D I V I N E     A U T H O R I T Y
A look at Priesthood and the Four Orders of Divine Authority.
Some want to define priesthood as the "power of God" as if being ordained endows a person with extra powers; as if our "Lord and the Redeemer hath done His work and hath given His power unto men." (BOM 2Ne 28:5)     As if! NOT!
Isn't it misleading to define Priesthood in this way, as the "power of God"? Can it even be misleading to define priesthood as the power to act in God's name? Doesn't this imply the ability to act without being directed by God? Is not Priesthood a position of service or employment, whereby those so authorized may only behave as directed? Is not a holder of true priesthood just an extension of our Lord. As an 'extension', is it normal to act independent of your source. If you are not given to act independent, can it really be said that you are empowered?
It's difficult to think of a scriptural example where a servant of God holding ordained priesthood could act outside of immediate Divine direction. There was an event where a pure and holy prophet was so trustworthy and faithful that he was given management of a drought that was ensuing. He was given authority to extend or close the drought at his own discretion. Still, his discretion was over a specific limited area of concern.
Are not all authoritative actions under our Lord only valid if they are specifically promoted by Him? Should the hand perform works that are not directed by the brain? Does the hand have the same power as the brain? Does the hand or foot understand the duties and intents and priorities of the brain? NO! Do they have the power to act as if they are the brain? NO. A hand or foot is employed by the brain to do the bidding of the brain. It seems if we are to define the authority of God held by man we should not imply any power of prerogative to act independent of our Lord. Yet most brethren in authority believe God has given his power to them. But where is this in scripture? Even Moses was punished for a slip of the tongue when he implied it was he who provided the miracle that caused the water to gush forth from the stone.
It seems the majority of the empowerment that forms around church leaders really comes from the general membership offering blind obedience and unjustified adoration. With this power the leaders can deflect all awareness of their own shortfall to lead in the establishment of holy communities and to warn against civil corruption, while getting away with implying all failures are the fault of an imperfect and disobedient membership. This is abuse of ill gotten power and priestcraft.
Maybe it is just semantics, but it is hard to be comfortable any more using the word "power" to help define what mortals hold when they hold Divine authority. Maybe it is uncomfortable because bad things happen when people think they have been empowered. So instead of the word 'power' when someone asks, "What is priesthood?" and they just need the short answer, maybe they should be told, "it is the permit of God." So while we may have an inalienable right and therefore empowerment to freedom of speech, maybe we only have a permit to say or do specific things in the name of God.
This look at Priesthood, will not focus on verifying the fact that God does permit a portion of His authority to mortals. There are ample Scriptural accounts of it having been permitted. Instead this will take a look at those who lump all priesthood authority in to one class or order and claim that it is bestowed upon mortals simply through their love of the Word of God and testimony of His redeeming grace. Well if some converts to Messiah believe all priesthood can be presumed simply by a love for Holy Writ and a desire to serve, maybe the burden is on them to show just one verifiable example in the Word of God.
Therefore, this writing is offered to help explain the practical and indispensable purposes of the duly delegated or implied authority of God entrusted and permitted to select mortals. It will address four apparent orders of Divine authority, through the perspective of patriarchal covenant theology.
Four Orders of Divine Authority
(1) The authority of the Word of God, or the Authority of the Bible
(2) The authority of Patriarchal Priesthood
The authority of Ministerial Priesthood
(3) The Levitical Ministry, Levitical Priesthood, or the Lesser Priesthood
(4) The Melchizedek Ministry, Melchizedek Priesthood or Priesthood After the Order of the Son of God
The Original Craft or true Zionism
Least there is some confusion, the LP and the MP are not instruments by which the people become sanctified and purified. These ministries function only to teach the principle and to confirm the status. The Father doeth the works. It is the working of the Father in the hearts of the faithful that they choose to accept being changed. The ministry teaches the principles and confirms any progress that occurs. The ministry are not herdsmen. They serve God at the side of the faithful not over them. The people are the sovereign under God. The Holy Spirit and the Father lead the people in correct principle and the ministry performs Eternally fixed ceremonies that confirm the work of the Father and the progress of the faithful. The faithful can vote to not sustain the leadership at any time.
Many scholars of theology and pastors or bishops skip right over the phrase to "confirm the faith" and ignore all scriptural examples of confirmatory actions of the ministry. They think of priesthood as the power to manipulate and control the memberships; and that power to "confirm" what Father is working out in the hearts of His children is only an incidental duty if they even understand it at all. Actually the MP and LP have no power to control the memberships. Yes, reproof can be dished out, but no form of coercion. Their primary purpose is to bare witness of the Gospel and confirm the Faith or in other words, confirm faithfulness or conformity to the covenants. "The Father doeth the works."
There are many who claim ministerial priesthood authority directly from the pages of the Bible, the Word of God. But if they understood what ministerial authority really is, they would be embarrassed. There are many who claim ministerial authority from an ordination by angels or through a supposed unbroken line from the apostle Peter, but they seldom wield true ministerial authority and rather use some version of gentile dictatorial control, showing forth they also have but little understanding. "And no man takes this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but he that said unto him, You are my Son, today have I begotten you. As he says also in another place, You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.." (Hebr. 5:4-6)
While it is true that one who has MP or LP will teach in harmony with the word of God and the Gospel Path. The reverse does not follow. In other words, just because one is teaching the word of God and the Gospel path, and is a partaker of the Plan of Redemption, does not an ordained minister make. He may be a friend to the work of the Lord only. He may be not harming the work of the Lord. It will not make any difference how illuminated a person becomes by reading the Scriptures or how well they are inspired and think they have connected all the dots of doctrine and prophecy; no not even how great a testimony of Yeshua they experience. It does not make any difference how badly one wants to believe that the Scriptures can ordain them to the ministry, emotion is no substitute for that of being called by revelation and ordained by one having authority.
The Aronic or Levitical priesthood was not lost in the fulfillment of the Law of Moses. It was instituted before Moses and continued after Messiah.
Most contemporary churches abuse their authority whether it is legitimate or not, whether they think they obtained it by the Scriptures or by lineage or revelation. They look at their authority as the tool by which they have the right to control the faithful and disfellowship those who seek more free flowing affiliation. You have the Catholic and Restorationist churches that require a multitude of outward performances; attendance, tithes, church callings, confession testimony of mortal leaders, to speak the speak and walk the walk or you will find yourself marginalized. You get the protestant churches that require a special belief system. If you do not profess a disbelief in some unpopular doctrines, accept their creed and profess how sure you are of being saved, you will find yourself marginalized. You find that priesthood in the minds of most is: God's authority given to man to manipulate the masses. You are required to denounce other Christian groups by mortal theological test points, and to believe creeds and theology that are not part of the Gospel doctrine of Messiah. It is no wonder that some faithful covenant keepers get frustrated and wish to abandon most passages pertaining to serious and genuine ministerial priesthood.
Let's see what the Plan of Redemption can tell us about ministerial priesthood. We are instructed by the authority of the Word to repent and be baptized and that what is bound on earth can be bound in Heaven. We are instructed by the authority of Divine Word that unless we are born of the water and the spirit we can in no wise see the Kingdom of Heaven. We are instructed by the authority of Divine Word that we enter a covenant of discipleship in the Plan and that we give our all upon the altar to Messiah, that we submit our will to our Lord and Master and walk this life under His guidance through the Holy Spirit. We are told by the WG that if we are faithful we will be endowed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit, which gift is Eternal Life. We witness our Lord commissioning the apostles to go throughout the world declaring the Gospel Plan and baptizing all those who become disciples.
The Plan of Redemption therefore involves at least one covenant. A covenant is an agreement between two parties where value is to be exchanged. The two parties are responsible to fulfill their own side of the agreement. Usually both parties get involved in assuring that the agreement is faithfully executed or fulfilled. One of the original definitions of faithfulness in many Biblical context has little to do with a personal belief system or one's approval of a concept or trusting. Faithfulness is the fulfilling of one's agreement. In the case of the Plan of Redemption the agreement is that we will develop the heart of, and behave as, a disciple of Lord Yeshua. It is an agreement of Intent, of loyalty. It is between us and our Lord and we are the best judges of how that agreement translates into our daily lives while others have no business judging our walk unless we blatantly trespass obvious moral issues. To be faithful is to be true to your discipleship by boldly declaring Messiah and carefully heeding the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Because the Plan of Redemption has at its core a covenant between the individual and our Messiah, personal salvation is therefore covenant based. One cannot ignore their sacred covenant and expect the grace of God to cover. Those who argue we are saved solely by grace, are mislead. Those who rely on random kind works or sincere grand gestures of charity, to save them are mislead. Those who say we are saved by grace but must be sure that our works reflect a Christian walk are still obscuring the truth. When salvation is covenant based, Heaven is looking at one thing, is the intent of your heart on and do your actions reflect that you are faithfully fulfilling your covenants. Covenant based salvation does include the function of grace, and it does include the function of works, but neither are the backbone of the Plan. Grace goes beyond those who engage the Plan to cover all mankind. Works in most cases are self rewarding and many categories of good works are not directly related to the Plan.
Since salvation is based on individual covenants between millions of persons on Earth and Messiah, Who is based in Heaven, of necessity, a host of authoritative witnesses is required and so is authoritative servicing of all agreements. This is the function of authorized ministerial priesthood. God would not be a God of order if He permitted an army of self appointed ministers teaching personal interpretations of the Gospel. Faithfulness becomes less of a function of favorite beliefs, trusting and random kindness and more a function of anything related to loyalty to one's covenants. Grace plays in anywhere God so chooses and is not ours to declare when and with whom His grace has been applied.
Covenant based salvation necessitates the need of fixed ceremonies or instruments of faith validation and a special or employed ministry officially permitted to promote and service the agreements. Our Lord is a peacemaker and He knows that keeping good records is essential for preventing or settling disputes. The baptismal covenant comes with a promise of great rewards that when understood are coveted by all reasonable people. How many will come and demand the rewards without ever having entered and fulfilled the terms of the respective agreements. Without the ministry confirming each person's entering of the covenants, how will arguments be settled? If Lucifer with one third the host of Heaven could stage an attack against God before we came to Earth, similar numbers could argue against God at the final judgment.
"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Mtt. 7:22-23) Essentially our Lord will be declaring to a presumptuous class of self appointed ministers that He and they have no real history, or record of any agreement; that such would-be ministers acted on their own, for their own glory, and did not have enough character to allow Messiah to invite them and lead them through the appropriate gates. Subversion of the order of God is iniquitous even with the best of intentions.
A look at the ceremony of baptism will help clarify the role for ministry. A spiritually hungry person is listening to an ordained missionary perform his loving duty by offering his personal experiences related to his discipleship and declaring the good news of our Lord. At some moment, the one listening chooses to turn his life over to Messiah. In his heart he confesses his life doesn't add up to very much without a relationship with his Creator. He or she, decides to live as a disciple of Yeshua. This process could take months or seconds, it doesn't matter. The person is at that point agreeing to be a disciple and at that point living the principle of baptism in heart, mind and actions when possible. The person is turning their material and spiritual life over to Messiah. That is the process of becoming a new creature in Messiah.
At this point the missionary has no clue of the person's commitment nor does the local congregation. Heaven is aware of the heart of the person but has no record of his having openly confessed Messiah, and what will this person do when a little persecution takes place, if it were to become public knowledge of his commitment? While this person has made a commitment to follow Messiah, what has he done with regard to the command to repent? If conversion took place in a few seconds, there has not been any time to repent of many of the past trespasses. If conversion has taken place over a few months, what has been done about fixing some of those negative accomplishments?
Lets say the disciple was converted in a matter of minutes. He goes up to John the Baptist and confesses, "I am a sinner, I have sinned against God and my fellow man on many occasions, I will change my ways and make amends. please allow me to declare my discipleship in the waters of baptism." John doesn't know this guy, but he saw him listening to his sermon and the Spirit is telling him to perform the authoritative ceremony. John takes the disciple in the water and raises his own right arm to Heaven in the sign of the Levitical ministry, the angels ordained to minister to John record the ceremonies he performs. By the act of taking the disciple in the water John is witnessing to the local congregation and to Heavenly witnesses that he has been inspired that this disciple is currently living the covenant of baptism or discipleship, and ready to make the agreement of public record. Please note: by performing the baptism, the minister is witnessing that he has Divine word that the initiate is currently living at least in his heart the principle of discipleship/baptism.
John performs the baptism. The agreement is sealed on earth and sealed in Heaven. Each of the local congregation are now on notice that the disciple is a true brother or sister in Yeshuan discipleship. That does not make him a member of their consecrated united order, but it makes him welcome to become an associate as a trial member. The act of the ministry approving a person for baptism satisfies the responsibility for each local disciple to obtain a personal witness of the commitment level of the new person. Without the witness of the ministry, every member of the order would be required, by the principles of Stewardship and Association, to get his or her own personal revelation of the new disciples covenant and intent on faithfulness.
The story is not much different for the disciple that is converted over a few months except the disciple has time to effect some viable penance and affiliate with the local congregation and participate with them in their enterprises so that as a united order they can vote confidently whether to permit full membership or not. Membership is accomplished by a vote and a priesthood confirmation blessing. This again is recorded both on earth and in heaven.
Entering a membership covenant of a consecrated united order comes under the principles of an authoritative priesthood marriage and becomes subject to faithfulness standards and all accompanied adulteration penalties, should there be serious betrayal.
Many Christians have no concept that the normal outward shape or profile of a mature Christian congregation or Messianic covenant body of Yeshua IS a: Consecrated United Order:
The overall Order is governed by Patriarchal authority through a governing council and a patriarch. All spiritual related matters, ordinances and ceremonies are administered by MP and all temporal or Kingdom related matters, ordinances and ceremonies are administered by the LP:
Karma is one of the cardinal Attributes of God. The purpose of repentance being the first order of business for an initiate in the Gospel is to clear all possible negativity weighing down on the initiate in the event he or she will soon join an order. Obviously there are other reasons to clear oneself of sin. However, our Lord is all about establishing congregations of consecrated members in order to establish Zion and build the Kingdom of God in preparation for the global baptism by fire. In establishing such orders, He is interested in not burdening them with new members who have unsettled disputes, or who are wanted by police or bill collectors. For obvious reasons, if you have a lot of debts, enemies, and otherwise burdensome conditions waiting to come back to roost, it is best to clear them as much as possible before applying for membership in a Messianic order. The authorized ministry also exists to see that is taken care of before laying there hands on a new initiate to confirm them a member. They are to not lay their hands quickly on new initiates by making them Order members before a review of any negative karma can be evaluated.
The divine attributes of Stewardship, Association and Karma are all in play when the membership becomes aware of a new member or an advancement of an existing member, such as marriage. It is each member's Stewardship to know if a new member is truly embracing the principle of baptism or discipleship or a new marriage is truly built by God. Instead of each member praying for a personal revelation for each new bond, a faithful ministry indicates his personal witness when the member is authoritatively confirmed. With dozens of new members or bonds coming about, the body can keep good Stewardship through the services of the ministry. The Attribute of Association is in play as all members should have an interest in preventing improper members and uninspired marriages in their midst, as it would pollute Zion. Zion must be built by revelation and the work of the Father. If pollutions are allowed in, all members suffer by Association. The ministry exists to guard against the Order inheriting negative karma through the introduction of membership pollution and the acceptance of improper bonds and unknown and unacceptable negative karma. The consecrated society takes seriously their ability to learn how to exist each day blameless before God and Eternal karma. Ordained ministry is an indispensable safeguard.
Again, the Eternal Attribute of 'Stewardship' reflects the need for ministerial authority. By virtue of 'Stewardship' God requires Himself to make a full accounting of all of His creation. Records of ministerial service have a part in determining Stewardship faithfulness. Every son or daughter created, is His Stewardship, from the moment of creation thereafter. He will give each person every chance to prosper and become all that Creation intended possible. The Heavenly records of the ministry will show each and every advantage given to every person. Mortals will not even be aware of most of such blessings. Supposedly once a person has reached full potential they will need less of God's crisis-oriented attention. Should a person choose rebellion, at every moment there will be angels standing by to rescue those who cry out for help. If they choose total destruction, God will still deserve honor for being a faithful Steward having made a full accounting of doing everything possible to save His creation. Of course the one choosing destruction may not agree because he or she may never have cried out for and accepted God's help.
A look at the three realms or dimensions that concern the Plan of Redemption will round out this look at the Divine authority. The earth is in the lower dimension, the telestial/mortal realm, in order for its inhabitants to survive the transition from this realm to the next or paradisaical dimension, the earth must be prepared to receive the influx of higher frequency energy waves soon to reach maximus. It is through the administration of the LP that the lands are prepared and sanctified and the people are consecrated that will facilitate ease of survival. When in the paradisaical dimension, the earth will be offered principles of purification, mainly focused on intent and global harmony in preparation for the next transition from paradisaical to the celestial dimension. Upon arrival to the celestial, the earth and its inhabitants will be governed as full patriarchal societies, with ministerial priesthoods remaining to govern the heavenly Church and Kingdom. Genuine ministry is required to teach the Plan and perform the confirmatory ceremonies all along this path of progression.
God doesn't have an all volunteer core of self appointed well meaning sergeants. His order is tightly designed and irreducibly simple for the departments and tasks at hand. Just as no unclean thing can enter His presence, only those called by revelations and legally ordained will be standing in His places of angelic service. If we are not interested in learning His order of things in this life it is highly unlikely we will be ready to function in places of responsibility in His realms of many mansions and untold glory. God is in no rush, He is not desperate for willing helping employees. We can experience many lives until we finally appreciate that God is a God of Order and we must be invited and duly ordained to help in certain critical programs.
This concludes this review of the four Divine authorities. Beyond this there is the discussion of the three legitimate modes of government available for use by these four authorities. These will not be discussed at this time, but they are the pure forms of: Monarchy, Patriarchy and Autocracy. However here are a few clues: Monarchy does not belong on earth, it is more a mode of government between those of a higher dimension to those of a lower dimension. The U.S. Constitutional form of government is somewhat patterned after the true Patriarchal mode, which is the approved primary mode of governance in all dimensions. Autocratic modes are for limited durations and/or limited parameters and should only exist under Patriarchal supervision. Be looking for the article entitled "Patriarchal Mannafesta".
I wish to offer my humble witness that Yeshua Messiah is our living Lord, the Son of the Living God and promised Savior of the World. He is most meek in all communications. He is all powerful and all knowing yet possessing boundless love and acceptance of every individual. In His presence, He is the most manly man. He is the hero of all the greatest and true heroes that have ever walked this planet. He has all the answers for every situation.
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