The subject is submission for those that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and the question is: How does submission work in the Kingdom of God on earth? You asked specifically for an explanation of Victor’s words, which you and your friend found alarming:
“Come, submit to me, follow me and you will know that I speak the truth (by the grace of God because I am a mere man saved from sin myself), because you will find rest, peace, purpose, prosperity.”
Let me tell you about myself and my experience. That is a good place to start. Yes, we have true doctrine, but only because we have experienced these things ourselves and speak with the substance of what the Lord has done in our lives. If you will read my testimony (Paul Cohen), you will see that I had made request of God to send someone to help me find my way. That seems a perfectly natural request when one considers the religious confusion that prevails everywhere, and how opinion and doctrine do not answer our specific and personal needs. And if one ventures into sin that does not appear as sin to “Christendom,” where can a guide be found to lead one out of bondage? Is that not the precise reason the Lord appoints shepherds?
The Lord gave me to make request of Him for a shepherd, which was His will for me, that I might walk with Him in spirit and in truth. That is why He came in the first place, that we might walk with Him and have life. But how can this happen without a man to show us the way, as the Ethiopian said to Philip, whom God had miraculously brought to him to provide that very thing?
It was no less a miracle for me, in the middle of the Negev desert not far from where Philip met the Ethiopian, to meet Victor, a Gentile in the flesh sent by God to live in a foreign land amongst unbelieving Jews, right next door to me! I recall how wonderful it was to have someone to talk with about the things of God, about his experiences and of things in the Bible. How good it was to visit about matters of substance in a dry and barren place! But there came a time when I also realized, quite pointedly, that it was about far more than just sharing things and talking about God.
The realization came one day as we were visiting in his room after work. During the course of our conversation, Victor quoted these words of the Lord Jesus:
“You will not see Me until it come when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord” (Luke 13:35 MKJV).
In that instant I knew that though I was enjoying the understanding the Lord had given Victor, unless I received Victor as I would the Lord Himself, willing to submit to whatever message of God he spoke to me, it was all for naught. The Word was made flesh and had come to speak to me. Would I listen? This was before Victor told me I was in fornication and would have to leave my wife if I were to make things right where I had gone wrong. Had I not heard from the Lord on this matter of submitting to His Word through Victor, I could not have received His instructions on what I needed to do. I would have judged those words to be not of God, unsuitable because undesirable and not what my flesh wanted. But because the Lord had prepared me, giving me understanding that He had answered my prayer, sending His servant to show me the way, I knew I needed to follow that way or I was rejecting God.
The Lord confirmed this, as I also relate in my testimony, through Victor’s wife, Marilyn. When I told her I was considering waiting on obeying the Lord after I heard from Him when it was the right time to leave my wife, she spoke prophetically and said, “He will not be speaking to you again.” I knew what she said was true, and the ramifications of not obeying broke my heart.
Why should God speak to me again about what He had already told me to do, and had confirmed to me in my soul and through the Scriptures? How could I not obey Him and live without Him? If one decides to not do what God says, how can that one presume to continue seeking after Him and call Him “Lord”? Very simply, one cannot. He gave me the grace to do what I needed to do, which He sent a man to tell me to do for my sake. He did that so that some day I could lay down my life for His sake and be sent to others for their sakes.
There is a vast difference between gathering with others in doctrinal agreement, while each maintains his or her sovereignty in belief and action, and submitting to the Lord in what He speaks through those He anoints to lead and feed His sheep. The former is all you have known, Anna, and it is that which you presently have, though you think to have rejected man’s religion. You have not been in agreement with others in their various forms of religion, with whom you may have separated yourself physically, but spiritually you are no different than they are because you are still only doing that which is right in your own eyes. You have not come to the cross to know the Lord; you have not submitted your life, relinquishing control to Him, which is the only way to acknowledge Him as Lord. You have not trusted Him through those by whom He manifests Himself in the preaching of the true gospel of liberation and life, which comes with instructions and commandments:
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46 EMTV)
Your freedom will only come by this kind of death, laying down your life in the place where He has chosen to put His Name, and not as you choose, sacrificing on every hill and under every tree you see. Those sacrifices are not accepted; in fact, they anger God.
You are walking according to your self-righteous, religious heart, feeding off the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The fruit of that tree strengthens you in your own righteousness, and you go back to consume more to maintain the strength of rebellion. That is why you could read from our site for two years, apparently in agreement, but not come to us until now, with this very important question about submission. It has become apparent, even to you, that we teach that more is called for than just learning doctrine. We teach that the Lord requires submission, your life, and that we are here to bring that crucial, missing element to His lost sheep. Without it, you have nothing – “She that keeps her life shall lose it….”
You have been keeping your life to yourself, the very opposite of submission. Your reaction to the Lord’s teaching on this matter confirms this. You do not see the Lord or know He is with us. Does this not tell us you are a goat, and not a sheep? Have we not hungered for the meat of belief from those who profess, and thirsted for righteousness among those claiming His Name? And what have you given us, except your unbelief and self-righteousness? Are we not flesh and blood, suffering the necessities of this life and the battles of the next? And where have you been, sitting off by yourself, eating and drinking but not sharing anything, physical or otherwise, with those who labor in the Word?
“Then He also shall say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in; I was naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me. Then they will also answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You? Then He shall answer them, saying, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these [My brethren], you did not do it to Me” (Matthew 25:41-45 MKJV).
Let’s say that instead of our site you had been reading the truths given to our brother Paul, as recorded in his letters. If Paul were alive in the flesh here on earth today, do you mean to tell me that you would not have contacted him for two years, and then only to question whether you should believe that God has given him authority to raise up and discipline children in the faith? That is exactly what you have said because it is what you have done. What you have done with us, you have done with Paul. We are one with Paul, of the same body, serving the same Lord. You read and feed on our writings but keep us at arm’s length, questioning by what authority we do these things. What you have done with the servants of God, you have done with God. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever.
“And when He had come into the Temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, By what authority do you do these things? And who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23 MKJV)
And since we speak as one with the Lord and His apostles, let us ask you; was their testimony and ministry from Heaven or from men?
If the Lord is not with us, you are right to not submit to us – go your way and do your thing. But if you are reading our site for two years because He is with us, receiving the truth we preach from God, then who are you to pick and choose from it? Who set you up as judge over God? You need to decide for yourself which it is. Are we of God, or are we just more religious ones doing their own thing? But how can you tell when you are a religious one doing her own thing? Unless the Lord gives it to you, you are lost, and will remain lost.
Meanwhile, you have some serious questions to answer. You speak of the equality of believers, all being called to submit to one another. Are you also telling us that children are equal in stature and authority to fathers? That is not right according to the Scriptures and you know it. So, if Paul was a spiritual father (as he said he was with Timothy – 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2 – and the Corinthians – 1 Corinthians 4:15), how is it you reject the call to obedience and submission this implies to those receiving the gospel of Christ from him? You quote Paul’s words, exhorting his children in the faith to imitate him, but there are two things I can tell you about his statement.
One, Paul was speaking to those with like faith of Christ, telling them to worship Christ in the same manner as he did. This means being crucified with Christ and walking in His Spirit. Two, how that is lived out for each person varies, but walking with the Lord does not negate following the lead of those who are given a charge by Him. On the contrary, it demands it:
“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 13:17 KJV).
Paul was not using the word “imitate” to imply that all have the same calling or authority. You even quoted his words to that effect:
“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
Not all are fathers or masters, nor should we want to be:
“Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment” (James 3:1 HNV).
To what end are masters or teachers judged more severely? To prepare them to judge others in righteousness. How can one train others unless he is trained? How can one remove something from your eye unless that which is in his own has been removed? Which brings us back to Paul’s words about imitating. You quote those words, but not what he goes on to say. He goes on to correct the notion that each can keep his or her own counsel and disregard the directives given by masters, teachers, elders, fathers, and assigned shepherds of God:
“Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. Because of this I sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church. Now some were puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you quickly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love, and a spirit of gentleness?” (1 Corinthians 4:16-21 EMTV)
Was Paul not expecting that they would obey his word? Was there equality of opinion, or did he speak the Word of God that demanded obedience from those who believed?
“Or did the word of God go forth from you? Or did it come to you only? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or is spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I am writing to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1Co 14:36-37).
Obviously submitting to one another means something other than what you think, or else the Scriptures are in contradiction, which we know they are not. We are explaining to you how you are the one in error and contradiction, not the Scriptures. You say that you and your friend “find no precedence set by Yashua or any of the disciples in regards to them asking or demanding of anyone to submit.”
Jesus commanded several to follow Him, such as Peter and John and their brothers, as well as Matthew, who all immediately obeyed. If that is not a call to submission, what is? He knocked Paul off his donkey and told him exactly what he would need to do, both immediately and in the future. If that does not imply submission, what would?
What about the apostles; did they call on others to submit? Have I not quoted Paul, who declared he taught the commandments of the Lord? Do you think believers were free to ignore or contradict him and remain in fellowship with the Lord? And if he was preaching the kind of submission you do, where everyone is equal and can decide for him or herself what should be done, why was Paul forsaken and alone at times?
“For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and he has departed to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark and bring him with you, for he is profitable to me for the ministry… At my first answer no one was beside me, but all deserted me. May it not be laid to their charge” (2 Timothy 4:10-11, 16 MKJV).
Submitting to one another as believers, the kind of submission you describe (and one which you do not fulfill), is submitting to the truth shared by all those who are Christ’s as each manifests His gifts and Spirit. A woman can prophesy, but she is not to usurp authority over the man. The man will bow down before the truth she speaks, as David did with Abigail, but she will not be in authority over him. So witness the words of a true woman of God:
“And she arose and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let your handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord” (1 Samuel 25:41 MKJV).
In all of these things there is perfect harmony in Christ, because whether man or woman, slave or freeman, high or low, we are all of us unprofitable servants only doing what has been our duty to do. We are what God has made us and are submitted to Him by His new nature that seeks not its own. We serve the Lord and His body in love, because He first loved us.
You are not serving the body, but yourself. That is why you are alone, having no fellowship in the Lord. You are after knowledge, not the Truth, the Lord Jesus Christ. You are eating from the wrong tree, which has made you wise in your own sight but rebellious towards God.
It is not this way for those of us in the Body of Christ. We eat from the Tree of Life, which is guarded by a flaming sword. What is that flaming sword? It is the cross that calls for submission to the Word of God as spoken by His servants. It is the laying down of our lives for His sake and each others’.
We are not calling on people to submit to us by force, certainly not as the religious who have done so by physical coercion (Catholic Church and others), but not even by force of our reasoning or words. We do not expect or want your submission, except you believe. If you do not receive us as sent of God, you cannot receive the reward of God:
“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward: and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward” (Matthew 10:41 HNV).
We are here to serve Him and to help others do the same. For those not interested, the servant of the Lord is not called to strive. I once saw a very good illustration of this on a TV program comparing natural, holistic treatments with conventional medicine. There was an interview with a Chinese natural doctor who prescribed holistic treatment for several women with breast cancer. This man knew what he was doing. He would take a urine sample, examine the tongue and pulse, check other externals, and he then could accurately assess each person’s condition and prescribe a suitable regimen of diet and lifestyle to address her problems. He warned each woman that if she did not precisely follow what he said, the treatment would not work and he would no longer work with her.
One woman went against his instructions, and he refused to treat her further. She was not happy, but she did not want to give up her wine or whatever it was. So why, then, should he waste his time and hers, when she was not committed to doing what he knew she must to get better? He was fair, laying out the conditions in advance, and did not strive. He knew the value of what he had to give, which could not be changed to suit those who chose their preferences. There was nothing further he could do for those who would not submit to what he knew was true.
Some people prefer to die than to be told what to do.
If we should listen to those who provide counsel for our bodies, how much more should we pay heed to what God prescribes for us through His servants, for the salvation of our souls, should we be so fortunate to have such sent to us!
“And so You gave them up into the hands of their haters who were cruel to them: and in the time of their trouble, when they made their prayer to you, You gave ear to them from Heaven; and in Your great mercy gave them saviors, who made them free from the hands of their haters” (Nehemiah 9:27 BBE).
He sent men to save them. How can they be saved, though, if they refuse those who are sent to them?
“Give ear to me, O Judah and you people of Jerusalem: have faith in the Lord your God and you will be safe; have faith in his prophets and all will go well for you” (2 Chronicles 20:20 BBE).
You must come to the place where you no longer see submission as a dirty thing, picturing yourself as a slave held by chains around her limbs and neck, forced to comply with the will of an evil master. That is in fact your present situation because, as you do not serve Christ, you are a slave to sin. Sin brings death. It comes promising you life, to be as God knowing good and evil, but you end up on your own, outside the Garden (the Kingdom of God), and dead in your sins because you chose to keep your life. In death you are unable to perceive your state (“the dead know nothing”), but now we announce and reveal it to you in the Light and Life. Instead of holding up your hands to shield your eyes from the light, why not hold them out to embrace those who bring it?
You must come to the place where you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord,” and lose your life, submitting to a man of God for your salvation, because he speaks the words of God Who is with him:
“And in that day seven women will put their hands on one man, saying, There will be no need for you to give us food or clothing, only let us go under your name, so that our shame may be taken away” (Isaiah 4:1 BBE).
“Thus says the LORD of Armies: In those days, ten men will take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, they will take hold of the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, ‘We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” (Zechariah 8:23 HNV).
Many quote the words of the Lord, but few understand them:
“Truly I say to you, Whoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it” (Mark 10:15 MKJV).
Is the Lord speaking only of a child’s willingness to believe? Is He not speaking of the child’s ability to trust and obey? Is that not what is required of a child, and what a child does in a healthy relationship with its parents?
“Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing in the Lord” (Colossians 3:20 EMTV).
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you” (Exodus 20:12 HNV).
The Lord says that unless you become submissive as a child, full of faith and obedience, you will not enter His Kingdom. How do you obey? You believe His servants and receive His Word with meekness. What is meekness? It is the humility and reverence of God to obey, not just in the abstract, but by the Word delivered in earthen vessels:
“But become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22 EMTV).
Is the Word only what is in the Bible? Some think so, but they err:
“For ‘whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.’ How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear apart from a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, of those preaching the gospel of good things!’” (Romans 10:13-15 EMTV)
Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh. He has been made flesh in us. Have you seen a Bible with feet? Has a Bible sent you emails, or spoken to you as Elihu, who said to Job:
“Behold, I am according to your wish in God’s stead: I also am formed out of the clay” (Job 33:6 KJV).
We have come to you in the Name of the Lord, also in God’s stead, regarding which He says:
“Most assuredly I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him Who sent Me” (John 13:20 EMTV).
What do you think receiving a servant of the Lord means, Anna? Reading selectively what he writes from afar, picking and choosing what you like, discarding the rest, much as one processes sugar or salt, making a poison out of what is naturally whole and life-giving?
Had you not red Victor’s testimony in these last two years? And if you had, let me now open your eyes to what is there and has been hidden from your view. Here are the Lord’s words to Victor about why He is hurting:
“Eight years later, in 1984, He gave me to query Him on what He had told me. I asked, ‘Lord, why are You hurting?’ He answered, ‘Because My people are suffering.’ I asked, ‘Why are they suffering?’ He replied, ‘Because they don’t obey Me.’ I asked, ‘Why don’t they obey You?’ He said, ‘Because they choose their own ways.’ ‘Why do they choose their own ways?’ I asked. He answered, ‘Because they lack knowledge.’ ‘Why do they lack knowledge?’ I asked. He replied, ‘Because nobody is willing to give his life that they might have that knowledge.’”
Clearly you are choosing your own ways. God took Victor aside, causing him to lay down his life so that you could also have the knowledge of God by obedience to what He has given us. Why do you despise that? Rejecting us, you reject Him and the precious knowledge of Him that comes by obedience and the taking up of the cross.
The earth is full of religion but is void of the saving knowledge of God that comes only through the cross of Christ. There are many who make sacrifice and observe carnal commandments, but none know how to take up the cross and walk with Him. He has said this would be so (Luke 18:8). He has personally told us it is so, and we have seen it with our own eyes, time and time again. There is much profession, but no faith. Truly, every person does that which is right in his or her own sight while the House of God has been forsaken.
The Lord has raised us up to repair the breach and to restore the path of truth and life. He has sent us to bring the good news of His kingdom to the world. The message is that Jesus Christ is Lord, not to rule in the future, but ruling presently, and to Him shall every knee bow. It is time to get on with it. That means you can no longer do your own thing, religious or not. Believer or not, all are called to honor the Word of God that goes forth from Jerusalem. Live and prosper, or die and be destroyed. We are Jerusalem from above, the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles spoken of in Zechariah:
“And it shall be, everyone who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be, whoever will not come up from all the families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, even on them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt does not go up, nor come in, they shall have no rain, but the plague with which Jehovah shall strike the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16-18).
That is the way it has been and will be. You will see. Watch what happens if you walk away on account of your self-preserving pride. There will be no rain on your land.
Everyone thinks these words are of a future supernatural event, just as they expect the Lord to rend the sky and appear to all as a colossus somehow visible to all men at once. These are carnal reasonings and interpretations, fanciful and unreal. The Lord’s coming and the Feast of Tabernacles is a present supernatural event, a spiritual reality. The Kingdom of God comes without observation, for He comes within. Men did not recognize Him when He first came, and neither do they when He comes again in those He chooses. Nevertheless, He will do all that He has promised to do. We are here to testify of His faithfulness.
You, on the other hand, testify of yourself, and the Lord is nowhere to be seen or heard of. You write:
“Only last week, I commented to my husband that if anything happened to him that I would search high and lo for at least one other follower (true Israelite) who follows the God of Israel as do we.”
If your husband is a true follower of the God of Israel, as you say, how is it that you are speaking for him, and he is not speaking for you? Why is he silent and not part of this discussion, one where you take the lead and even draw conclusions before we have spoken? Why are you not submitted to your head? The Scriptures say you should learn at home from your husband. How is it you have reversed positions and he must learn from you in whatever you come up with here and teach him? Why is he submitted to you? Or are we missing something? Tell us; we will consider what you say. You continue:
“To that end, I expanded my thought and said something to the effect, ‘I’d probably look up Paul and Victor — I don’t know anyone else who believes/worships like us as do they, and at least fellowship once a week with them.’”
How revealing! You talk about fellowshipping with us if you lose your husband. Why must you lose your husband to be in touch with other believers, especially if they are as rare as you suggest and you are so lacking in contact? I will tell you why. You are not part of His body. You are disconnected, and prefer it that way. You are islands unto yourselves. That is not good, but that is the way you have chosen it to be.
If you were true worshippers of God we would automatically have fellowship:
“But if we are walking in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 EMTV).
We do not have fellowship because you are walking in doctrines, mistaking those for the Light. You are satisfied to sit in your little doctrinal kingdom, sitting on the throne of knowledge by which you judge all things and hold out your scepter to what agrees with you in your righteousness. It has nothing to do with Christ. He comes in us and says, “Follow Me,” and you say, “I will not submit to a man.”
Your notion of fellowship is perverse. It is the one taught and propagated by the whore, Mystery, Babylon the Great. She empowers corrupt flesh to take charge of her “fellowships,” where men decide and control when and where they meet and what they do. Mystery savors the things of man, just like her husband, the devil. The fellowship of which John speaks is as different from this as day is from night. It is not something any man can do; it is what he is when connected to the Source. It is the manifestation and expression of Christ, Who comes in the flesh. We walk in the Light and are cleansed by His blood, reflecting His Presence in one another as we come together. That is why Jesus said:
“For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, I am there in their midst” (Matthew 18:20 EMTV).
And what does the Lord do with His faithful ones, who walk in the Light with Him? You do not believe the words of the One you presume to love and worship:
“And the Lord said, ‘Who then is a faithful and wise steward, whom his Master will make ruler over His household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his Master will find so doing when He comes. Truly I say to you, that He will appoint him over all His possessions” (Luke 12:42-44 EMTV).
What does ruler mean to you? Are you not acting as a sister of Korah and his fellow rebels, who came together against Moses and Aaron, saying:
“You take overmuch on yourselves, seeing that all the people are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them; why then have you put yourselves in authority over the people of the Lord?” (Numbers 16:3 BBE)
You ask: “If Victor has confidence that he teaches truth, and I believe he does, why does he write such papers trying to justify his stance for requesting submission?”
Those are not attempts to justify his stance. Are you not judging hearts without any knowledge of the hidden motives? Those papers are justification of the Truth, with Whom we happen to stand.
You go on to say: “He [Victor] sights [sic] many OT scripture, yet completely ignores Yashua’s example that the greatest amongst any group of worshipers of YHWH is the one who humbly serves.”
What are you talking about? I have known Victor for twenty-nine years and have seen his example as one given to submit to his authority. What do you know? Have you seen his example? No, all you have done is red his words, which you do not understand or correctly apply. Yehoshua, Jesus Christ, came to serve as He said and did, but you overlook the matter of His Lordship altogether. He told His followers what to do and also criticized their lack of faith. How well would you hold up under that? However, you are not found among His disciples, but among the Pharisees who reject His authority, whom He rebuked for their hypocrisies:
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draws near to Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me’” (Matthew 15:7-8 MKJV).
How humbly did Nehemiah serve, in your estimation? All Scripture is given by inspiration of God for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). What does Nehemiah teach us about God’s appointed leaders and submission? Nehemiah was a great man of faith, who was given authority as a ruler over the children of Israel and the honor of bringing captive Israel back into her land to rebuild the Temple of God. What do you think of his shocking treatment of believers who had sinned in marrying heathen women?
“So I took those men to task, gave them a piece of my mind, even slapped some of them and jerked them by the hair. I made them swear to God: ‘Don’t marry your daughters to their sons; and don’t let their daughters marry your sons–and don’t you yourselves marry them!’” (Nehemiah 13:25 MSG)
What do you know about true humility and the service of God, that you think you would recognize it when you saw it? Your measure is carnal, superficial, light and unreal. Moses, the meekest man on earth, commanded the slaughter of 3,000 of his own people at Mt. Sinai. Yet he seems gentle next to Christ, Who was ready to destroy the entire people! The Lord said to Moses:
“Let Me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under the heavens. And I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they” (Deuteronomy 9:14 MKJV).
Why not admit you do not understand or know these things as you should? Be honest, instead of just being religious, proud, and wrong. There is much at stake in this. While the children of Israel rebelled against Moses, and suffered greatly for it, you rebel against the One Who speaks directly from Heaven, Jesus Christ, and what price do you think that carries?
“See that you do not refuse Him Who speaks. For if they did not escape, those who refused him that spoke on earth, much more we shall not escape if we turn away from Him Who speaks from Heaven” (Hebrews 12:25 MKJV).
While you consider and reject Victor’s words as the words of a man, I know and can say differently because I have received them as the Word of God, which comes with a reward:
“Because of this we also give thanks to God unceasingly, so that when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you received not the word of men, but just as it truly is, the Word of God, which also is at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 EMTV).
I know and have experienced the reward, the salvation of God, which came by believing the one sent to me in His Name. What do you have, except your doctrines? Hearing the Word of God is much more than just collecting and comparing interpretations, deciding which is right and sticking to your favorites. It is walking in obedience to those sent to preach Christ, the Living Word, being led into His salvation.
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12 EMTV).
The problem for you, Anna, is that you are mistaken about how men of God bring people freedom. You say:
“We (my friend and I) agree that all believers don’t have equal authority and status, especially in regards to making a petition (the prayers of a righteous man avail much). In this light we see that the primary purpose of authority is to set people free; it is primarily authority over the Kingdom of Darkness, to deliver and heal, etc, and not primarily authority over people (authority to serve rather than ask for or demand/require submission).”
The way that men of God exercise authority over the kingdom of darkness is by teaching people to honor and obey God rather than Satan. If people listen and do as they are told, then God can and will deliver them from the power of darkness. There is no shortcut or magic wand that can be waved to effect such a transformation. The Law and the cross are waiting for everyone that will enter into Christ, the true worship of God.
We can only bring you as far as we have gone. If we are seated in Heaven with Christ, then it is to Him that we bring those who believe:
“For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creation was not willingly subjected to vanity, but because of Him Who subjected it on hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:19-21 MKJV).
We have come to liberate the captives, but those such as yourself, who call liberty “bondage” and “control,” remain in prison, subject to your carnal and fallen natures. As children of darkness you reject any authority over yourselves. You want the goods but refuse the price of admission. You look for those who can pray for your healing and deliverance, but you will not submit to the Healer and Deliverer. The plain truth is that if you will not submit to us as servants of God, you will not submit to God, and you will go home empty, even if you were to get healed and gain the whole world. God causes the sun to shine on the wicked, too, so do not mistake His goodness for confirmation of favor and His salvation:
“There is a way that seems right to a person, but eventually it ends in death” (Proverbs 16:25 GW).
The converse is also true: There is a way that seems wrong to a person, which eventually leads to life. The flesh hates authority and submission; it feels so wrong, but how can you call Jesus “Lord” without having those things? If you will not submit to a man whom you have seen, neither will you submit to God, Whom you have not.
How can one familiar with the Scriptures, seeking knowledge and enlightenment in them, not see these things, except she is blinded because yet in her sins? Have you not red this?
“Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels, not to mention the things of this life? If, then, you truly have judgments of the things of this life, set those who are least esteemed in the church to judge” (1 Corinthians 6:2-4 MKJV).
Isn’t this all about submission, and levels of submission? How can those who are least in the church be capable of judging matters of this life, requiring submission of others in their judgments, except they are submitted to those over them in Christ who put them there? But you know nothing of the true church, or, more accurately, the gathering of called out ones in Christ. Your conception is that of the Whore who loves her independence, with each person equally entitled to his or her opinion. This is how she has come to be full of names of blasphemy. Every person does what is right in his or her own eyes, calling it by the Name of God. This is blasphemy.
We are the antidote in Christ, for those who believe:
“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. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever” (Hebrews 13:7-8 KJV).
Yes, there is rulership given to those whom God appoints for these positions, which is anathema to the rebellious, but brings rest and peace to those who believe and submit:
“Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 MKJV).
The yoke of His servants is easy and the burden is light. It is not like the yoke of men, who exercise authority to serve themselves. It is the yoke of Christ, Who has come to set us free – the only way to freedom. The service of God is for the good of all, and the first to benefit is the one submitting.
But what do you know of service to God? Your ways testify of your lawlessness, even in the “little” things you do. You write to me about Victor:
“Victor seems to be lacking in maturity on the matter of delivering truth with humility and a heart-to-serve; I wonder if he is even teachable in this regards, and that saddens me a bit.”
First, the letter you responded to was carbon copied to Victor. Why did you reply only to me, since you were talking about him? Second, why did you not take this up directly with Victor, since he was the one you are finding fault with? Third, you say “seems.” This is not credible proof or acceptable before God. You need more than “seems” to establish a matter. The Lord says you need two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15 and Matthew 18:16).
In every sense here you fail the test of a sister in Christ. You should be helping your brother and bringing forth your concerns to him, much more accusations with credible witnesses. Instead, you play the part of an ungodly adversary, as described in the proverb:
“A perverse man causes strife, and a whisperer separates close friends” (Proverbs 16:28 LITV).
The question now for you is, after having had your question answered with truth and Scripture from God, by the Spirit of God, your wicked and false notions of submission and ungodly ways made plain, will you turn from them or continue in the darkness and ignorance you call the knowledge of God?