“Where two or three are gathered in my name” Mattityahu (Matthew) 18:20
The true test of whether we want righteous authority in our lives, is if we’ve already decided to live according to the Word of YHWH and surrender our lives to the Master’s authority. After we know that to be our goal, then we need to investigate every component of the Father’s authority over our lives, according to His Word. You would think that the matter of authority is so fundamentally important for our spiritual lives that everyone would seriously scrutinize these elements, but, the fact of the matter is that most don’t, it’s just too easy to go with the flow and not rock the boat.
Faith and commitment to YHWH and His Word begins when each of us volunteers to serve Mashiyach within our local communities. Yeshua Mashiyach raised up 12 disciples and then 70 men; “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Master, even the devils are subject unto us through your name!” (Luke 10:17) to represent the Kingdom of Heaven on this earth.
Active and progressive leadership refines our understanding of the Malchut (Kingdom) of Elohim by putting each of us in real-life situations which require the leading of the Ruach HaQodesh (Set Apart Spirit) to guide us and give us discernment and wisdom for day to day matters. There is no other calling or position in this life of more importance that leading YHWH’s people, but yet, we see that Jewish and Christian religions everywhere are exploiting the kindness, the generosity and the goodwill of YHWH’s people and accumulating billions of dollars and material wealth for religious “institutions” rather than building up the Kingdom of Heaven.
Each of us has one glorious opportunity to know Mashiyach and live our lives according to the Word of YHWH (Torah), and in this life, we are to become worthy of Mashiyach according to the Kingdom of Heaven, but the biggest obstacles we face are not outside the camp, but within. Let’s not get all religious and sentimental, Mashiyach suffered so that we could have LIFE in HIM, but you and I have to surrender out lives and our authority over to him before we can enter into new life. We are called to crown Him as King of all Kings, our Father YHWH is a Jealous Elohim Who doesn’t share us with other gods and authorities that are not of Him. We are worthy of Him when we surrender to Him when we turn from our own ways and seek His Kingdom. There are no “authorities” or religious substitutes that we can put our allegiance in, it is the Spirit of YHWH through Mashiyach that leads us to the Father. End of story.
However, millions of unrighteous and self-absorbed leaders have put themselves in place of God, and these are the biggest obstacles to entering into the Kingdom of Heaven. It has become popular and a normative for most rabbis, priests, pastors and spiritual leaders, to demand “veto authority” over their congregations. The problem with this is these rabbis, priests, pastors, and leaders put a ceiling on their own spiritual maturity and over the congregations they preside. The leadership and the congregants can’t see the glass ceiling, but the prophets and shlichim (messengers or Apostles) can and when YHWH’s messengers point to the glass ceiling all hell breaks loose in both Jewish and Christian congregations.
A few days before His suffering, as Yeshua was making his way up to Jerusalem, he cursed a fig tree saying, “Let no fruit come forth from you forever”, in so doing he showed that the Sanhedrin(house of judges) had become utterly corrupt and useless to our Father YHWH. Corruption begins when men in leadership operate as hirelings, they follow private agendas, they devise religious or institutional mandates, these are “light and vain souls” with self-interests which degenerate life, liberty, and property of each soul in their communities. Many leaders don’t even know how to distinguish between healthy wholesome authority from YHWH and their own selfish veto control authority that is done according to their own human and carnal spirit.
Yeshua gave distinct instructions for establishing reconciliation within the Household of Faith, for the protection of sovereignty and liberty of each and every soul that YHWH created. In Matthew 18 Yeshua taught, “where two or three are gathered” the Ruach (Spirit of YHWH) would be present in their midst to establish His righteous judgments. “Two or three are gathered”, refers specifically to a Beit Din that is required to establish halakha. Halakha is commonly known as “Jewish Law” but it literally means “way to walk”, these are specific directions about how we are to observe and guard Torah, often referred to as a “point of law”. Men are called to gather together in the authority of YHWH and His Mashiyach to apply Torah principles and establish YHWH’s righteous directives for our lives and our congregations. Two or three gathered also means they are equals, each one is equally vested and valued by having one equal vote each, they are not a hierarchy where one man has veto authority over the others, this is quite the opposite.
Also, let’s bear in mind that some leaders claim to be operating within the authority of a Beit Din as a Rabbi or Pastor, but only allow certain matters to be arraigned (called to account) by the Beit Din, in this way they hold veto authority over the entire Beit Din and congregation.
In Hellenistic or pagan society the liberty, life, and property of the individual is the property of the state. During the height of the Roman empire over 70% of men were slaves whose shaved heads showed their status as slaves. Today men go to churches, synagogues, mosques and all form of religious institutions and give their life, liberty, and property over to the authority of a “religious” state, they surrender their authority that is meant to belong to YHWH and go under man’s authority, the authority of a hierarchy which is pagan, anti-Torah and anti-Messiah.
Torah requires that each man take an active role in their family and their community to walk in the authority of YHWH and His Word, but religious institutions castrate men so they cannot express their own freedom in Torah and Mashiyach. When someone expresses a viewpoint that they believe to be truthful according to Torah and Mashiyach, their sovereignty must not be diminished for doing so, nobody, certainly not the majority, can ever make up moral codes or halakha that overrule YHWH and His Mashiyach and then still expect the Father’s Blessings. But, the fact of the matter is that most leaders would rather hang on to their veto power and religious authority than humble themselves and recognize the foolishness and wickedness of their doings. People elevate their rabbis, priests, and pastors and then see how frail and human and inconsistent they are, but our leaders aren’t the goal, Mashiyach is.
When Yeshua cursed the fig tree he demonstrated that the Sanhedrin had brought a curse upon themselves and upon all of Israel, they had become egotistical men-pleasers, not pleasers of YHWH. The Sanhedrin stood between Heaven and Earth, they dictated judgments according to selfish man-made religion and politics, entrapping all who came under their authority. They were cursed for doing so and they brought curses on the Jewish people and the world because of their foolish religious pride.
|“And you shall teach them unto your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when thou rise up.” D’varim 11:19|
True authority comes about by observing Torah and receiving and experiencing discernment and wisdom from the Ruach HaKodesh, neither age or intellectual ability will automatically endow man with wisdom and authority from YHWH. Our Father YHWH provides His authority to His elect by giving mitzvoth (Commandments) and Laws that require us to act according to His authority, not our own. A aged man or large group of men may have extensive life experiences to draw from, and must be honored for their grey heads, but age can also be deceitful. True authority comes from YHWH and is specified by qualifications that run throughout Torah, Tanakh and Brit Chadasha, but false authority circumvents the literal Word of YHWH.
Authority from YHWH won’t necessarily make anyone popular, and leading or attending a large congregation doesn’t provide any guarantees that YHWH has chosen its leaders. There is a great danger in following a multitude and we are given plenty of warning in Scripture about this.
|“There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Ezekiel 22:25-26|
|“For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the Torah at his mouth: for he is the messenger of YHWH Tseva’ot. But you are departed out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the Torah; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says YHWH Tseva’ot. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as you have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. Have we not all one father? has not one Elohim created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? Malachi 2:7-10|
|“I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the *Chemarimswith the priests; And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by YHWH, and that swear by Malcham; And them that are turned back from YHWH; and those that have not sought YHWH, nor enquired for him.” Zephaniah 1:4-6|
|“Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Come ye, they say, I will **fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant. The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood,” Isaiah 56:11-57:4|
“Greedy dogs” are modern rabbis, priests and pastors and all false authority who stand between YHWH and His people and dogmatically turn YHWH’s children away from Torah and Mashiyach. These are shepherds who cannot understand, they posture an identity that knows everything about G-d and people flock to them for teaching and spiritual answers. Authentic shepherds demonstrate their accountability to the Word of YHWH, which is Torah, and they demonstrate and fulfill their leadership roles within the structure that our Father YHWH has provided. True leaders are accountable and humble and qualified according to the Word of YHWH, not taking the traditional “peer group” and “praise of men” distinguished religious positions.
The “sons of the sorceress”, the seed of the adulterer, refers to false shepherds who take authority from hierarchical Babylon. Babylon is the Abimelech and Jezebel spirit that hates Torah, Yeshua, and the people of YHWH. Her authority is established when men are pleasers of men (people) rather than pleasers of YHWH. This is the root of all false authority. So what we have then are religious men who use Torah and the Name of Mashiyach to displace the Authority of Father YHWH and raise up their own names and reputations as the “authority”.
|“But the anointing which you have received of Him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him.” 1 John 2:27|
Each talmid (disciple) of Yeshua receives a special and unique anointing, that provides us with the ability to hear from the Spirit of YHWH and to walk in newness of life by surrendering to our Father YHWH’s authority. But, the previous verse 26 says “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you”. The enemy seduces souls into surrendering to the authority of men who not only teach against Torah, but demonstrate that they are not accountable to the Torah based structure of leadership. Authority must always belong to YHWH, not men, we must never ascribe authority on the basis of our own person, but as YHWH provides according to His Spirit. The difference between the two is what Nimrod did by installing himself as a god, what most religious leaders are doing today is discounting the literal Word of YHWH and teaching a relativistic “gospel”.
The enemy tries to make us believe that we are not smart enough, not good enough, not disciplined enough to receive the anointing of the Ruach HaKodesh and observe Torah. However, regardless of the Gift of the Ruach HaKodesh within us, the seducer wants us to be dependent upon a religious leader rather that on YHWH Himself, that is how haSatan (the Adversary) has controlled the hearts and minds of those within Judaism and the fallen Christian Church systems. I remember a relative often repeating to our family, “how could my pastor be wrong…”. She put her faith in a man, and when she saw that the Word of YHWH showed her something different than what her pastor taught, it made her very confused. Many people are confused because they come under false authority. The only way out of all that is to turn to our Father YHWH and renounce anything and everything in our lives that doesn’t belong to Him and His Word.
The Word and Spirit of YHWH is our only True Authority. If we rely on others to teach us we are trusting in a man rather than in our Father YHWH. We must NEVER live according to another man’s “anointing”. We are each called to seek YHWH individually and personally. Many are seduced by those who appear wise and capable, the Rabbis (teachers), or Cohanim (Priests), or self-appointed “Levites” who market themselves as wise and capable men, learned in theology, which is why we are expressly warned; “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of Elohim: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
Each of us must carefully choose who we allow to be an authority over our lives. Each of us has the power to choose and we must never surrender that power of choice because we’re Jewish or Christian or because of the family we were born into. When we attend meetings we are giving authority over to the leaders and teachers, and we better be very careful that we have YHWH’s approval before we sit under the authority of a man or woman teacher. And again, we must NEVER surrender the authority that YHWH has given each of us to another man or religious institution just because that’s what we’ve always done. By studying, learning and applying the Word of YHWH we are welcoming YHWH’s authority to bring the Ruach HaKodesh into our lives. The Word of YHWH is Eternal and True and must always be our primary connection to our Father YHWH, our ultimate Authority.
If you’re reading this and have any doubts about where you stand with regards to any spiritual authority over your life, consider yourself blessed, it will only do you good to review and examine your relationship with any teacher or religious authority that you take counsel or learn from. If you can look back at your life and know that you’ve never put yourself under any religious authority or false teachings, you are a very rare soul. There have been numerous times when someone has challenged something I’ve said, then after going back and investigating I realized I must have picked up something through listening to someone who hadn’t taken the time to properly investigate what they were teaching. This is why it’s imperative that we surround ourselves with equals, those who can and will test and prove all things, who question authority and everything that is being taught, and if necessary fast and pray about important matters.
If we don’t question authority and test all things and prove all things in Mashiyach, there will come a time in our lives when we will run up against some hard things, probably when we least expect it. Many people wonder why bad things happen to them, and I’ve had numerous religious leaders cry on my shoulders. Many lost their faith in Mashiyach and Torah because they were busy playing religious games rather than pressing into righteousness and the True Authority of YHWH and His Mashiyach. I’m very saddened when I think of those who unwittingly sit under false authority, and who are losing so many opportunities for Mashiyach and I pray YHWH’s people will come out from among them.
Viva la differencé.
YHWH be with you,
Baruch ben Daniel
*Chemarim are “black robed priests”, men wore black robes as a way of showing their authority and instilling “fear” in others. This black robed tradition is still being practiced in Rabbinical Orthodox Judaism, Christian hierarchies and other religions today, the basis of it is evil and pagan. YHWH’s messengers lead through gentleness, wisdom, love and respect for all human life, not by intimidation.
**wine symbolizes teaching, “Neither do men put new wine into old wineskins: else they break, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish: but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17 Yeshua compared His teaching to “old wine” Yeshua quotes Jeremiah 6:16 when he says “Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29. Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus says YHWH, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the Ancient Paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls.” Yeshua was stating that He was bringing the old wine, the ancient paths. “Yeshua answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of Elohim, or whether I speak of myself.” John 7:16,17. Yeshua’s teachings are from everlasting, they are the Ancient Paths, not the new wine of any contemporary teaching.
new cloth = new wine = fasting
old garment = old wineskin = ancient paths or ancient teachings of Mashiyach
Yeshua was teaching that His doctrine is from everlasting, the old wineskin represents an teacher who is full of ancient wisdom. There is a saying in Mishna Avoth 4:20 “he who learns from the young, unto what is he to be compared? Unto one who eats unripe grapes and drinks wine from his vat, and he who learns from the old, unto what is he to be compared? Unto one who eats ripe grapes, and drinks old wine…regard not the container but that which is therein, there is a new container full of old wine and an old container in which there is not even new wine.” Even a child who knows of the ancient paths (has the old wine) is considered wise, one does not look at the age of the person teaching, but what he is teaching. An elderly man doesn’t automatically have the old wine, he may not even have the new.