July 4, 2011
The Supremacy of Jesus Christ [Titles | Authority | The Spirit of Antichrist]
We have so many leaders in the IC who love honorific titles, the praises of men, long priestly robes, ecclesiastical attire, and boasting about their authority, ‘”their” churches and “their” people. You’ve seen these “Ministers”, or “Prophet/esses”, or “Apostles”, or “Pastors” wear their titles such as “Chief Apostle,” “Archbishop,” “Presiding Prelate,” “Most Right Reverend” etc. proudly in front of their names to emphasize that they have authority, and will scald, and remind anyone who doesn’t acknowledge their title as someone who doesn’t respect their authority.
The Supremacy of Jesus Christ
NONE of them seem to love bestowing those titles, authority, or supremacy to the One who has demonstrated without a shadow of a doubt that he ALONE deserves the glory, honor, and praise that these titles bring: The man Christ Jesus.
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me?
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
The preeminence and supremacy of Christ is asserted in the scriptures. He has all power, and authority in Heaven and Earth and exclusively over his body the Church. Why is it however that those called by God cannot see this simple truth? It astounds me that the evil human nature, which continually seeks rule and wanting to lord it over people, seeks the highest rank wanting to be addressed by titles and exercise false authority over God’s people. Why do MOST church leaders desire to be greeted with titles? All of them are undeserving to share in God’s glory.
…that he (The Father) worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Jesus spoke the most clearly and harshly about the Pharisees, as well as other leaders who continue to love rank, seek preeminence, titles, and being greeted as authority figures in the body of Christ. He makes it plain that you are not to be like them because these leaders exalt themselves.
Matthew 23: 8-12 (NASB)
But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
If you will allow me, I will take you on a tour of some of the most commonly used titles and names amongst leaders who are being exalted in the body of Christ.
Jesus – The Good Shepherd, Senior Pastor and Archbishop
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—”
Jesus rightly calls himself the Good Shepherd who is the Bishop, Shepherd, and Overseer of our souls.
1 Peter 2:25
For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (Jesus)
God has called men who love him that qualify for the task to be overseers, but these are simply men who are called to be the chiefest of servants and examples to the people they teach and lead. Paul recognized this truth, admonishing the saints to follow him as he follows Christ. Christ was the ultimate servant, always doing the will of his Father, never seeking glory for himself. These days so many church leaders have set up authorities which look like the world, and exalt themselves as the object of adoration, as they sit in the temple of God and declare themselves as God instead of acknowledging the lordship of Christ. It is truly the spirit of Antichrist.
1 John 4:3
but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
The term “Archbishop” taken from the ranks of the Catholic Church, is a term of honorary address for bishops “at the head.” Men have taken that title for themselves it belongs to Christ ALONE, for he alone is the head of the body of Christ. There are so many titles that are blasphemous for humans to take on, but we do it anyway because we seek authority and to be exalted. The same is true for those who use Senior Pastor as their official designation, senior meaning again one of highest spiritual maturity and rank.
Yeshua – Our Chief Apostle, Presiding Prelate and High Priest
Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession…
Yeshua was THE first and Chiefest of Apostles. He is the ultimate and most preeminent messenger coming to give the good news of the kingdom of God. Yes there are men today in churches who refer to themselves as “Chief Apostles,” and I believe, that these blasphemous names are systematic of the Babylonian Institutional Church system described in Revelation and other parts of scripture.
The term Presiding Prelate really bothers me. If defined the term means a bishop of SUPERIOR rank that exercises guidance, direction, or control over the church. Yeshua ALONE has this preeminent rank, and any leader who thinks they have this kind of privilege amongst the body are not only authoritarian and Nicolatian in rule, they exhibiting the Antichrist spirit.
Christ – The Master Prophet and Most Right Reverend
“What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.
There is a false prophet out there by the name of E. Bernard Jordan who calls himself “The Master Prophet.” He is a liar. Christ came to Earth as THE Master Prophet, telling his people things he has received from the Father. Most of these false prophets today are only prophe-lying, prophesying lies about wealth, prosperity, and other ear-tickling doctrines of devils.
The Most Reverend or Right Reverend titles are equally as horrid as all the others. While pastors are indeed worthy of respect, “reverend” exalts one into the category of worship. All throughout the scriptures you see God as the one who we must show reverence to through obedience to each other.
Authority and Jesus’ Example
Jesus spoke with authority, not because of any authority he had within himself, (which was all authority) it was because the authority the Father gave to him. Jesus didn’t need to tell people about his authority constantly. He didn’t need to beat them about the head with it, but he spoke and acted with what he possessed. It is very important to note as well the WAY in which Jesus exercises his authority amongst his flock. Jesus didn’t need to prove his authority by taking on titles, putting on costly robes or wanting to be called “Rabbi.” Christ walked in his authority by his example and humble service to others through the preaching of the gospel, healing, feeding the hungry, and caring for those in need. This was seen by those who observed him in words and deeds.
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Notice the passage says Jesus did not teach like the teachers of the law, this is because the teachers of the law WERE NOT OF GOD and used tactics which exalted themselves instead of God so their words would be seen as authoritative, but Jesus saw right through them. They were not speaking with the authority God the Father has given them, but through their own false authority as a Pharisee and self appointed titles as teachers of the law.
So as I explained in my blog about the Nicolatian doctrines, when those who have put themselves in spiritual authority over the people of God attempt to control, manipulate, and eventually destroy and scatter the flock of God by controlling doctrines, misused scriptures, false authority and demanding to be called by titles, and practices, they are NOT operating in the authority or example of Jesus Christ.
If you know someone who assumes one of the pompous titles above, Jesus clearly isn’t the example of your leadership. Most often than not, especially with high profile leaders who are on TV or have large congregations, you can see this falsehood not only in the respect they demand from others, but the way members of their congregations demand it of YOU.
So to conclude, Jesus demonstrated his authority by showing he had nothing to prove. His assignment was one only he could accomplish, and dying for the sins of his people was no small feat. In this, the sinless Lamb of God demonstrated his supremacy over death and over all which is exalted. When well meaning Christians take their eyes off Christ and put it on leaders instead, flesh is exalted, and leaders think more highly of himself than he ought, and we know that no flesh deserves to glory in God’s presence. Let us practice humility in all we do, and make sure to make Christ supreme in all things.