Musing on the jurisdictional nature of authority in the Kingdom of Yehovah.
It has been my experience that most issues of division between men come when one does not respect another’s boundaries or realm of authority; therefore offending another’s dignity. The proverbs (Israel’s book of ancient wisdom) entreat us to “not move the ancient boundary stones”. A contemporary proverb states “good fences make good neighbors”.
Here are this architects thoughts on how to put a few of those walls/fences back where they were designed to be.
Many of Gods people have suffered at the hand of rebellious, self-righteous teachers of men who have from ignorance, selfishness , vanity or pride, been deconstructing the very safeguards set by God to keep his kingdom authority and his people at peace one with another.
When we function in mutual submission one to another ( Ephesians 5:20-22) according to our proper gifts and calling the Kingdom expands and we as his servants and co-laborers remain at peace.
A meditation on the jurisdictional nature of the authority of the kings, prophets and priests of the God of Israel:
“For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, overthrowing reasoning and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah.”
2 Cor 10:4-5
[ Living as Children of Light ] So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
Ephesians 4:16-18 (NIV)
As I read the Pentateuch (the ‘old testament’ of the bible) authority and God’s anointed power is expressed through clear leadership offices. These offices were given to men by anointing or a recognized calling of God. Yes God is the ultimate and only true and perfect judge or authority; but he has in his wisdom, perhaps because of our weakness or foolishness, chosen to work through agents or administrators of that authority among us.
When I consider the Prophets, Priest and Kings of God their spheres of responsibility/authority seem to have a jurisdictional nature. This is related to a geographical territory or limited spheres of gifting and influence; otherwise called a realm.
It also seems to me that the word of the Lord is the realm of authority of the Prophets. The service within the holy place is the realm of the Priests. The service of the temple and the sacraments/sacrifices of the people is the realm of the Levites.*
It was the Kings who had authority/responsibility for the nation or geographic territory. The kings responsibility included the kings city and protection of the national provisions for the people; both for security, well-being and civil government.*
It was the king not the priests who had authority over the temple building itself but not the services within. This jurisdiction has often been hotly contested by current priests of the temples of God on this his earth.*
Exceeding ones authority miss-represents the pattern of authority in Gods kingdom structure and is a grave error.
Moses was kept out of the promised land for -in anger misrepresentation a single image or expression of God’s authority. It appears to me that God’s realms of authority are based on spheres of influence, gifting, calling or anointing; that authority being jurisdictional (limited) in nature.
I propose the Prophets alone did not have a geographic territory but went freely within all the realms of men delivering the word that was their jurisdiction or realm of authority.
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the city (Jerusalem) shall be rebuilt for the Lord…it shall not be plucked up, or overthrown anymore forever” Jeremiah 31:38,40
At that time they shall call Jerusalem “the throne of the Lord,” and all the nations will be gathered into Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord…”
Not only on the face of this earth is there a Jerusalem, called in Hebrew Yerushalayim Shel Matta (“Jerusalm the Lower”) but also in Heaven is there such a city: Yerushalayim Shel Maacan (“Jerusalem the Upper”) Zevllillnay; Legends of Jerusalem
“The kingdom of God is at hand” Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha’Mashiach).
The consideration of the jurisdictional nature of authority in the Kingdom of God in my mind is best expressed in the nation of Israel when it was under the authority the Lord’s truly anointed and humbly submitted Kings. They where anointed for this office initially by prophets and later by the priests.*
The first earthly manifestation of the Kingdom of God was established by Saul, developed and organized by King David and at it’s prime under his son King Solomon.
This is my understanding of the way his kingdom authority works, it is not perfect nor complete for I “see through a glass dimly” but it is at least worthy of consideration.
The protection of the nation of Israel was the responsibility of the King. He organized the nation through the territories given to the tribes by God. The heads of the tribes, the lords or princes of the territories reported to the King and sat at his table in Jerusalem. It’s protection was the duty and responsibility of the King. Within the walls of the Kings city Jerusalem was the temple. The nation, the city and the temple where under the protection of the King.
Only the services in the Temple where the jurisdiction of the priest, and that authority was given for the equipping and workings of the temple, not the temple itself.
At the time of Christ the priest had “temple Guard’s” under their authority and they utilized them illegally to take Christ the true High Priest and King and make him subject to their authority. They had no “law of their own” that applied to any of Christ’s actions that they could use “to put a man to death” so they sent Christ to the civil authorities of Cesar for judgment and crucifixion.
They used their natural worldly position to destroy his natural body but could not subject him spiritually to them. His willing submission to death by their will resulted in the correction of the natural/spiritual order. The Sanhedrin the board of elder priest with it’s “high priest” had illegally judged Christ to be a blasphemer, this was an unjust judgment. This pattern yet persists on this earth and is outside of Gods will.
The territories of Israel under the King of Israel had jurisdictional leaders or lord’s/princes submitted to the greater authority of the King but this too was jurisdictional. For all men who had territory or a realm ruled it, in hopeful mutual submission to the other men and by rank of authority or gifting. That would be leaders of 10’s 50’s 100’s or 1,000’s.
So it would seem we have a kingdom of equals, with particular jurisdictional authority based on gifts, offices or ability to lead. Each man submitted to the other by territory or jurisdiction/office.
Functions or jobs within the kingdom or temple were based on authority/gifting/ability. Yet none had authority over each other expect within their particular jurisdictions. This is very important for authority battles divide the army or halt the work of the development of the Kingdom, or neglect what has been built. Men offend one another by trespassing within others realms of authority, knowledge or gifting. To do so is rebellion, vanity or pride of self-knowing.
Occasionally in the history of Israel, there was a king who was also a priest. He therefore had authority in both realms the temple and the kingdom. Yeshua of course is the High Priest and King and all authority, power and majesty is summed up in his person alone. Remembering also the nation of kings and priest: Israel itself was also a kingdom of tribes of brothers. It required clear designations of authority and submission one to another as the work or war required.
Today as I see it, we know each man is the Priest of his own home or family and personal realm. He is a king/ruler in his business realm and the world outside of his church/temple relationships. When he enters the temple (church) alone is he subject to the authority of the priests in the temple (church). Otherwise he is subject to his brothers in their realms of authority, and they to him in His. He is also above all and at all times to be subject to the direction in his heart of the Holy Spirit and the rule of the commands/teachings of God as expressed in Torah. These are to rule his behaviors and actions in the world and in his home.
As I understand it, no man in the kingdom of God, that is at hand, has authority over another brother outside of his jurisdiction. Within those jurisdictions we are subject one to another based on gifts, anointing, or as related to Gods ordained authorities.
In the time of Gods kingdom in ancient Israel the king went out seasonally, or when under attack to protect the nation, or the city and its inhabitants. He called the army from their territories under the leadership of the captains of 50’s.100’s, 1000’s. They served as necessary based on numbers needed or particular skill sets for the war’s at hand.
It was when David was not doing his duty as king that he stumbled and fell. “It was the time when kings went out to war and David was on his rooftop”…David also was only noted as deficient in his execution of his office by God for his disobedience to the will of God in regards to his execution of his jurisdictional authority over it. As I recall even the sin of murder and adultery two of the ten primary commandments where not mentioned by the prophet Nathan when he summed up the life’s work of David the “man after God’s own heart”.
Another example is Moses.
“Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” 9 And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” (Numbers 20:8-12 ESV, emphasis added)
Moses exercised his authority in anger to his loss or did not trust God to do his part.
It follows that the greatest risks to men of God is to be exercising authority or actions in excess of God’s specific mandates, or outside their realm of authority, gifting or calling. Or not to be doing their appointed work in it’s season.
“Now, a crown is being held for me—a crown for being right with God. The Lord, the judge who judges rightly, will give the crown to me on that day —not only to me but to all those who have waited with love for him to come again.
2 Timothy 4:7-9 “
“Who are you to pass judgment on and censure another’s household servant? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he shall stand and be upheld, for the Master (the Lord) is mighty to support him and make him stand.”
In summary and conclusion.
In looking at the ancient city of Jerusalem geographically and the history of the Kingdom under it’s kings and the construction of the City and it’s walls as well as the temple itself one sees a pattern.
The word of God was delivered by the prophets. The Temple was within the walls of the City. The construction of the temple, the gates the walls where under managers or magistrates not always Priests. The Priest “ministered to the Lord” in the temple, but did not necessarily have authority over the kings. It was the Levite’s who served the temple and the priests and the people of God in the execution of the sacrifices, and offerings. They where also supported by offerings and owned no property.
The Kings; not the priests or Levities, where responsible for waging wars, provisioning the city, defending the city and providing for the Levites and the Priests. The Levites would go out to war. The kings inquired of the priests to inquire of the Lord if a battle should be fought at all. To inquire “If the Lord was with them”. The people were protected and made fruitful through the administration of the civil injunctions of the Torah, and the city made safe through the protection of the King.
The people and kingdom of God where at peace fruitful and righteous before Him when they did their work in peace and confident submission one to another. It was only when God’s leaders submitted to his will and way as revealed by his spirit in the Torah (teachings) did his Kingdom flourish and advance on this earth.
May his will be done, May his Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.
*(References; the Book of Kings, Deuteronomy (the book of correct mixtures), Chronicles, Samuel; 2 Sam 8:25,1 king 4,7,1 kings 2:1,2 Sam 8.22 also Jerusalem in prophecy Randal Price; Legends of Jerusalem: Zevllillnay)