08. The Mantle for Confrontation

Posted Oct 09, 2011 by Adrian Ebens in Divine Pattern Original Articles Hits: 2,404

The more and more we bring ourselves into line with the divine pattern and we learn more and more to honour the authorities God has placed in our lives, the more our motivation to see that leaders speak and do the right things will come from a recognition that this person is ordained to pass a portion of God’s blessings to us.

When we sense that a leader is sliding into wrong teachings or practices, our hearts will be urgent to protect their reputation as a leader and will be praying that God will give them wisdom and blessing so they will not damage their leadership position with wrong doing.

The spirit of anger that arises in people towards leaders for wrong doing is rarely motivated by love for that leader but rather is an opportunity for a person to raise their position to a level equal to or above that leader. A spirit that is quick to report the failings of leadership is a spirit that despises the divine pattern. In most cases when we report on the failures of a leader, we are diminishing the level of respect in the minds of the people we share the failures with. We are reducing the power of the words of that leader and therefore we are reducing their ability to bless.

When a wife complains to others about the failings of her husband, she is reducing his authority to bless her. If she complains about him to her children, then she is diminishing his ability to bless them with his words. She is encouraging her children to scorn their father and ultimately her careless manner towards her husband’s real or imaginary failures undermines her own authority with her children. In the same manner, a man who speaks negatively about the minister or government or police to their children is doing the same thing; he is dismantling parts of the threefold cord of protection. When we disregard authority we are in great danger of destroying our children. Note carefully:

"Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." Children who dishonor and disobey their parents, and disregard their advice and instructions, can have no part in the earth made new. Adventist Home Page 295

Let us consider carefully the Biblical directive for those who curse their parents

Exo 21:17  And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

In the times of Israel, cursing your parents was a crime punishable by death. What is the Lord trying to teach us by these things? Again notice how David responded to the man who claimed to have killed Saul, the Lord’s anointed.

2 Sam 1:14-15  And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD'S anointed?  (15)  And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.

Do we begin to understand the seriousness of this situation? Do we begin to appreciate the life and death issues that are bound up in a correct approach to those in authority? It is with these things in mind that Paul instructs us:

1 Tim 5:1  Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;

When we perceive that a leader may not be acting according to God’s Word. We must act very carefully. If we receive a report from a single source concerning a leader, we cannot accept it.

Deu 19:15  One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.  

 If we pass on a report concerning a leader that has not been validated then we are guilty of laying our hands on the Lord’s anointed; we bring a terrible curse upon ourselves.

If we hear a pastor or leader or parent speak a word or do something that is not correct, our desire to safeguard their position will cause us to pray and make certain that we have observed something incorrect. Then because we love this leader we will go to them privately and enquire of them concerning the situation and whether we have understood the situation correctly. We should not speak to others about the matter in case we have misunderstood. If we speak to others then we are damaging the mantle of the Lord’s anointed and we will bring a curse upon ourselves.

If the leader denies the report or indicates that we have misunderstood, we must leave the situation to the Lord. If the situation occurs again, then we might approach them again and appeal to them. If it is a something concerning the teaching of the Bible we should ask them to instruct us not demand them to prove their position. We should go to them believing that we may have missed something or have misunderstood or that we might be wrong. If we assume we are right then we are not open to their counsel and we will bring a curse upon ourselves.

If an issue persists and the leader is not responding after much prayer and pleading then we should approach the elders and submit the request before them. Once we have submitted the evidence to the elders or the board, the responsibility is then moved to the elders or board. We have done all that we can to safeguard the reputation of the leader. During this process we may discover that we were wrong or received wrong information or that we had misunderstood what the Bible teaches. Through this process we can ensure that we have not placed a single doubt in anyone’s mind concerning that leader.

It is with these thoughts in mind that we start to appreciate the proper procedure for approaching a leader in our community. We need to understand that only those under our authority can be confronted and commanded to alter their course. If a minister is acting incorrectly then it is within the authority of his president to confront and if need be punish that minister for incorrect conduct. If a conference president is guilty of misconduct, then a Union president or Division leader has the authority to confront and correct such a leader. Obviously if a church leader engages in any civil crime then the police and government have the authority to charge and punish such a minister or church leader. This is how the threefold cord should operate. But when all these checks and balances fail and the entire structure becomes involved in apostasy and incorrect behaviour then the mantle of confrontation must be given directly to the person of God’s choosing. Let us consider several Bible examples.

Event

Mantle of Authority

Confrontation

Slavery of Children of Israel in Egypt

Moses given mantle of authority to confront Pharaoh through visit of the Lord through the burning bush and miracles Ex chp 4

Pharaoh confronted by Moses and Aaron and received judgments of plagues for refusing to listen. Ex 5-11

Apostasy in the time of the Judges. They forsook the Lord and served Baalim Judges 2:9,10

Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and commanded him to tear down his father’s idol. Confirmed through consuming the food by fire. After this he received confirmation through the wet and dry fleece. Judges 6.

Gideon tore down his father’s idol and later assembled the 300 to break the power of the Midianites.

Eli did not restrain his sons from polluting the sacrifices and engaging in immoral practices. 1 Sam 2:25-27

A man of God appeared and predicted the destruction of Eli’s house. The mantle of authority came through the specific details in the prophecy. If a man predicted things and they did not come to pass he was to be put to death. So you wanted to be sure you were called. Deut 13:1-5

God confronted Eli through a message to Samuel. The nature of events proved clearly the Lord was in it. Eli and his house perished exactly as was predicted. 1 Sam 4.

Saul’s Apostasy

Samuel was still operating as an established prophet predicted Saul’s demise. The Lord commanded him to anoint David as replacement. 1 Sam 15,16

Samuel confronts Saul and predicted his demise. The Lord commanded him to anoint David as replacement. 1 Sam 15,16.

David’s sin with Bathsheba. 2 Sam 11

Nathan’s approach to David with the story of the lamb that was slain showed that he had the prophetic gift. 1 Sam 12

Nathan confronts David with His crime and pronounces judgment on his house. 1 Sam 12.

Ahab’s apostasy with Jezebel

Elijah gives evidence of prophetic authority through the message that rain would not fall without the word of Elijah. 1 Kings 17:1

Elijah confronts Israel at Mt Carmel and shows who is the true God of Israel. 1 Kings 18

Israel’s apostasy just before Christ came. Abuse of sacrificial system. Bribery, corruption and use of civil power for religious purposes.

John confirmed as a prophet through the experience of Gabriel meeting Zacharias. Luke 1 As well as the prophecy of Isaiah 40. The voice of one crying in the wilderness.

John confronts the leaders of Israel and calls for repentance. Luke 3. He also confronted the civil authority of Herod. Matt 14.

Israel’s apostasy at time of Christ

Christ confirmed as Prophet through 100’s of prophecies as well as by his forerunner – John the Baptist.

Christ confronts the priesthood on many occasions and pronounces judgment upon them. Matt 23 for example.

Priest’s suppression of Apostles preaching the name of Christ.

Christ placed the mantle of authority upon the Disciples. Mark 3:14. He also commanded them to preach the gospel and make disciples Matt 28:19,20. They also received the former rain power and also did miracles. Acts 2.

Confronted the priesthood with the charge of putting Jesus to death and refused to stop speaking in the name of Jesus.

 

The point we wish to make by these examples is that each time all other avenues had been exhausted, God authorised a person or persons to confront the existing blessing structure which had failed. It is a wicked thing to quote portions of Scripture where men were called to confront a system in apostasy and ignore the fact that God clearly gave them this authority through a clear evidence of the prophetic word or a sequence of miracles of visitations from angels that made it clear that God had given this person authority to do the things they were doing.

This is a lesson of utmost importance for us today who are facing wide scale apostasy. To rise up without authority is to break the divine pattern and to bring a curse upon those who rise up without authority.

For those whom God has granted to find the truth of God’s Son, we have been granted to engage in a work of repentance for the sins of Anti-typical Israel. We have been granted the right from Scripture to confess a belief in the only begotten Son. We have the need to safeguard the reputations of our leaders and pray for them that God will help them. We are to wait for clear evidences of authority from heaven before appeal can turn to confrontation.

He who runs before the time appointed does not represent the God of Israel or His divine pattern. Any man or woman who dares to raise their voice against the Lord’s anointed and diminish their authority in the eyes of the people without a clear evidence of their calling, should be pled with to cease and repent and if they refuse to be rejected and avoided.

Now is the time for repentance, prayer, fasting and weeping. Now is the time to wait upon the Lord and plead for Israel. Soon the anti-type of the apostasy at the Jordan will fall upon us. May we not be faced with the question from the Son of David:

How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD'S anointed?

[Yom Kippur, Sunday Oct 9, 2011]