Musings – Biblical Authority

One of the primary reasons  the body of Messiah is divided is not because of disagreements in doctrine.  We are divided because we have allowed men to usurp the role of God as our authority (1 Corinthians 1:12-13; 3:3-4).  This is religious “carnality” and until we rid ourselves of this cancer, we cannot, as a people, fully please God (Romans 8:8).

Unity comes only through Messiah and the New Covenant in Him (Psalm 50:5; Isaiah 49:3-9; Hebrews 13:20-21; Jeremiah 50:5; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 1:20; 2:1-11) and walking with Him (1John 1:3-7).  Unity does not mean we have to agree on every doctrine (James 3:1-2).  Messiah will correct any of our incorrect doctrine when He returns (Isaiah 29:24; 52:8; Jeremiah 3:17-18; 31:8-13; 50:3-7; Micah 2:12)  when we will be resurrected into His Image (1 Corinthians 15:49; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Psalm 17:15; Romans 8:28-30; Galatians 3:26-29; Hebrews 13:21).  This is when believers will see ‘eye to eye’ (Isaiah 52:8).

The word authority comes from the Old English ‘autorite’ which means “book or quotation that settles an argument” and traces back further to the Old French word ‘auctorité’ which means “the Scriptures”. These words trace back further to the Latin word ‘auctoritatem’ which means leader, master or author.

The word author comes from the Old English word ‘autor’ which means “father” and goes back further to the Old French ‘auctor’ which means “author, originator or creator”.

The Author of the Word is the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Samuel 23:2), given by the Lord and published by man (Psalm 68:11; 2 Peter 1:21). It is God’s Word (1 Thessalonians 2:13; Luke 8:21). The Scriptures also describe Jesus as the Author (Hebrews 2:10; 5:9; 12:2; Acts 3:15; 5:31), hence He is our Biblical Authority.

The Father is over all (the Head of all), the authority of all (John 14:28). The Head of the Messiah is the Father, the Messiah is the Head of mankind (1 Corinthians 11:3; 15:24-28). The Holy Spirit guides believers into walking according to the will of God (John 14:16, 24-26; 15:26; 16:13; 1 Peter 1:2; Ezekiel 11:19-20; 36:26-28; 1 John 2:20, 27). Therefore, if by the Holy Spirit a believer is convicted of a doctrine, that believer should follow this. It matters not what others do, our job is to follow Him not the crowd (Exodus 23:2).

As believers we are all brethren, our only Head is Messiah (Matthew 23:8-10; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Galatians 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3). Binding and loosing (interpretation and application of Scripture) applies to all believers (Matthew 16:19; 18:18). This is a part of working out one’s own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). Elders/church leaders are not the head or authority of the body of Messiah (Matthew 20:25-28; 23:8-12; Mark 10:42-45). They are servants who oversee groups of believers (Acts 20:28; Luke 22:26; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13), laboring in the Word (1 Timothy 5:17) to feed the flock but are not the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:1-6). If a group agrees on a doctrine, believers in that group should respect that agreement but do not have to follow if convicted otherwise by the Lord.

Rebellion against authority is evil, whether it be true or false authority (Jude 1:4-13; 2 Peter 2:10-13; Romans 13:1-8; Titus 3:1; Acts 23:5; Jeremiah 27:5; Ephesians 6:5-8), however we must follow God first and foremost as He is the authority over all. If a leader (true or false) contradicts Him, then we are to follow God. If leadership judges according to the Word then they are to be followed (Deuteronomy 17:9-13) but in reality are they not merely administering the Word?

Example of Korah. Korah did not accept the authority given to Moses, as unbelieving Jews do not accept the authority given to Messiah (Numbers 16; Jude 1:4-13; 2 Peter 2:10-13).  Because of their rejection of Messiah Jesus they are also in rebellion against the Father (2 John 1:9; John 14:6; 15:23-24).  I mention Judaism because I see many today who are turning to Jews who reject Messiah as their authority on how to walk in the Word. After meditating on this subject I’ve come to the belief that this is rebellion against the Lord. Unbelieving Jews have no authority over believers in Messiah (Galatians 3:1-3; 5:1-3; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 1:7; 2 John 1:7-11; Titus 1:9-16; 3:9).

Believers in the Messiah are in the New Covenant, therefore not in covenant/agreement with unbelieving Jews. The Holy Spirit, who is our guide is not given to unbelievers (John 14:15-17, 22-24; 1 John 4:14-16; Romans 8:9-11). Paul, who was an expert in the law (Acts 22:3; 26:5; Philippians 3:4-6), did not have the Holy Spirit before coming to faith in Messiah (Acts 9:17). As mentioned before, it is the Holy Spirit which guides us into the will of God (John 14:16, 24-26; 15:26; 16:13; 1 Peter 1:2; Ezekiel 11:19-20; 36:26-28; 1 John 2:20, 27).

Jews were entrusted with leadership and entrusted with the Word of God until Shiloh would come (Romans 3:2; Genesis 49:10). Messiah (Shiloh) has come and has given authority to His people. This applies individually and corporately depending upon agreement between brethren.

Rabbinic Judaism comes from the wing of Pharisees who rejected Messiah and proclaimed Caesar as their king (John 19:15). Rabbinic Judaism is another Mystery Babylon religion (Revelation 17:9; 18:24; Luke 11:49-51; Ezekiel 11:12) which Messiah Jesus described as lawlessness (John 7:19; Matthew 23:28) and which Paul spoke of in similar regards (Galatians 6:13). Their body is the adversary even though they clothe themselves in portions of the Word (Matthew 23:33; 3:7; John 8:44).  This is not to condemn all Jewish people, this is speaking of the religion.  The same can be said of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus etc.

The Body of Christianity is the Messiah, although portions of its followers have allowed their garments to be soiled by certain aspects of the Mysteries (Zechariah 3:1-10). We have all fallen short (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-10) and see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12) so we can’t judge fellow believers for their shortcomings (James 4:11-12; Romans 14:4, 13). Our understanding of the Word and our success in following this understanding is not what makes us His people, it is our faith in the Messiah (Romans 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:14). What justifies us and saves us before the Father is faith in Messiah, not “obedience” to the Torah (Galatians 2:16; 3:11; Romans 3:28; 5:1). We receive the Spirit, who guides us on how we are to walk, by faith not works of the law (Galatians 3:2, 5).

If we are trusting in works of the law we are accursed (Galatians 3:10). People who say Jews are saved without Messiah are saying that they are saved by works of the law. This is a stumbling stone and in direct contradiction to the Word (Romans 9:32). Why should we turn to those who reject the Living Word to understand the written Word (Matthew 21:42; Mark 8:31)? Messiah said that those who follow Rabbinic Judaism reject the written Word (Mark 7:9) and are lawless (John 7:19; Matthew 23:28).

Paul, who was a follower of Judaism before coming to know Messiah (Galatians 1:13-14), gives warning of the Oral law from whence Rabbinic Judaism springs (Titus 1:9-16; 3:9). Scripture equates the tradition of the elders with the oral law which transgresses the Word of God (Matthew 15:3). Again, Messiah stated plainly that the Jews of the 1st century were not following Torah (John 7:19; Matthew 23:28). Paul spoke of this same fact (Galatians 6:13). This has been the path that the majority of Israel has taken all along. It has only been a small remnant that has ever truly followed the LORD (Acts 7:52-54; Amos 2:4; Ezekiel 11:12; Romans 11:3-5). We are to seek His Word, which came from His faithful prophets (Daniel 9:10; 2 Kings 17:13; Ezra 9:10-11; Zechariah 7:11-12; Revelation 19:10). These prophets walked in the Spirit of Messiah (1 Peter 1:11; Romans 8:9).

We are to give respect to whom respect is due (Romans 13:7) but at the same time we are not to submit to false authority (Exodus 20:5; 23:24; Judges 2:11-20). If in a setting in which others have set up a leader we are to respect their leadership, yet we do not have to submit to them. We should respect them while in this setting but they are not our head. Example the Pope. He is the head of the Catholic church so while in a Catholic setting we should give him respect, but he is not our head. His decrees are null and void to those whose Head is the Messiah. The same can be applied to unbelieving Jews, Buddhists, Muslims etc.

Jesus (the Word of God) alone is our authority. He alone is our righteousness. He alone is our salvation. He alone is our hope. He alone is what unites us through the covenant. Not man. Not religion. Not doctrine.

He is the author and finisher of our faith of which we are to earnestly contend for.

Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author {ἀρχηγός ‘archēgos”} and finisher {τελειωτής ‘teleiōtēs’} of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jud 1:3  Having made all haste to write to you about the common salvation, beloved, I had need to write to you to exhort you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.

We are not to look to Abraham, Isaac or Jacob, we are not to look to Moses, David, or Elijah, we are not to look to first century Judaism to earnestly contend for the faith…we are to look to Messiah Jesus.  The root of which we are to seek is not Hebrew, it is Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, the manifestation of God’s love.

Col 2:6  Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him,

Col 2:7  being rooted and being built up in Him, and being confirmed in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Col 2:8  Watch that there not be one robbing you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ.

Eph 3:17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

Eph 3:18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

Eph 3:19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Eph 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Eph 3:21  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Knowledge of the way in which believers worshiped in the 1st century is not as important as knowledge of how to walk in the Word (2 Peter 1:2; 3:18) by His Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:6; Romans 8:2-4).

2Pe 1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

2Pe 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Rom 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Rom 8:4  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Messiah did not come to make mankind into 1st century Jews.  He came to redeem mankind (2 Corinthians 5:19) and remake them into His image (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:1-3).

2Co 5:19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Rom 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

1Jn 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

1Jn 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Jesus is the image of God  (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:15-16) who is love (1 John 4:8).

Heb 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

2Co 4:3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

2Co 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

2Co 4:5  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Col 1:15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Col 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

1Jn 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Much edification can be gained by studying believers of the 1st century (Job 8:8; 12:12; Deuteronomy 32:7; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11), but one cannot come to the fullness of God’s will by following man’s understanding of His will at that time.

Job 8:8  For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers:

Job 12:12  With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.

Job 12:13  With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.

Deu 32:7  Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

Rom 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Paul, who had great understanding of religion during the 1st century, did not even claim to have attained the full knowledge of Messiah/the Word (Philippians 3:8-14).

Php 3:8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Php 3:9  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Php 3:10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Php 3:11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Php 3:12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Php 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Peter admonishes us to continue to grow in His grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18).

2Pe 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Scripture declares that God has given various gifts and services to the body of Messiah that we might grow unto perfection (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

If 1st century believers had attained unto God’s perfect will, there would be no need to grow.   James also said that we all stumble in many things (James 3:2).  This is not the language of one who believes that perfection had been attained.

Jas 3:1  My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

Jas 3:2  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

It is not walking as 1st century Jews which is God’s will for us.  It is walking in His love by His Spirit (1 John 4:12-17) as it is done in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

1Jn 4:12  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

1Jn 4:13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

1Jn 4:14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

1Jn 4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Mat 6:10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

It is God working in us, through His Son (Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 13:21).

Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Heb 13:21  Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

This cannot be done by submission unto man, this can only be done through submitting unto Him (Romans 12:1-2).

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

FULL VERSION

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