God Loves Order
One cannot truly know God nor appreciate Him as He is without being awed at the ordered array of His universe. Yes, the Almighty loves life and freedom, but at the substructure of all creation there first had to exist an immutable matrix of order. It was upon this foundation of ordered laws of physics that life emerged. Order is the source of life.
We must remember that the very same eternal mind that created the structured order of the universe created the church. There is a divine order to the church that begins in being rightly related to Christ and the leadership He gives to the church through people. God is a God of order; order precedes life and freedom. God’s mind is ordered; His will is ordered and He gives “orders” to put things in order.
It is important to note that the Lord Himself honors the order He creates. Consider: the Lord appeared to Paul, spoke to him, actually blinded him in His glory, and then said, “Rise, and enter the city, and it shall be told you what you must do” (Acts 9:6). Why didn’t the Lord just heal Paul? Why didn’t He just tell Paul what he had to do? Paul would have to learn that, to reach God, he would have to submit to man. This is God’s order and the Lord Himself honored it. Paul had to hear about Jesus from Ananias.
Or consider Cornelius: an angel appeared to this Roman centurion in a dream and told him that a man named Simon Peter would explain to him the way of salvation. Why didn’t the angel simply tell Cornelius about Jesus? In the Almighty’s universe, God works in an ordered fashion. Before the Gentiles could enter the kingdom en masse they would be invited by the Jews, who first accepted Christ. God honored the order He created.
Consider church protocol in the book of Acts. When Philip brought the gospel to Samaria after Pentecost, miracles, conversions and great signs were accomplished. But Philip would not lay his hands upon the Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit. Why? Because until this time, the Holy Spirit had only spread through the hands of the first apostles. Again, God required His servant to respect the order and authority of the first apostles.
God has an order in your church. However it is established, and in whatever way it is defined, it is a place in order and it should be respected and honored. It does not matter whether you agree or not with the governmental structure within a church; as long as you attend that fellowship you should honor the order. Most congregations are led by a pastor; in some, the authority resides in the elder or deacon board; in still others, the authority comes from a bishop or even a prophetic or apostolic ministry. Whatever the structure, honor it and submit to it without dissension. If you feel you cannot grow in that congregation under its present structure, find a church where you can develop spiritually. However, do not cause strife just because you are not familiar or comfortable with the order.
The issue is not the form of government, but the life within the form. Paul wrote of apostles and prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers; John, however, spoke of the church in terms of fathers, young men and children; Peter, on the other hand, taught of elders, shepherds and the flock of God. The issue is not how the order is defined, but to understand that there is an order already established in a church and that order should be honored. It can be changed, but to change a church structure, one must submit to the elders of that church and be in agreement with the senior leader. They will pay the price for change when they are convinced God is leading. But they should not be forced to change just because someone has a problem with a church expression.
When the Jezebel spirit begins to manifest in a church, it immediately seeks to undermine the authority structure. If it cannot directly seduce a leader or cause him to commit immorality (and use that sin to diminish his authority), it will bring strife and division to challenge his authority in the church. Bear in mind that the spirit which produced Jezebel existed before its namesake was born. Although we refer to Jezebel as “she,” this spirit is without gender. However, it is important to note that, while men in leadership are the main target of most principalities, Jezebel is more attracted to the uniqueness of the female psyche in its sophisticated ability to manipulate without physical force. Remember, Jezebel was a queen who ruled a king; she assumes a “prophetess” role so she can rule a church. In so doing, she seeks to create a counterfeit authority among groups of individuals in a congregation. The result is that the established order in the church is undermined, true authority is neutralized, and leaders are wearied by endless meetings.
“And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” -Jude 1:6
There is a proper abode for each of us in the order of God. Jesus said that in the Father’s house there were “many dwelling places” and that He was going to prepare a place for each of us. The Father’s house is not only a place found in heaven; it is revealed here on earth in the body of Christ. Whenever we seek to break the order of our church, we leave our proper place and enter a realm “kept in eternal bonds under darkness.”
My friends, stay loyal to the church order where you worship God. If that order does not fit your temperament, find a church that does. If you cannot find a church, perhaps you are called to start one where your vision of Christianity can be fulfilled. But whatever you do, do not open up to false authority; do not dishonor the authority in your local fellowship through gossip or dissension; rather pray the vision of the senior pastor. For in so doing, you will help bring the church into the destiny of God and serve to fulfill the uniqueness of God’s purpose.
-From Pastor Frangipane’s email teaching