The Church is the quintessential Theocracy. Its government is not a political government wherein the governed themselves constitute, devise, and effect their own government, such as that of this nation, the United States, which is a form of democracy (a republic), supposedly “of the people, for the people, and by the people.” Rather, the Church is literally governed by a singular Supreme Potentate—the Lord Jesus Christ—who God has appointed as its Sole and Sovereign Head. Thus, the ultimate Theocracy. The absolute necessity of understanding this one concept is emphasized and re‑emphasized repeatedly in the volume from which this article is extracted, and indeed is the ultimate and salient point of that book, Charismatic Captivation.
But, once it is understood that Christ Jesus Himself is the ultimate Head and Cornerstone of the Church, it is just as vital to understand that the government Jesus presides over is an intermediated or proxy government in its physical application. In other words, He does not govern alone, nor directly, nor even in person. Rather, His government is a “representative” or “delegate” form of government, if you will. This is to say that as God set apart and specially consecrated the Levites under the Old Covenant to represent Himself unto the people, so also Jesus appoints, anoints, and sends special envoys, ambassadors, to represent Him and His government unto the Church. These envoys are His personal proxies, His delegates, His stand‑ins, whom He sends to convey and effect His purposes, plans, pleasures, and passions.
You see, ever since Jesus ascended on High, and “was received into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mk. 16:19), He has been doing all that He does in this cosmos not in person by means of His own personal actions, but rather through His Body, the Body of Christ, the Church. God has chosen by His own volition, since there certainly exists no power or entity capable of compelling the Almighty to do anything, to “limit” His own intervention into human affairs to effecting it through the medium of His Body. Indeed, the whole of the mission of the Church is nothing other than the continuation of Jesus’ ministry, which did not cease with His ascension, but rather only commenced, and now is continued through the participation and performance of His now many‑membered Body. Included in Jesus’ “ministry”, it is vital to understand, is His Kingdom administration of “all authority” (Mat. 28:18).
The matter could scarcely be articulated better than it was by Paul E. Billheimer in Destined For the Throne, wherein, under a section entitled “God Proposes—A Holy Church Disposes,” he writes:
God’s offer of His scepter to redeemed humanity is, therefore, a bona fide offer. It is an offer in good faith. Through the plan of prayer God actually is inviting redeemed man into FULL partnership with Him, not in making the decisions, but in implementing those decisions in the affairs of humankind. Independently and of His own will God makes the decisions governing the affairs of the earth. The responsibility and authority for the enforcement and administration of those decisions He has placed upon the shoulders of His Church. (p. 46)
In the scope of the Divine plan for the cosmos at large, the entire many‑membered Church as an entity is God’s proxy delegated, deputized, and deployed by Him to implement His purposes in the cosmos. Commenting on this truth Billheimer writes:
…Dr. Wilbur T. Dayton says, “After the removal of His bodily presence from among them, His followers must be His representatives, must take His place. This is the apostle’s commission and ours. We are His proxies with power of attorney to do His bidding.” “As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you” can mean nothing less than that we are His deputies with full authority to enforce the divine will and program. The deputy is invested with the full power of the office of his Chief, and is fully authorized to act in His stead. (Idem, p. 47)
Though the entire collective Church is the proxy of God in the master scheme for the cosmos, nevertheless, the Body of Christ, also has within its own meticulously‑designed structure a God‑ordained and therefore perfectly ordered system by which it is governed, which also is a proxy or delegated government. Like our physical bodies, the Body of Christ also is made up of a Head and a Body (torso with appendages), each with a different but equally essential function. In the case of physical human bodies, the head is the seat of government, and serves the body by providing it with government and direction, formulating the purposes and the plans to be achieved, while the body serves the head by implementing the decisions made by the head. The head and the body are connected, related, and totally interdependent upon one another; one can do nothing without the other, but vitally and mutually needs the other. Together they comprise a many‑membered body in which each member functions in total unity, congruity, and harmony with all the other parts toward achievement of common purposes and objectives. In the illness‑free body, there is no contention or competition between the head and the body, but only complementation. Indeed, the body in which there is contention and competition among its own members, namely, its cells, is not an illness‑free body, but cancerous, which condition unabated is always fatal.
After the Exodus Israel Operated Under God’s Theocracy
During its forty-year trek through the desert prior to entering into Canaan, “the church in the wilderness” was under the sole Sovereignty of Jehovah God. During that time, before the people rejected God’s Kingship and demanded from Him and His representative Samuel the Prophet a human king in order that they “may be like all the nations (the ‘Goiim,’ or Gentiles), that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight all our battles” (1 Sam. 8:20), there was no human, civil government. Hence, Israel then was under a literal Theocracy of the Spirit of God, in which Jehovah was the Government.
However, God effected His government through a singular human proxy, Moses, who was a type and prefigurement of Christ, the Head of the Church. Moses was a literal human “stand‑in” for Christ. He was Israel’s “deliverer” in the stead and on the behalf of Christ Himself. Moses also was God’s singular human governmental proxy. But, no human, even those greatly anointed by God as was Moses, is capable of bearing the enormous spiritual burden of being the “mediator” between God and the people; only the Omnipotent and Immaculately Holy One, Christ Jesus, is able to bear such a weight. Thus, after some two years in the desert, Moses began to have a total breakdown under the severe stress and strain produced by filling this role of “mediator” between a Perfectly Holy God and a wholly defiled and sinful people (Num. 11). In utter desperation and exhaustion, Moses cried out to God:
I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. So if Thou art going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Thy sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness! (Num. 11:15)
But, God knew all along that Moses the mortal man, descendant of the fallen First Adam, could not possibly carry the full weight of the burden of these people, because the burden encompassed leading them out of both physical as well as spiritual oppression and bondage, and establishing them in both a natural Land and a spiritual “state” of subjection to the Sovereignty of Christ. Moses could be a proxy‑deliverer, an intermediary, to lead the people out of physical oppression and bondage of Egypt, but He was not of the spiritual essence and holiness (the Divine Nature) required to be the mediator between God and men, which role is to sanctify (make holy) defiled humanity and satisfy God’s Just and Righteous Enmity separating man from the Holy God, and thereby bring them into fellowship with God. Christ Jesus Himself—born of the Spirit of Holiness and undefiled in the flesh while alive as a Man—is the ONLY Man who has ever lived who is of the required Essence and Holiness to fulfill the role of Mediator between the Perfectly Holy God and defiled men (1 Tim. 2:5)!
Thus, it was no surprise or revelation to the All‑knowing God that this was beyond Moses capacities and capabilities. But, what was absolutely imperative to the fulfillment of God’s purposes and plans was that Moses himself know experientially and thoroughly, without any ambivalence, that he had reached the limits of his capacity to carry this load or these people any further.
The Anointing Breaks the Yoke and Delivers
At this stage in God’s dealings with the Israelites, though physically delivered out of Egypt, spiritually they remained unholy, profane, and defiled by the flesh; that is, carnal. The overall effect of that was that they also remained in enmity and separation from God, and thoroughly opposed to all His intents and purposes, for the unredeemed carnal mind is totally hostile and set against God, and totally incapable of being in agreement with, much less obeying and performing, that which is pleasing to God (Rom. 8:7,8). Therefore, because they were set against God, they also were set at odds against Moses, the man with a nature (human) such as theirs, but who was nonetheless sent by God to be a surrogate deliverer/leader, intercessor, intermediary, on behalf of God to lead them into a physical and spiritual Promise Land.
In essence, short of the intervention of God, Moses was now in a completely impossible situation, being charged by God to impel an unredeemed and rebellious people who had absolutely no inclination toward God, to follow His intents and purposes. With all this in view, it takes little imagination to comprehend why Moses after two years of striving with these people in the wilderness came to a place of total physical, mental, and spiritual exhaustion, frustration and despair, and had what amounts to a breakdown in all three areas. In his utter despair and agony, Moses cries out to God.
But, when he does, God has the plan, the solution, already. He has had it all along. In the Eternal and Infinite Mind of God, He always knew precisely what He needed to do to solve and bring resolution to Moses’ dire and desperate need. When Moses experientially knew without equivocation his limitations and that he had reached his limits, then God could and would inform Moses of the solution and how to implement it. You see, Moses had reached his own limits and limitations, but God has none. The situation was beyond Moses’ capabilities and capacities, but not God’s. No situation is beyond God’s capabilities and capacities, for with God all things are possible and there are no impossibilities. Neither are there impossibilities to the person whose total faith, trust, and confidence is in God’s capabilities and capacities, and not his or her own. For, if thou canst believe the God of infinite capabilities and capacities—all things are possible. Indeed, it is in our inabilities that God’s power is perfected (2 Cor. 12:9).
And what was the solution to Moses’ great dilemma, which had eternally existed in the Mind of God, not only before Moses got to this place, but even before the foundations of the world, and had in fact been standing ready in wait for the time when he became fully cognizant and convinced of his limitations and limits, and therefore cried out to God? Well, the solution lied in the anointing that God had placed upon him in the first place when He appeared to him in the burning bush in Midian.
You see, Moses had an experience similar to that experienced at one time or another by most everyone who has ever been in the ministry. He started out all well and good, operating by and through the empowerment of the Spirit, and not by his own might.
When he went to the Hebrews to tell them God had sent him to deliver them out of Egypt and their nearly five hundred years of bondage and oppression, he proved to them he was sent by God by supernatural miracle and healing power from God—the anointing! When he spoke to Pharaoh, he went not in his own might, but with confidence in God’s Might and under the unction of the Spirit the Lord had given Him—the anointing! When he demanded that Pharaoh let God’s people go, he worked supernatural signs and wonders through the power of the Spirit to compel Pharaoh to release the Israelites—the anointing!
When the entire Hebrew company stood helplessly at the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army pursuing and nowhere to go, Moses struck the waters with his anointed staff and they were miraculously divided, and the entire nation crossed over on dry ground—it was the anointing!
When after three days of journeying in the wilderness they had come to the waters at Marah only to find that they were contaminated and non-potable, Moses purified the waters by the supernatural power of God—the anointing!
When the people grumbled against Moses because of lack of meat and bread, Moses cried out to God, and God supernaturally sent them a superabundance of quail and manna—it was through the anointing that the sustenance came!
When at Rephidim again there was no water for the people and the livestock, the people ranted and raged at Moses. At the instruction of the Lord, he struck the rock at Horeb with his staff, and water gushed forth—the anointing produced water!
When the Amalekites came and fought against Israel while they were camped there at Rephidim, Moses stood on Mt. Horeb, and with Aaron and Hur supporting his arms, held his staff above his head, and while the anointing prevailed above his head the troops prevailed over the enemy, but when in weariness his arms fell down, the enemy prevailed—it was the anointing that brought the victory and vanquished the enemy!
When will those of us in ministry ever learn that it’s the ANOINTING that breaks the yoke? It’s not academic knowledge or church administration or leadership acumen, but the anointing! As Moses brought victory by keeping his staff, the symbol of God’s anointing upon him, lifted above his head, so also the only way the Church and its leaders will prevail against our spiritual enemies and bring victory in the days that lie ahead is by exalting the anointing of God above the intellect of our heads. The “strong men,” the ruling principalities that withstand us, and which we must dispossess in order to possess our Promise Land, can only be defeated through the ANOINTING—God’s supernatural Power and Might manifested through his appointed and anointed proxies!
Moses had started this whole deliverance program by manifesting the power of God, but in the passage of time the unrelenting carnality and rebellion of the people had begun to frustrate him and caused him to get out of the Spirit and to start operating out of his own flesh. Everyone who has ever tried to deliver and shepherd a group of people, and get them out of their carnality and into operating by the Spirit, very well knows where Moses was at, and has been there himself. You end up getting in the flesh trying to get the people out of the flesh! This is precisely the place Moses was at.
When one finds himself at this very precarious place, the only thing to do is return to, “stir up,” kindle afresh, the gifts of the Spirit with which God anointed him when He first called, anointed, and appointed him to the ministry. The anointing always works. Frequently, ministers fall into the trap of spending all their time and energy administrating rather than ministering. It is all too easy to lapse into a mode of preserving in lieu of possessing. We get weary in the battles of taking new territory and regress to merely keeping territory we have taken. How often swashbuckling spiritual conquistadors degenerate to being caretakers of museums of taxidermied saints!
The Plurality of Leadership Model
God’s solution for Moses’ dilemma, like all His solutions for all our dilemmas, essentially was “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit” (Zech. 3:5). The weapons of the warfare in which we are engaged are not carnal, that is, of the flesh, but they emanate from the Spirit of God, and thus are superabundantly powerful, and more than sufficient for the destruction of every stronghold (2 Cor. 10:4). In other words, the solution would come through the ANOINTING. When God called and commissioned Moses for this task of being a deliverer, He distributed upon him a portion of His very own Spirit in order to fulfill the task. God always operates this way—those who He appoints, He anoints; those anointed by Him are equipped to fulfill their calling. The anointing is empowerment of the Spirit to accomplish that to which God calls us. Now God was proposing to resolve Moses’ problem of proffering leadership for the people by replicating the process by which He anointed Moses in seventy other “little Moseses”:
The Lord therefore said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the SPIRIT who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you shall not bear it all alone.” (Ex. 11:16,17)
Moses has very candidly told God that he just could not bear this burden of the people anymore, and God’s response indicated that He totally agreed with him. God’s solution was that He would take of the Spirit that He had placed upon Moses—the anointing—and distribute it upon these seventy elders as well, “and THEY shall bear the burden of the people WITH YOU, so that you shall not bear it all alone.” Thus, God’s answer was “plurality of leadership” wherein the burden of leadership would no longer be borne by a solitary individual, but distributed unto the shoulders of seventy others who had likewise been anointed by God for leadership under the direction of Moses. In effect, these men would be Moses’ surrogates or intermediaries, and Moses was the typological human mediator, the intercessor, between God and the Israelites.
Plurality of leadership under the sovereignty of Jesus (who Moses typified) is and always has been the Biblical pattern of government and administration of the Kingdom (authority) of God on Earth. In each and every case in which “elders”—the body of leaders responsible for government in the Church (1 Tim. 5:17)—are mentioned in the Bible, the plural form is used. The same is true of “apostles and prophets,” who are the chief governmental leaders of the Body of Christ—the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20) and the “shoulders” upon whom the government of Jesus rests (Is. 9:6)—their offices are always mentioned in the plural form as well. The only exception to that is the few cases in which the early church apostles refer to themselves in the Epistles.
This is certainly not happenstance, but rather the Divinely established paradigm. No single person is so completely anointed by God so as to be equipped and enabled to single‑handedly govern or administrate any segment of the Church. God anointed Jesus Himself “without measure” (Jn. 3:34) because He was the Christ, which, of course, means “Anointed One,” and it is this supremely “Anointed One” Whom He appointed as the solitary Head of the Church, as well as over all things. Everyone else, every mere mortal leader within His Body (even the shoulders are part of the Body, rather than a part of the Head), however, is anointed with only a portion, a measure, of that anointing with which Jesus is anointed in the same way that the seventy elders were anointed with a portion of the anointing that God had placed upon Moses, who, once again, typified Christ Jesus.
So also, as it was with the seventy elders, no one intermediary leader is himself anointed to the extent and completeness Jesus (Moses) was, that is, “without measure.” Rather, individually, we all, Fivefold Ministers included, are anointed with a certain “measure” of the anointing; that is to say, our anointing has limits, and is by no means of the fullness of Christ’s anointing. It can only be this way, because there will always only be one Christ, the Anointed One, and that is Jesus. None of us are Christ; we are only individual members of His Body (1 Cor. 12:27). It is only corporately that the Body of Christ, through its individual members, possesses and is a conduit of the anointing “without measure” that is upon and emanates from the Eminent Head of the Body. Hence, as the seventy elders were to Moses, elders in the Church are merely imperfect and individually incomplete human intermediaries representing the only true Mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus! And, it is only corporately, in plurality, that the presbytery (eldership) represents the fullness of Christ unto the Church, serving the Body as visible and touchable delegates of the government, authority, and leadership of Christ and “imparters” of His ministration to His Body. As the seventy elders were special intermediaries delegated to assist Moses in leading and judging matters concerning the people, elders in the Church, presided over by Fivefold Ministers, are special delegates of Christ.
Jesus Instructed Us to Pray for the Manifestation of God’s Theocracy On Earth!
Billions, in the last two millennia since Christ gave believers a model for prayer that became known as “The Lord’s Prayer,” have prayed, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” But, a rarefied few have prayed that portion of the prayer with knowledge of what it means and conviction that it would or even, if they were honest, could be answered. For most, it’s just a petition by rote, and they don’t really mean it. But, Jesus meant it when He instructed believers to pray that way and petition God in that regard. He really meant for us to petition God that His Kingdom come to Earth and that His Will be manifest on Earth as it is manifest in Heaven. The Government of the Kingdom of Heaven and God is the ultimate Theocracy. And, so when we are petitioning God for the manifestation of His Kingdom on Earth as Jesus instructed, we are asking (whether we understand it or not) that God’s Theocracy be manifest on the Earth. Yet, I would surmise it a reasonable assumption that the overwhelming majority of believers have not the slightest clue what God’s Theocracy is or how it does or would manifest on the Earth. This series of articles addresses that matter.
In the next edition of this series, we’ll look at Christ’s intermediaries charged with representing Him and His Government in the Church.###
Dr. Steven Lambert was ordained in 1977 and holds several earned graduate/post-graduate degrees. Over more than four decades in ministry, he has served as a pastor, radio/TV host, adjunct-professor, Board Certified Doctoral Diplomate Christian Therapist/Counselor, and a speaker/commentator on a range of social, political, and theological issues, particularly as a recognized authority on the matter of ecclesiastical authoritarian abuse. He is the founder/Overseer of Ephesians Four Network (ephesiansfour.net) and its subsidiary, Ephesians Four Network of Deliverance Counselors (efndc.ephesiansfour.net). Dr. Lambert authored several books (catalog at realtruthpublications.com), many published articles, and is the founder/editor of Spirit Life Magazine (spiritlifemag.com). His bio, extensive blog, and scheduling information are available on his ministry website at: http://www.slm.org. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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- How God’s Theocracy Manifests on Earth