TWO KINDS OF AUTHORITY
In Matthew 21:23 Jesus was asked, “By what authority doest thou these things? And who gave thee this authority?” Jesus then said He would answer the question if they would answer His. “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, if we shall say, from heaven; he will say unto us, why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.” (Matthew 21:25-26) Because of their dilemma the people decided to say nothing. “From heaven, or of men?” is the question that still must be answered. There are only two basic kinds of authority which are suggested by this question: (1) human; (2) divine.
The only way we can be subject to divine authority (God’s due order) is to follow the New Testament as our pattern. God gave Noah a pattern for building the ark in Genesis. Noah followed that pattern. “Thus did Noah according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” (Genesis 6:22) God gave Moses a pattern for the building of the tabernacle. Moses was told, “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee on the mount.” (Exodus 25:40) Likewise, God has given the pattern for building Christian character and the pattern for the church.
The fact that the New Testament is to be our pattern (our due order) is declared in numerous passages. Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 9) “I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another gospel: only there are some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema.” (Galatians 1:6-8)
It is God’s plan that we walk according to the divine pattern given in His Word. Apostasy comes when men no longer respect the will of God. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
In view of the sobering fact that we shall be judged by heaven’s standard (John 12:48) ought we not “seek God after the due order”?
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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