POWER, AUTHORITY, AND SUBMISSION
by George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
"And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:" I Corinthians 2:4
When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he informed them he was not speaking to them with enticing words that came by man's wisdom. Paul pointed out that his words were by the Spirit and of power. Paul had the power of God working in His life. He knew how to operate in the Spirit and power of God. Paul continued in his letter to the Corinthians by stating:
"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." I Corinthians 2:5
Our faith should be built on the power of God, not the wisdom of man. The question that is most pressing in people's lives is,
"How can I have this power working in my life?"
Most who desire power have ignored Paul's words in this passage. They seek the power of God by listening to the wisdom of man. This is carnal wisdom. We must seek the power of God in our life the way God has directed us in His Word.
Another area many are seeking in their walk is to be able to operate in the authority of God's name. There are two reasons why the church does not operate in God's power and authority:
1 They do not know or understand God's word
2 They are unwilling to conform their life to the Word of God
Because of these two things, the church has become weak and ineffectual.
The last two generations of young people have turned from the church because they do not witness the demonstration of the power of God, nor do they witness the use of authority that God has put in His name. The children have turned to a pseudo power, the power of darkness. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians:
" . . .whose coming is after the working of satan with all power and signs and lying wonders," II Thessalonians 2:9
Satanic worship is on the increase, especially among the young who have turned their back on a weak, lifeless, powerless church. The church has become more interested in numbers and programs than in demonstrating God's power and authority. The young, and many of the old, have believed the pseudo power that operates by signs and lying wonders. God warned his people who live in the end of the age:
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matthew 24:24
These false Christs and false prophets have demonstrated their pseudo power by great signs and wonders. Only the very elect have not been deceived by this pseudo power. People today are wanting to see power and authority. They are searching for something or someone they can believe in, trust in, and rely on. This is where the church has failed. It has become a clannish, self-centered, self-serving, self-promoting, powerless institution. God has turned his back because they have ceased to serve His purpose.
How can those who are called by God's name come again into a place of power, and operate in His authority? There is only one way and that is through "submission". The husband must be submitted to the heavenly Father. The wife must be submitted to her husband. The children must be submitted to their parents. The family must be submitted to the eldership in the church operating in God's proper order. This is the only way God has given in His word to release His power and authority in His body, the true church of the living God.
To understand how we can release God's power in our lives and operate in His authority, it is necessary to understand the meaning of the words power, authority and submission.
The word power is the word DUNAMIS and means "strength, ability, might or miracle." The Greek word DUNAMIS is where we get the English word dynamite. Power comes in our lives when we learn to operate in God's ability. This, God has ordained for His body the church.
The word authority is EXOUSIA and means "the right to act". It also means "permission given." The word that is understood in the church is "ordained." When a church ordains a person to teach in their denomination, they have been given permission, or he right to act in that place. They are given authority to teach what the denomination wants taught.
In the Old Testament, the king had a ring or scepter. His seal was on his ring and at the end of his scepter. When the king gave someone his ring or his scepter, they had the king's permission to operate in His name. Anything the king's seal was affixed to, the king had given his approval to. His seal was his signature. Only the most trusted, those who had been proven to have the king's best interest at heart, were trusted with this seal. These trusted men were given authority to operate in the king's name. God has men He has entrusted to operate in His name. He has set His seal in their forehead, Revelation 7:2. Those who receive the seal of the living God in their foreheads have come into total submission to His will and His way.
The word submission is the Greek work HUPATASSO. This word is formed from two root words: HUPO which means "to put under" and TASSO which means "to arrange in order." Therefore HUPATASSO means "to arrange in order under." This is a military word that means to follow rank. Hupatasso is generally translated "subjection, or to be in subjection to."
When the people hear the words submission or subjection, their first thought is, "I am not going to be become a slave to anyone." We need to have a clear understanding of these words. Submission and subjection have nothing to do with slavery or being a bondsman.
The word that defines slavery, servant, or bondman is the Greek word DOULOS. To understand the difference in the words submission and slave; we were all servants of sin and in bondage to the spirit of darkness, but when we submitted to the will of God and His ways, then Christ set us free. When we come into submission or subjection to the authority that God has set, it releases the power of God in our lives so that we may operate in His authority.
As we begin to understand how God's power is released in our lives, we must realize that all power and authority is from above, but it is released in our life from the bottom up. Power and authority come from the Father, but they cannot be released in our lives until we submit and come into subjection to the authority God has set over us.
The thinking in the church is that we are all free, moral agents. We are only subject to God. All authority has been done away with. The people are willing to give authority to the one who stands in the pulpit, or the board, or committees that run the church. These have become the only authority they have allowed in their lives. Even that authority is limited. When the authority begins to override their fleshly desires, they refuse to submit to that authority and look for another church.
This has caused chaos in the body of Christ because those who think they are in authority are not submitted to Christ who is the head of the church. The husband has relinquished the headship of his home. The wife is not submitted to her husband. The children are doing their own thing, going by the way of the world. And then we ask,
"Why is there no power in the church?"
As we come into the knowledge of authority, we realize we cannot be in authority until we submit to the authority that God has ordained over us. We must realize that it is God who has established the authorities in our life. And if we will not submit to them, then we are in rebellion to His Word.
When Jesus came to the centurion, who's servant was ill, the centurion understood authority. He proclaimed:
"For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." Matthew 8:9
The centurion was given authority because he was under authority. Today many want to be in authority without being under authority. The centurion recognized Jesus' authority. He told Jesus to speak the Word, only, and his servant would be healed, Matthew 8:8. Jesus had the power and authority to heal by the Word because He was submitted totally to the Father's will.
Today many who want to be in authority operate by the power of fear --- fear of retribution, separation or alienation. These do not operate by the power or authority of God. They operate in the world's methods. Fear has held many in their denominational systems for years. These fear to leave because they know they will be spoken against harshly, and they know once they leave, fellowship will be broken with those who remain in the church. So they continue on with their powerless lives, never overcoming the simplest thing in their lives.
Jesus is our example of power being released in a human life. Jesus had power in his life because He was in complete subjection to the Father's will.
To understand why Jesus had power and authority in His life, we must search the Scriptures. As we study Jesus' own words, we come to understand that Jesus was our example, and that we should follow in His steps, I Peter 2:21. As we study it becomes clear how God worked His wonders through Jesus, His obedient servant. John recorded much about the life of Jesus:
"He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him. John 8:29
By Jesus' words He did always those things that pleased the Father. The word always has two meanings. It means "all ways" or "in every way". It also means "always, all the time". Jesus pleased the Father in every way all the time. Jesus was in complete obedience and subjection to the Father's will in every way all the time. John related:
"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." John 5:19
Jesus stated that He could do nothing of Himself. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. Jesus understood by the Spirit's direction what the Father desired for His life. He only did as He was directed by the Father. He did nothing but that which He saw the Father doing through Him. The same was true of His speech:
"For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." John 12:49
Jesus only spoke what the Father was speaking through Him. He spoke nothing of Himself. Jesus was in complete subjection and submission to the will of the father. John recorded Jesus' words:
"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me." John 5:30
Jesus did nothing by Himself. He was directed totally by the Father's will, and because of this all power and authority was released in His life.
When the chief priests and Pharisees sent their officers to arrest Jesus, they returned without Him. When the religious officials asked...
"Why have ye not brought him?" "The officers answered, Never man spake like this man." John 7:45-46
Those officers, like many today, have not heard nor did they understand the words that Jesus spoke. We must begin to see Jesus' words as Spiritual, and as coming directly from the Father. Jesus' words and His will were under the complete control of the Father.
Jesus operated in power. He healed the sick. He opened blind eyes. He perceived their thoughts. He calmed the storm. He raised the dead. He was given dominion over all God's creation. Jesus never failed in anything He attempted because He only did as the Father commanded Him.
But the religious system rejected Him, as the religious system rejects His words today, refusing to hear what the Spirit is saying unto the churches. Jesus told the religious system of His day:
"Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him." Matthew 21:31-32
Jesus informed the religious system that the vilest of people would enter into the Kingdom before them because they did not believe nor repent. They only believed in their religious doctrines. Jesus warned that it was their religious doctrines that would keep them out of the Kingdom. They lived shallow, powerless lives, listening to their religious spirit instead of the still, small voice of God.
Jesus was recognized as one having authority:
"They were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes." Mark 1:22
When Jesus gave His sermon on the Mount, the people were amazed at His doctrine. They thought He was only a carpenter's son. He was uneducated by their standards, yet he taught as one having authority. His authority did not come from those who thought they were in authority:
"When He was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto Him as He was teaching, and said, By what authority doest Thou these things? And who gave Thee this authority?" Matthew 21:23
The chief priests and elders thought they had the authority to speak God's Word. Who gave this fellow the right to minister God's Word? The same is true today. If a man has not been ordained by some religious organization, then he has no authority to speak in their midst. The authority of God has been nullified in their midst, and they have become powerless. The anointing has departed from their midst.
When Jesus delivered the man who had an unclean spirit, the spirit cried out:
"Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God." Mark 1:24
The unclean spirit knew who Jesus was. He was the Holy One of God. When the unclean spirit came out:
"They were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commandeth He even the unclean spirits, and they do obey Him." Mark 1:27
They wondered by what authority Jesus delivered this man of the unclean spirit. All authority comes from above. Jesus had the authority because He was in complete obedience and subjection to the will of the Father.
The church today stands in awe when they witness the power and authority that God has instilled in His obedient, willing vessels, those who have their lives lined up with the Word and the will of the Father. Jesus stated:
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." Matthew 28:18
Jesus was given all power and authority in heaven and in earth. When we submit to His will and walk in the way He has left us as an example, then we, too, can have His power and authority released in our lives. God has given us directions how we must live if we are to have His power and authority operating in our lives.
The translators of the Bible sometimes translated the Greek word EXOUSIA as power instead of its proper usage, "authority". Authority is when we are given permission to act, or the right to act. When Jesus called His disciples into the mountain...
"...He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:" Mark 3:14-15
The word translated power in this verse is the Greek word EXOUSIA and should have been translated "authority". Jesus gave His disciples authority to heal sickness and to cast out devils. Mark again recorded Jesus' words:
"And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;" Mark 6:7
Again the word for power in this verse is the Greek word EXOUSIA. Jesus gave His disciples authority over the unclean spirits. Luke recorded:
"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Luke 10:19
The same holds true for the word power in this verse. The first use of the word power in this Scripture again is the Greek word EXOUSIA or authority. Jesus gave His disciples authority to tread on serpents and scorpions. He gave them power, DUNAMIS, over all the enemy. When we as His disciples are given authority (EXOUSIA) to operate in His name, it is because we have submitted ourselves to His will and His way. When we have submitted, then the power (DUNAMIS) is released in our lives to overcome all the enemies of God in our lives.
There is one more Scripture we need to consider:
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." John 1:12
Again the word used for power in this verse is the Greek word EXOUSIA and should have been translated "authority". When we receive Jesus Christ, He gave us the authority to become the sons of God. We are given permission or the right to use His name and to apply all that is associated with His name in our lives.
Being a "Christ-one" or a "Christian" should be the highest honor in our lives, but today that name has been trampled in the mud by those who are not worthy to bear it. The title "Christian" has become just another powerless religion that has become self-serving to those who are in charge of the denominational systems, who desire to look good in the eyes of the world and not in the eyes of God.
When Jesus spoke to His disciples, He spoke to all His disciples. A disciple is a learner, one who is learning from the Master Teacher. The word disciple includes all who are sitting at the Master's feet, learning His way and His will. His disciples are those who are submitting their lives to learn and become like Him. If we are those who are desiring to learn His will and His way, then we, too, are His disciples. We must know, as His disciples, there is a price to pay. Jesus stated:
"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple, So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26, 27, & 33
If we are to have His power and authority operating in our lives, then we must give up our self-life to obtain His eternal life. Jesus informed His followers that He had given them authority to heal sicknesses, to cast out demons, to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and all the power of the enemy. He has also given them authority to become the sons of God. This is the same power and authority that Jesus had in His life. Like Jesus we must come into total submission to the Word of God to obtain this power and authority in our lives.
Many today are like those whom Paul wrote to in the book of Timothy:
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." II Timothy 3:5
Many have a form of godliness, but deny the power, the DUNAMIS of God. The dunamis of God is the Holy Spirit anointing in our lives. Paul confirmed this in his letter to the Corinthians:
"But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." I Corinthians 1:24
Christ, the anointing, is the power and wisdom of God in our lives. God has given us His anointing, the power to overcome. Those who submit to the overcoming power in their lives will have God's authority operating in every area of their lives.
Once we begin to understand how God has ordained to release His power and authority through submission, it becomes easy to see why there is no power in the church system today.
The church is made up of homes. How can there be any power or authority in the church if the homes that make up the church are not operating in the order God has ordained for the home? God has an order in everything He does. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth:
"Let all things be done decently and in order". I Corinthians 14:40
The word decently means "gracefully and honestly". The word order is the Greek word TAXIS and has the same meaning as the Greek word TASSO. They are interchangeable words. TASSO means "to arrange in order" and TAXIS means "an orderly arrangement."
So if the church is to have power and authority, then the homes that make up the church must come into God's ordained order. When the homes are out of order, then the church is out of order because the church is the people, not the buildings or organizations. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth to establish order.
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." I Corinthians 11:3
The head of every man is Christ. The head of the woman is man. This is the first and basic rule that must be established in every home. Until this is established the church cannot and will not function in the power and authority that God intended for it. If there is going to be power and authority in the home, then the man must submit to the headship of Christ. Remember, authority comes from the top down, but it is released from the bottom up.
The husband is to be the priest in his home. God has established him to operate in that capacity. He has given the man EXOUSIA, authority to occupy this office in his home. When the man is submitted to the headship of Christ, then God releases the power to operate as the priest in his home. He is given the power and authority to heal sicknesses and cast out demons. He will have power over all unclean spirits. He will be able to tread on serpents and scorpions and have all power over any enemy. These are the forces that would invade his domain. God has given him authority to keep the spirit of darkness from his house and those to whom he is priest. When the man submits to the headship of Christ, he becomes an example of the heavenly Father to his children.
In the world today there has been a systematic destruction of the father image on television, radio, records, newspapers, and magazines. Every form of communication has diminished the respect and reverence for the headship of the father. This has even happened in the church where the minister upholds the wife and speaks against the husband.
We wonder why there is no respect for those who have been called into the ministry. It is because there is no respect in the home for the father figure. There is no power or authority in the home to operate it in God's order. Because of this the home has become a battleground for control. Sixty percent of marriages do not last five years, and over sixty percent of the children in this nation are being raised with no father image in their lives.
The churches are largely made up of women. It has been asked many times,
"Where are the men in the church?
Where are the men in the home?
Where are the fathers in their childrens' lives?"
The answer becomes simple. They have lost their headship. Why? Because they have not submitted to the headship of Christ. They have refused to establish God's order in their homes. It becomes easier to relinquish their God-given place, rather than submit. Because they have failed to submit, their place of authority and power to operate no longer exists in their lives.
Paul wrote to the woman in the church at Corinth:
"The head of the woman is the man."
Nowhere in the Word does it state that Christ is the head of the woman. The man is the head of the woman. Today woman are confused, unhappy, unfulfilled, and their lives have become hard. Why? Because they are trying to become something God never intended them to be. Many have become militant, man-haters, thinking their problems came from their father, husband, or men in general. When in truth their problem arises from not being what the Word of God says they are to be. In his letter to Titus, Paul related the women were:
"To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:5
The word obedient is the Greek word HUPATASSO. The wives were to submit to, and be in subjection to, their own husbands. They were to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home. Today a great number of woman work outside the home. They use the excuse, "We need two incomes to maintain the home." In reality they need two incomes to maintain their way of life. Because the woman has not become the keeper at home the home goes down the drain, and the children, for which the home was established, are not raised. They are simply allowed to grow up. The results of this has been disastrous.
It is understood some men insist their wives work. This is because they are not submitted to the headship of Christ. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul stated:
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord." Colossians 3:18
Why is it so important for the wife to be submitted to her husband? Because when she submits, she releases the power and authority in her life. We must remember authority comes from the top down, but it is released from the bottom up. When the wife submits and is no longer in competition with the husband for the headship of the home, when she submits to her God-given authority, then this releases Christ, the head of the man, to make sure she receives what is rightfully hers.
Peter admonished the husbands:
"Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." I Peter 3:7
When the wife comes into her proper place with her husband, her God, and her home, she will have released the power of love in her husband's life. She will unlock the thing that she desires most --- and that is to be loved, honored and cherished --- not only by her husband, and her children, but those who are around her. She will have released her power to love and to operate in the authority God has given her in His Word.
The husband must come under the headship of Christ and dwell with his wife according to the knowledge of the Word. The wife must submit herself as the weaker vessel. When this order is established in the home the power of prayer is released in both their lives, and their home becomes a house of prayer.
When God releases His power and authority in our lives, then we can expect the fulfillment of John 14:14:
"If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." John 14:14
Whatsoever we ask in His name He will do it. That is a promise of God, but we can only come into this place when our prayers are not hindered through disorder and disobedience.
The next question is,
"How is God's power and authority released in our children?"
As we stated, all authority comes from above. But with the children it does not have to be released from the bottom up. In his letter to Timothy, Paul gave qualifications for leadership in the church. One of the qualifications was:
"One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;" I Timothy 3:4
The word subjection is HUPATAGE and means "having in subjection to obedience." Those who are in authority in the church must have their children in subjection. Since the church is made up of families, then every head of every household is to have his children in subjection.
The word gravity means "to have dignity and respect." When the home is set up properly with the husband as the head, being subject to Christ and the wife being subject to her husband, then the home is properly set up to rear children with dignity and respect. It is the responsibility of the parents to raise the children God has given them. The head of the household is admonished to have the children under his control. This puts the responsibility directly on the father and mother to raise their children.
God has given His Word on how His children are to be raised. Yet we hear many who bear God's name state, "I have put my children in the hands of the Lord. He will see that they do right." This is a lie, and those who say this are only fooling themselves. God will not see that they do right. That is why He gave them parents. If we fail in raising the Lord's children we will give an account of that failure on Judgment Day.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul admonished the fathers:
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4
Fathers are to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The word nurture is the Greek work PAIDEIA and means "instruction, discipline, correction and chastening." The word admonition prescribes that the correction of the child should be before the Lord.
The all-wise Solomon had much to impart about the correction of children:
"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Proverbs 13:24
"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Proverbs 22:15
"Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." Proverbs 29:13-15
God has revealed through the pen of Solomon the importance of Godly correction in the child's life. Yet many have laid aside the rod of correction for fear of the government, or listening to worldly teaching that states if we correct a child, it will mar him in his later years. The prisons and detention centers are full of children who have been wounded by this kind of teaching.
Today much is said about child abuse. The worst abuse a child can receive is when he is not made to do what is right. This authority was put in the hands of the parents. The Psalmist wrote:
"As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man: so are children of the youth." Psalm 127:4
Children are arrows in the hands of the parents. How the parents point the children is the way they will go. If the parents point them toward God, being a good example of what God expects of His people, then we have God's promise:
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
The word old means "the age to shave or marry." If we raise children from birth up in the way they should go, they will not go astray in their teenage years.
All authority to raise children is in the hands of the parents. Children are arrows in the hands of the parents. Good archers prepare their arrows with great care. They very carefully chip away, until they have formed an arrow that will soar to the mark. As parents we need to become the wise archer who does not apply more pressure to the arrow than is needed to hit the heart of God. Paul admonished the fathers at the church at Ephesus,
"...Provoke not your children to wrath." Ephesians 6:4
When excessive correction is applied, we could very easily provoke our children to retaliate. This may cause them to miss the mark of God in their lives. Parents must be wise in their administration of God's authority in raising their children.
God gave children two parents, both male and female. Children need two parents. Boys and girls both need a strong father image in their lives --- the boy, to know what kind of man he should be --- the girl so she knows what kind of husband she should look for, one who is responsible, loving, caring, and protective. From the mother the children are to learn love, compassion and how to care for others.
When the home is properly set and the authorities are established, it becomes easy for the children to submit to authority --- to the authority in the church, school, college --- and after education to submit to those in authority in the work place.
But most of all the proper home atmosphere will allow them to submit to the direction of the Holy Spirit in their lives. It will release the power to overcome peer pressures and those who would drag them down and get them in trouble. They will have the power to read and understand the Scriptures. Paul wrote to the children at Ephesus:
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;" Ephesians 6:1-2
God commands children to obey their parents and to honor both father and mother. God never intended children to be raised by one parent. God established the home to propagate His ways in a wicked, perverse, and corrupt world. We, as His people who bear His name, have been given an awesome responsibility to raise His children His way.
When the parents have their children under subjection then God's power is released, not only in the children's' lives, but in the whole household. When the children are obedient to their parents, the wife submits to her husband, and the husband submits to the headship of Christ, then the power and authority that God has promised in His Word will be released --- and that home will become a powerhouse for God.
Now when the question is asked,
"Why is there no power in the church?"
we can honestly say it is because there is no order in the homes that make up the church.
Another reason there is no power or authority in the church is because the church is not properly set up. Most churches are operated by one man, one plan and one program. Most churches are operated as any other worldly business. Promotions are encouraged to fill pews and build bigger and better buildings. The philosophy is "the more successful we look by the world's standards, the more successful we are." Fancy churches, paved parking lots, and padded pews all have become the goals of the denominational systems.
As these goals are obtained, the people are turned away hungry, imprisoned, and naked because the Holy Spirit covering has been denied them. Jesus spoke to those pastors who have not become involved in the people's lives:
"For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not." Matthew 25:42-43
Jesus was speaking to those pastors who refused to give God's people the meat of the Word and the refreshing water of the Word. Those who were strangers to the way, the truth and the life were not shown the way of righteousness. Those who were naked were not shown their Spiritual covering the Holy Spirit. Rather God's people have been told the leadership of the church is their covering. God's people have been sick and malnourished in the things of God. They have been imprisoned by the spirit of darkness. No one is delivering them from the powers of satan.
God refers to those who are guilty of these things as "goats" set on the left hand of God, Matthew 24:33. Jesus' words were very plain what He will speak to those on His left hand:
"Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." Matthew 25:41
There are two kinds of pastors: those who are anointed by God and those who are self-appointed and self-anointed. The self- appointed, self-anointed pastors are hirelings. Jesus spoke concerning the hireling:
"But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. " John 10:12-13
When the hireling sees the wolf coming, he flees the flock. The wolf appears in many forms: a better job offer, when the hireling wants something the sheep cannot supply, desiring more money, better retirement, better housing --- all these, and many more are the reasons the hireling flees the flock. The sheep are scattered because they are following a system, and not the headship of Christ.
The hireling cares nothing for the flock. To him it is simply a job. He sees his job as keeping the people content, maintaining numbers, and not rocking the boat. Because of this the people are maintained in their Spiritual ignorance. They continue week after week, month after month, year after year, going nowhere. They remain powerless with no authority in their life. Jesus stated:
"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." Matthew 15:8
These people draw near with their mouths, but their hearts are far from God. They do not have changed hearts to serve the living God. Until the pastors demand change, the people will never change. Until the pastors begin to teach the living Word, the people will have no desire to change. The words of the prophet Amos are ringing loud and clear throughout the land:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:" Amos 8:11
The famine of the Word has happened in our land. The Word of God has been minimized in the peoples' lives. The once, vibrant Word that was read every night to the children has been replaced by the violence on television, rock concerts, and R-rated movies. The church has brought rock concerts into the church, and we wonder why there is no power or authority in the church today. It is because there is no submission to God's Word, His way, His will, or His life.
Paul stated that he did not come with enticing words, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power, I Corinthians 2:4. Until we begin to see the Spirit and power demonstrated in the church we cannot expect the people to stand and operate in the power of God. Only when the pastors begin to work with the people to bring order into their homes, instructing the husbands to be submitted to Christ, the wives to the husband and the children obeying, honoring, and loving their parents --- only then will the power and authority return to the church as God intended.
This can only come through submission. Authority is from the top down, but it is released from the bottom up through submission. Submit to the authorities God has set over you and begin to operate your life in the power and authority of God so you may overcome and stand in His presence, clean and whole.
[See Proper Order in Eldership by George Kirkpatrick]
[See Order in His Courts by George Kirkpatrick]
The following is an outline of the contents of this book for Further Discussion
The Holy Spirit, the Power of God
A Weak and Ineffectual Church
The Seal of Submission
Speak the Father's Word With Authority
The Anointing Has Departed
Only A Form of Godliness
One Man, One Plan, One Program Churches
The Hireling System
The Famine of God's Word
God's Order in the Home
The Husband the Priest in the Home
The Submitted Wife
God's Order in the Church
The Return of the Demonstration of the Spirit and Power in the church
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give