Bevere used it as the basis of his book Under Cover. So far as the no defence idea goes, we utter not a word of defence in our favour when someone attacks, criticises, condemns, or even rightfully accuses us (except respectfully when called to explain our actions). For the minute we do, we have become our own advocate–a position Yahshua alone should fulfil in a Christian’s life–and our accuser becomes our judge.
No. Stay quiet, and then YHWH, the righteous High Court of Heaven Magistrate will decide for us in the matter, for there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Messiah Yahshua… (ROM. 8:1).
Both men in their books also advocate we get under authority and stay there. Be submissive in meekness to EVERY authority over us, and even look for authority to be under in our lives. I know, it is the exact opposite concept being widely preached by the world today. The NO RULES ‘doctrine’ is considered cool. I’m a child of the sixties. My generation INVENTED rebellion. The Beatles laced their Kool Aid with LSD and had parties. We tripped out on magic mushrooms. My children think our gen are old fuddy duddies. I mostly let them think that so they don’t find out what we really got up to and emulate it! Anyone see Puberty Blues on TV recently?
Authority, on the other hand, acts like a covering or umbrella against the rain. As I wrote the draft of this it started to pour on our parched and drought-ridden city, until it became days of flooding, destructive deluge. An apt judgment probably. Who are these authorities? First, the Law of YHWH; the laws of our land (unless they are un-Scriptural), courts, police, governments, employers, ministers in the church, husbands if you are a woman, everybody’s parents, even older brothers and sisters–that was a rule in our house–teachers in school, educational establishments.
Let every soul be subject to the higher powers (authorities). For there is no power but of YHWH: the powers that be are ordained of YHWH. Whoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of YHWH: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation (ROM. 13:1-2). Paul goes on to say that authority is for our good, and acts as a revenger to execute wrath on those who do evil. It keeps us safe.
Every single thing in Creation is upheld by YHWH’s authority. But wherever this authority is violated we can know Satan is at work, for violating authority is his principle. Satan laughs at preaching, witnessing, or any work for YHWH by a person with a rebellious, impatient, presumptuous, or any other heart attitude but that of submission. We are all born with a rebellious nature that attacks our Heavenly Father. Our own thinking will often trap us into being disobedient, even to the very Word of YHWH. For example, the mark of the beast will make complete sense. We operate under it in the world today. It will only be because the Word says, “No!” that we will refuse it. We need to be delivered from this voice of reason. Simple obedience to and trust in YHWH sets us free from the struggle of rebellion, and untold embarrassment.
I’ll always remember an example of this in my own life. It was when I was living in a caravan with a cyclone bearing down on my city. The Christian brother, Peter, whose covering I was under at the time, told me to go and buy some rope at Kmart. He specified it had to be hessian rope. It was to tie my caravan down so it wouldn’t blow off like a matchstick. Off I went to Kmart, the hardware section. And there I found some lovely rope. I looked at the hessian rope, then at the nice clean white acrylic rope next to it. Not having had much experience with rope, I reasoned the nice smooth white one, being the more modern, was the better option. I further reasoned Peter probably hadn’t seen the latest ropes in Kmart. So I bought it. Taking my good find proudly, I went back to the caravan park so Peter could hammer in stakes and lash the van to them.
When he came, Peter took one look at my rope, sort of snorted and rolled his eyes. He asked me, “Do you know why I asked you to buy HESSIAN rope?” No, I didn’t. I only became a rope expert in Kmart a short time previously. He said, “When hessian rope gets wet, it SHRINKS and will hold the caravan TIGHTER. Acrylic rope (on the other hand) STRETCHES–ALL THE TIME–whether wet or not.” “Oh,” I sort of mumbled, feeling stupid, disobedient, and convicted. Despite me, he used my nice white rope. I had to bake him an apple pie to make up for it. And I still have that white rope. Never needed it for another cyclone though. That’s what reasoning, presumptuousness, and our own foolish thinking can do. It’s a good thing the cyclone never came very close to our city.
Adam and Eve gave Satan world dominion when they obeyed him rather than YHWH. The really sad thing about this is they did it from a position of strength. But Yahshua conquered the devil in a place of weakness: in the wilderness when He was hungry, at Gethsemane, on the cross. It was not His sacrifice that vanquished, nor His self-denial. It was His OBEDIENCE. Consequently, Yahshua’s death on the cross was the highest expression of obedience we will ever know. For by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous (ROM. 5:19).
YHWH therefore gives authority to those under authority. Always determine who you are to be subject to. As our obedience increases, so do our actions and strivings decrease. Works done out of self diminish. Conversely, those who disobey will have the Spirit of YHWH quenched in their lives. Obedience is a foundational principle in the Christian walk. When we are in submission, the power of YHWH is released.
There are stories in the Bible about disobedient people: Dathan and Abiram. Their’s makes me shudder. They with their families went alive into Hell when the ground opened beneath them. Annanias and Sapphira dropped dead for lying to the Holy Spirit. The disobedient will often be jealous, blaming of others, bold, and without fear. None of them got a speck of grace from YHWH. He hates rebellion so much.
The writer of HEBREWS (5:8) says Yahshua learned obedience through suffering. Suffering causes us to lean heavily on our Father, for often we are unable to do anything of ourselves. When we learn obedience through our trials, we learn to trust in YHWH and have faith in His promises. This strengthens us to endure greater trials to come.
To have Father work in any situation, we must first come into submission to Him and any other person or authority involved. We have no choice. To resist authority is to resist YHWH Himself. Rebellion is never without judgment (hence the suffering), with death the ultimate consequence. Continually resist YHWH’s fingertip and it will become His sword with which to execute you. The pain you feel in your suffering is the pain YHWH feels at your sin, for you crucify Yahshua anew each time we act adversely to Father’s will. Thou shalt not revile YHWH, nor curse the ruler of thy people (EX. 22:8); Submit yourselves to every ordinance…whether…king…Or…governors… (I PET. 2:1).
The day is coming when the lawless New World Order will change the present system of law. Evil will be considered good, and good evil. If we shut ourselves off from the authority of YHWH, we will be assisting this lawlessness when it comes.
What should we do if those in authority over us are in error? You may respectfully bring it to their attention, but still obey unless it contravenes Scripture and is therefore sin. YHWH will judge the authority and bless you for your obedience. If your authorities are oppressive and unfair, remember no man suffered so unfairly as Yahshua. Many others are in prison for doing nothing more than being a Christian.
If you are in authority yourself, as we all usually are to some degree, think about, speak out, and act on YHWH’s will discreetly. Watch what comes out of your mouth. Never slander. Have few opinions. Be delivered from the voice of reason–its language is too complicated to decipher. Never argue with Father–His authority alone is the reason. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? …a newborn baby say to its father, “Why was I born?” (IS. 45:9-11). Father is under no obligation to tell us the whys and wherefores of His plans. We are often told only on a ‘need to know’ basis so Satan will not know either and use the information against us. A commanding officer of an army does not always tell his plans to his troops. They are just expected to obey in their own small sphere.
Reasoning why or how, when or if, shouldn’t enter our heads. Thoughts are to be taken captive through the battle of our minds. Listen and obey rather than thinking and deciding. Do not listen to slander or criticism of others. Authority is shown in one by the amount of revelation they receive from Heaven. They are able to forgive quickly. They are delivered from personal feeling. They take no revenge, but, on the contrary, plead for others, even those who hate them.
As Yahshua did, we should always think on the level of YHWH, not on the level of man. Once we have our heart submission and outward obedience perfected and aligned with Father’s, we can go into battle with confidence.