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Obey Your Leaders? The Sequel!

February 4, 2014

The following blog post comes from my dear friend and brother Michael Clark of Idaho.  This was his excellent comment on my last blog post.

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Thanks, Chris. Lord Acton of England said to an Anglican bishop the early 1900’s, “It is not the question of who has the right to rule. No one has the right to rule. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

The evil behind all this first appeared corporately in ancient Babel. “Go to now, let us build ourselves a city and make a name for ourselves and raise up a tower to the heavens….” Babylon is earmarked by how its leaders love the high places and the chief seats in their churches and synagogues. Seeking high places and recognition is not the kingdom of the Father. Jesus drove this point home to His disciples on an number of occasions.

And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.” (Luke 22:24-26, KJV).

Paul wrote:

“Not that we have dominion [ archo – to rule] over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.” (2 Corinthians 1:24, NKJV).

Paul counted himself as a “fellow worker,” not one who ruled over the flock of Christ.

These three verses which follow are the favorites of those who would rule over the ekklesia of God:

Hebrews 13:7* Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Hebrews 13:17* Obey them that have the RULE OVER you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Hebrews 13:24 Salute all them that have the RULE OVER you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.

The word “over” in these verses is not in the original (by the way, the word office as applied to church leadership positions is not found in the original Greek New Testament either). The word translated “rule over” in the above verses is :

hegeomai {hayg-eh’-om-ahee}:
1) to lead,
1a) to go before

Hebrews chapters eleven and twelve are filled with accounts of those who have gone before us as examples of how we should walk by faith, including Jesus. This is spiritual leadership–laying it all on the line like they did, not sitting in some earthly temple in your air conditioned office being served by your staff and being paid by those whom you presumptuously rule over.

Clarke’s Commentary states:

“”Verse 7. “Remember them which have the rule over you.” This clause should be translated, Remember your guides who have spoken unto you the doctrine of God. Theodoret’s note on this verse is very judicious: “He intends the saints who were dead, Stephen the first martyr, James the brother of John, and James called the Just. And there were many others who were taken off by the Jewish rage. ‘Consider these, (said he,) and, observing their example, imitate their faith.'” This remembrance of the dead saints, with admiration of their virtues, and a desire to imitate them, is, says Dr. Macknight, the only worship which is due to them from the living.

Considering the end of their conversation. “The issue of whose course of life most carefully consider.” They lived to get good and do good; they were faithful to their God and his cause; they suffered persecution; and for the testimony of Jesus died a violent death. God never left them; no, he never forsook them; so that they were happy in their afflictions, and glorious in their death. Carefully consider this; act as they did; keep the faith, and God will keep you.””

As you can see these passages in Hebrews have nothing to do with obeying mere men who desire to control and rule over you like so many Gentile kings from their false offices, but rather following the examples of true servants who laid their lives on the line in the Kingdom of God.

Michael

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Great words!

Love and……

Kirk Out !

 

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One Comment
  1. "BK" permalink

    Excellent Michael. Thank you. “BK”

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