Posted: 05/29/2013 at 5:33am
Kingdom Leadership and Spiritual Headship
By Ron McGatlin
Fatherly loving direction and leadership in spiritually mature brothers and sisters is the way of God in the new kingdom church lifestyle. The day of one man serving as head of the local church or group is passing away as the kingdom of heaven / kingdom of God reality is coming forth in this current season. There is One Head of the Church (ekklesia, called out assembly), and it is not me or you; it is Christ Jesus.
Let’s explore the significant difference between headship and leadership in the Body of Christ on earth.
Mature elders are a great blessing to the people of God (the church). True fatherly and motherly leadership is to be greatly appreciated and valued. There is grave concern that truth does not become distorted and twisted and that true balance of love be always present lest the children (less spiritually mature) stray from the path of righteousness and fall into a ditch of deception.
The spiritually gifted and mature ones (elders) may or may not be gifted to serve as apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, teachers or combinations of these and other grace gifts. The elder ones (spiritually mature) may also function in various gifts at different times as God leads and empowers them for the purpose of leading the spiritually younger ones into maturity of Christ within themselves. As they mature they also become elders to those less mature than themselves. Leadership is all at one level under the headship of Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit - - all at one level, yet with various differing functions in the spiritual Body of Christ.
Leadership in the kingdom church is the elder (more spiritually mature) walking ahead of and not above the younger (less spiritually mature). In the kingdom church, leaders will often walk alongside the younger while teaching them to hear God and obey His leading on their own until Christ is formed in them (Gal 4:19). The spiritual mentoring process continues among us until Christ is fully formed in all of us (Eph 4:11-13).
Headship of Christ
The grace empowerment and spoken word of Christ Jesus, the Head, imparted into the mature ones (elders) by the Holy Spirit is the functioning headship of Christ leading His church. The decisions of leadership are all made at the HEAD level. That is, they are made by God in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit, the Head speaks the will of God into the hearts of His people who have ears to hear. Our part as leaders is to hear what Christ Jesus has already decided in heaven and bring forth what God is saying and doing.
The biblical tree of life has to do with hearing and following (obeying) what God is saying. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil has to do with figuring out what we should do from our human intellects and natural understanding.
We can follow the ultimate wisdom and understanding of Almighty God revealed in us from His spoken word aligning with the written word as it is revealed by its author, the Holy Spirit; or we can choose to follow our own understanding of religious teachings and practices that have been derived from human intellects and natural understanding of men who partake from the tree of knowledge rather than hear God.
Grace and Fire
There is a wonderful fullness of perspective being revealed in the loving grace of God. Thank God for the great value of lifting our vision up to the reality of Christ in us, the true hope of glory. There is a real fire of God that is burning brightly today. We here in Mt. Airy, North Carolina among many others across the land are experiencing a reality of the baptism of fire that brings true sanctification. It is awesome to see people being taken beyond the veil and emerging in the brightness of His purity and true holiness.
Mat 3:11-12: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
At the same time the fires of sanctification are burning, there is a dangerous teaching abounding in this day and many believers are not yet aware of the danger involved. A claim is made that all things were finished when Jesus said, “it is finished” at the cross, and there is nothing more to be done. It is the slippery slope of teaching presumed grace without faith and without fire. Without experiencing faith and the fire of God with the grace of God, half the truth is lost. This can cause severe ungodly imbalance.
At this time true faith and fire are lost to much of the body causing detriment to the kingdom of God being formed on earth as it is in heaven. The understanding is lost to many that Christ in us is still doing the work that completes the reality of His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Yet it is still all by grace. The grace of Christ in us influencing and changing our lives and then the world around us. That work of Christ is being done before our eyes in this day.
Truly all people are reconciled in Christ’s finished death, but not all are truly saved and living the kingdom lifestyle. Only those who turn to Him are truly saved. The Greek word translated saved is “sodzo” and means delivered, healed, and made whole in Christ. Without faith and turning, many are losing their potential kingdom life now on earth, while their reconciliation provided by the cross of Christ Jesus is wasted. They have received the grace of God in vain.
Thank you, God, for again bringing truth and reality of Your kingdom of God now in this life. Thank you for bringing true Fathering to the sweet people who seek You with their whole hearts.
Christ in us is a Father’s blessing. I encourage those reading this article to hear the wisdom of God flowing through true spiritual fathers and to become true spiritual fathers to those around you.
The Work of Grace
You can never get there believing that you must work for it. However, you also will not get there by not believing (no faith). Faith comes by hearing God, and it works by His love. Through His grace we have love and faith to believe the truth.
The work of redemption of this world through the saints of God in this world is NOT finished but is in glorious process as we write. Yes, the end may be clearly in sight in eternity without time. Yes, it may be seen as done in the eternal spiritual realm. However, we are the carriers of Christ in us to speak forth the real kingdom of God on earth now. Only believe and all things are possible to those who believe with their God-given faith.
For those among us who may have received the grace of God in vain, there is false rest in unbelief that is offered by the enemy working through religious spirits. Much of what we have been taught by religion and come to believe is at best incomplete and at worst are religious and secular teachings of men and doctrines of demons (deceitful spirits of darkness working through religion.
1 Tim 4:1: Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to deceitful spirits, and doctrines of demons.
Let us pray that the debate and foolishness of religion and false teachings be removed from our lives. Let’s pray that all believers will truly seek to hear the voice of our Father coming through the fathers of the faith. It is time for us to grow up to our next level and no longer think as a child but lay aside childish things and speak as mature ones.
The law is given as a school master, a test of faith and grace if you please. If we honestly by the light of the Holy Spirit look at our lives and find lack and bondages in the form of addiction and sinful activity, this is our signal and evidence that we are not fully receiving the grace of God and that our faith is lacking reality. We are yet occupied in ourselves. We are not yet filled with the life of Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit and may need to experience the baptism of fire.
Jesus is the baptizer with the Holy Spirit and FIRE. The baptism of fire is for sanctification, cleansing, purification and is a very powerful experience. We are consumed as we go into that inner place with Him and meet the all-consuming fire of God that burns all of the chaff of our childishness and leaves the pure holy life of Christ Jesus where we once lived.
Fire of God, come! Will of God be done! On earth as it is in heaven!
Father God we come to you in the name of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Father we truly repent and turn from anything and everything that we have come to believe about You and Your way that is not truth from Your heart and is not Your way. We ask you Father; purge us by Your Holy Spirit and Holy Fire. Consume us, oh God, in your love. Cleanse us by Your great power and grace.
Father, we choose in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit to willingly lay down all things that are in us that are not from You. Father, we lay down all of our previous beliefs and ways that are within us. We acknowledge that we do not fully know what is and what is not of You. Therefore, we choose to lay all that is within us at Your feet. Father, in the name of Jesus, we ask you to return to us only that which is from You, and that which is useful to us and pleasing in Your sight.
We ask that by Your grace in Christ by the Holy Spirit to help us renew our minds to the glorious truth and reality of Your kingdom life and way within us. We turn to you now and fully trust that You will guide us into true life in You and You in us.
You are our God, our only God, and we have no other. Father, we give You permission to and ask you to burn away everything we have come to worship as other gods in our lives. Let Your Holy Purifying Fire consume us. Fill us with Your Holy Life of truth and love. Makes us to be burning lights to this world of darkness that Your glory manifest to fill the world. Father we say in the name of Jesus by the Holy Spirit YOUR KINGDOM COME AND YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. AMEN AND AMEN!!!!
Love Never Fails,
and His Kingdom Never Ends
Edited by Ron McGatlin on 05/29/2013 at 8:16pm