Yahweh's Authority, Order and Discipline
for the Messianic Community
Sabbath School: Saturday 5 July 2003
If there is one thing that the natural man hates above all else it is yielding authority over his life to others. Twenty first century man is the great champion of personal 'rights' but runs a mile when anything that remotely smells of responsibility is placed near him. We live in the age of rights without accountability.
This Bible Study is traditionally the most unpopular because it challenges a whole pantheon of false gods. If people were to arrange this Bible Study series in order of the lessons they would prefer to study this one will usually appear at the end. People simply don't want to be under authority. And so, in order to excuse themselves, they have invented a new philosophy - one of those many devious philosophies of men - which defines the purpose of life as being the quest for as much personal happiness for oneself as possible. Since the quest is for self it naturally entails defining everything in terms of personal comfort zones which are heavily fortified and defended. Cross those lines and you will be met with a militarism which would make the ancient dictators blush.
Only a tiny fraction of those who believe there is a God are willing to take the next step by acknowledging His authority over their lives. But that is little different from saying you believe in democracy and then behaving as an autocrat. Belief and behaviour simply contradict one another. To say that one believes in God without placing oneself under His authority must surely rank as one of the chief hypocrisies of man. The Apostle James scornfully says of such people:
"You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe -- and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:19-20, NKJV).
People believe that smoking is bad for your health - they really do. They know what the scientific evidence says. And it's overwhelming. And yet what do they do? They either smoke themselves or tolerate smoking! That's the same as acknowledging that cobras are deadly and then either introducing them into your garden or otherwise, if they are already there, leaving them there. A person with any common sense gets rid of them!
You see, the problem is this: people passively believe in the truth but actively believe in lies. That is why James said that faith without works is dead. What sort of faith is belief in something when you do nothing about it? It is dead faith. It is useless faith. In fact, it isn't faith at all. It is plain stupidity if not lunacy.
It has to be said, and it has to be said bluntly: the natural, carnal man is stupid. He's an idiot. Even a moron. His brain, and sometimes his heart, tells him one thing, and he goes and does another.
I often tell the Mongolian story of what hell is like. The Mongols, as you may know, traditionally eat with giant chopsticks. Their picture of hell is everyone seated around a large banqueting table each with one giant chopstick. Try though they may to feed themselves, they cannot. The story goes that two people sitting next to each other unite to feed the person opposite them, each with their single chopstick, and so beat hell. Hell, in this picture, is our own selfishness and idiocy. Further, authority is shared co-operatively.
Whether we like it or not, there is no way that anyone can survive in this life alone. That is Truth #1. And Truth #2 is like unto it: you won't get into heaven unless you surrender your own authority and independence and yield it entirely to the Creator.
I knew a woman who was without doubt the mistress of her own life. And she had the temporal power to be that mistress too because she was a multimillionaire. But once Yahweh began to place demands on her to relinquish that control, she recoiled. Her defence was that she was a 'free spirit' and could not be bound down by anything. Such utter nonsense. The only 'free spirit' is a rebellious spirit. 'Free spirits' belong to the realm of myth. As it turns out, this lady was far from free - she was actually a prisoner of forces that had her bound in chains.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes:
"There is a crisis in authority in society today. All inherited authority is suspect, whether it is the authority of the husband, the parents, the school or the state. It is regarded as incompatible with man's freedom. Yet what has resulted is a disordered and dehumanised society.
"But the source of this confusion lies in the church itself. Things are as they are in the world today because the church has abandoned its authority. The authority of the Bible has been called in question and commonly today the church is left without any sense of divine authority" (D.M.Lloyd-Jones, Authority, Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1985, back cover)
Ever since the hippie revolution of the 1960s declared authority to be incompatible with freedom, we have had nothing but disorder and strife in society. And the greatest irony of it all is that this same generation of revolutionaries, which rejected Christian morals and ethics, and is in power today, has created a system of government with so many petty laws, rules, and regulations that we have never been so governed in our history as we are today. We are drowning in red tape. It has got so bad that we are now being subjected to a new kind of legislation and a new kind of crime: the thought crime. It is now a criminal offence to even think certain things like, for example, that homosexuality is wrong. The generation that supposedly championed freedom has, without perhaps realising it, created one of the most stifling, oppressive systems of government the world has ever known. We have reached such heights of absurdity that in the European Union (EU) is it illegal to sell curved bananas.
There are a lot of people who are rightly reacting to all of this though in truth they have nothing to replace it with. Because the political systems which are available are all oppressive to one degree of another. And the reason they are oppressive is because they lack true authority.
In the world system in which we live - the system which the Bible calls 'Babylon' - authority is based on force, not attraction. Authority is based on fear, not love. Authority is based on lies, not truth. Governments operate on this basis and so do homes. We are expected to accept certain authorities without ever being told why we should. In short, we are not being told by what authority authority is being exercised over us. And the few intellectuals who do tell you will throw up such explanations as 'democracy', 'evolution', and the like. But what is democracy? Democracy is the 'right' to chose some people, who in truth we know very little about us, to be dictators over us. A small clique of a few hundred men and women make our laws. And we have believed the lie that we 'control' them through the 'will of the people'. The only control that we actually have is to persuade a majority of people - good and evil - to get rid of one set of dictators and install another.
The 'solution' to this problem has been to create different kinds of dictatorships like communism and fascism. Sometimes they can do some good but mostly they just enslave people even more. So people choose the lesser of three evils. Better to be partially dictated to, they rationalise, than to be completely dictated too. There is a fourth way, and its called anarchism. Anarchists have only ever ruled briefly in Spain between the two world wars, and then only in some areas. But that's a form of dictatorship too.
As you critically analyse political systems you soon realise that the promise of 'freedom' is a total and utter fabrication. There are only degrees of dictatorship. And that is the dilemma of the world system. It doesn't work, which is why it is always so unstable. It's why there are constant wars. It's why there is constant social anarchy or repression. And no wonder - for the Bible tells us that Babylon is "a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!" (Rev.18:2, NKJV).
We have been fed so many lies about 'freedom' and 'authority' that people have no idea what these words mean anymore. We have been taught a complete and utter fabrication about worldly paradises as offered by this political system or that. Every system of authority invented by man has been repressive to one degree or another because there is no such thing as absolute freedom, or a world without oppression, under the governments and authority of man. Some systems have introduced checks and balances to prevent oppression as much as possible but these can only work so long as the majority of the citizens in a democratic country are righteous. Democracy is no safeguard of the liberty of man even if it may be better than absolute dictatorship.
People have been dreaming of earthly Utopias for millennia. They have never been able to make one to work. Catholic, Mormon, Islamic, Nazi, and Communist utopias have all failed. Lenin's dictum, "Freedom is so precious that it must be rationed" has shown itself to be a lie because freedom was never defined. Instead, we have been taught an anti-language where freedom means oppression and peace means war.
Not until Yahweh's absolute authority is recognised, accepted, and implemented in all areas of life will anything approaching true freedom become the lot of man. And I am here not talking about man's perception of God but the real God as He really is.
Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) had two kinds of authority. Firstly, he had what is called 'outer', 'exoteric', or 'legal' authority. He actually had the right to sit on the Throne of Israel. He was descended from King David along both his literal maternal line as well as along his adopted paternal line. He was a literal King though politically denied His throne by a non-Hebrew Idumean semi-pagan upstart called Herod. He also had religious authority. He was a regularly ordained Rabbi with authority to teach the Torah anywhere He went in Israel or amongst Jews elsewhere. That is why He was addressed by the title of 'Rabbi'. In spite of having all these legitimate forms of authority, none of these are what drew people to follow Him, and not once did He ever appeal to them as the basis for people listening to, or accepting, His teachings. When religious people come to you demanding your attention because of this kind of authority - and there are many today from Catholics, to Jehovah's Witnesses, to Mormons - you may at once know that they are not appealing to the same kind of authority that Christ or His apostles appealed to, because any kind of external authority implies, at one level or another, compulsion or fear.
What, then, was the authority that Yah'shua (Jesus) possessed which drew the crowds and, once they had been sifted, left Him with a devoted band of disciples who were willing to lay down their very lives for Him? And what authority did the Apostles possess that lead people to do the same? It was not because they had been certified in theological seminaries, was it? It wasn't because they had been given some 'magical ordination', was it? The authority they possessed was something invisible that manifested in their very lives in such a way as to be non-threatening and immensely desirable. Let's now look at this 'invisible power'.
Yah'shua (Jesus) had moral authority because He perfectly lived what He preached. He lived the Law or Torah without fault. He simply obeyed His Heavenly Father. He relied, not on Himself, but on Yahweh-Elohim. And by the same token, the Apostles relied entirely on the resurrected Yah'shua (Jesus) and not on their own strength.
A second line of authority that Yah'shua (Jesus) had was authentic teaching. We read:
"And so it was, when Yah'shua (Jesus) had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (Matt.7:28-29, NKJV)
Now we mustn't miss the importance of this. There are two people teaching here. One is Yah'shua (Jesus) who taught with authority, and the others were the 'scribes' or Torah-teachers. They were both teaching Scriptures, but One taught with life and others without it. The teaching of One was full of power and the other was dry and lifeless. One was by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and one was by the dead letter.
For many people the Bible is their God. For them the medium - the printed word - has become the substance, which it can never be. And so you will find that there are those who teach the Bible who make it come alive and there are those who teach the Bible and send everyone to sleep or into a hypnotic trance. By the same token, there are those who read the Bible whose hearts are fairly racing as they do, and there are those who read it who find it the most crushingly boring piece of literature in existence.
You see, true authority is the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). Only the Ruach (Spirit) brings life. But as we discussed in our earlier studies of the Ruach (Spirit) there are also psychic counterfeits which always lead away from Torah and from authentic authority and power (Lessons #4 & #5).
Some people who claim to get past passive faith in God to actually accepting His authority in their life by obeying His commandments stumble when it comes to the second level of authority that Yahweh has established. Even before they reach that they may stumble on His instance that wives obey their husbands, and children their parents. And then, suddenly, they are confronted with His insistence that the believer subject himself to the authority of the Pastor and Elders of his local assembly (church) and to the apostles to whom these, in their turn, are subjected. Immediately, all kinds of triggers are set off in the mind of 21st Century Man and he at once suspects the legitimacy of such authority and recoils, because he has been brainwashed to believe that this authority is supposedly incompatible with his 'freedom´. Which leads me to the final, and probably the most critical, realm of authority, and it is this: Divine authority is based on TRUTH whereas the authority of man is based on LIES.
When we believe that we are our own authority in any way we are yielding ourselves to the Lie of lies. This is the core of the doctrine of Satanism and uncomfortable though this may feel, to believe that you are in any way your own authority is to be a Satanist in one degree or another. And I guarantee this is probably the most offensive teaching to human pride that anyone could ever say because what it is saying is that you don't have to be a devil-worshipper or someone who participates in hideous satanic rituals to be a Satanist. A Satanist is anyone who believes in the sovereignty of man. A Satanist is anyone who believes in him- or herself instead of Yahweh. Anything that displaces Yahweh as Lord and Sovereign of human life is Satanism.
The truth is, and always will be, that whilst we are given the free agency to choose life over death, truth over lies, freedom over bondage, what this actually means in practice is that we are given the choice to either be a Yahwist (and by extension, a Christian) or a Satanist. The moment we reject any truth principle - whether it is the authority of Yah'shua (Jesus) or the local assembly (church) or any other truth - we are aligning ourselves with the enemy. And the moment we do that, we at once start to employ his system of authority based on force, fear, and lies.
There are two dictators in the cosmos - Yahweh, who is a benevolent Dictator full of love, grace, and truth - and Satan, who is a malicious Dictator who pretends to be a champion of freedom, liberty and peace, but who employs deception and robbery to win or force our allegiance to him. Yahweh wants us to come to Him of our own free will and to obey Him in trust. He compels no-one. We are given the freedom to do things His way or Satan's way, even if we don't acknowledge the existence or authority of either! When people say life is complex it is only because they have not chosen Yahweh - and therefore by default are following Satan (consciously or unconsciously) - or they are trying to play the double-agent game of walking with one foot in the Kingdom of God and the other in the kingdom of darkness. And when you do the latter, you inevitably have an identity crisis.
For those of you who have a philosophical frame of mind what this means is that there is no such thing as absolute human freedom- there never has been and never will be. It is a lie that Satan has invented and wants you to believe. The experiences of life should be enough to verify this truth. We may not like this realisation and may even desire to rebel against it, but if you think about it, such a course is as foolish as trying to put out the sun with a can of water. When a man believes or claims absolute freedom he is claiming to be God, for only Yahweh has that. Getting a dose of reality by accepting the obvious goes a long way towards finding peace. This is hard for young people who are seething with energy but nearly all people as they get older and wiser come to understand this truth in whole or in part. Which is why the apostle Paul warned youth to be very careful and told them to obey Torah by subjecting themselves to their parents. Youthful eyes that think the world, or any part of it, belongs to them are deceptive eyes. Reality is very different.
We have been fed a whole bucket of lies about 'freedom' which the devil has used to decouple from authority. We have systematically been presented with a whole chain of lies to make sure that 'freedom' and 'religion' are viewed as two separate and irreconcilable entities. What Satan has done is set up so-called 'science' as the alternative authority to religious truth and the champion of freedom. Here lies have been nestled within more lies because Satan wants Christians to be 'anti-science'. The uncoupling of science from religious truth is artificial. Yahweh is the ultimate Scientist. It is His Creation, His Cosmos, His Laws. What Satan has done is substituted Yahweh's Truth for a man-made philosophy called 'Evolution', a doctrine with promotes the idea that all order and intelligence come out of nothing - a mythical 'evolutionary force'. Occultists and Satanists are, of course, more than comfortable with this philosophy (which at root is religious, based as it is on blind faith), because they claim this invisible evolutionary 'force' is none other than all life-in-one, much as New Ager George Lucas would have us believe in his Star Wars stories. And behind this pantheistic force, the occultists would have us believe, is Lucifer ... who has always wanted to be God.
Science has brought has much wonderful technology (along with some pretty horrific technology too) but it has not brought us spiritual freedom. The grand promises of a scientific utopia trumpeted over a century ago have shown themselves to be utterly hollow. The world with less Christianity has grown ever more morally and socially corrupt and diseased. The promise that a mythical entity called 'science' would solve all our problems has proven a lie. Instead of dealing with the day to day issues here they talk instead of making people live for ever using anti-ageing drugs or taking the problem elsewhere by colonising new planets. They have no solution. Science under the authority of Yahweh and His Torah can indeed, and should, bless us, but without Him becomes just another agent of Satanism.
So I end with a simple yet seemingly brutal question to you all: are you willing to completely place yourself under the authority, blessing and protection of Yahweh, or will your forfeit your life to the enemy of your soul? As Paul said:
"... no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (Heb.12:11, NKJV).
May Yahweh strengthen you and bless you as you courageously make the right decision for Him as I again remind you of the immortal words of Winston Churchill who said: "Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all the others". There are no cowards in heaven (Rev.21:8) because to get there you have make the Decision of all decisions to yield the sovereignty of your whole life, in every part, to the authority of Yahweh through Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Amen.
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