Chapter 26: Leadership
“The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, Like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain.’”
“And when the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.”
“Say to the Israelites, ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. Do not pour it on men’s bodies and do not make any oil with the same formula. It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred. Whoever makes any [counterfeit anointing oil] like it or whoever puts any of it on an outsider, shall be cut off from his people.’”
“In addition to all your other detestable practices, you brought foreigners uncircumcised in heart and flesh into my sanctuary, desecrating my temple while you offered me food, fat and blood, and you broke my covenant. Instead of carrying out your duty in regard to my holy things, you put others in charge of my sanctuary. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites.”
“The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.”
“Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth.”
He said to them, “You are the heads of the Levitical families; you and your fellow Levites are to consecrate yourselves and bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it. It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.”
“I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.”
“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.”
Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”
And how shall they proclaim unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”
“But it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might proclaim Him among the nations.”
“But we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the good news, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.”
“No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. So Christ also did not exalt Himself to be made a High Priest.”
But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
He also told them this parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”
“Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, ‘It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the teaching of the word.’ And the saying pleased the whole multitude.”
“And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. And the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were converted to the faith.”
THE point in bringing all of these particular Scriptures, Words from Heaven, to your attention? Simply to make this statement extremely clear: No one is to be put “in charge” of anything in the kingdom of God who isn’t visibly “full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.” Men, who clearly have what Stephen had, are the minimum requirement for being “over” any matter, according to the Scriptures. And Stephen was, visibly, “a man full of God’s grace and power.” In his testimony against the religious powers of his day, Stephen spoke such that “they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by which he spoke.” A normal “full of the Holy Spirit” man. A “man of war” against the darkness around him.
“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: ‘See! The Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of His Holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.’”
There must be that fervor and “consuming zeal for the Father’s House,” and that ability to “See!” if we are to be of any use to God! Is that you? Could you have said, without knowing that this Scripture was in the Bible, what Enoch said? If you have what he had you could (and likely would)!
Men who are truly drunk on the Holy Spirit are easily recognizable, according to Acts 6. They emanate the power and refreshment of the Holy Spirit, and the Character of Jesus Christ. “Rivers of Alive Water gush from their inner being.” The River of Life that flows from them will bring healing to those around them.
“And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. Their fish will be…exceedingly many. Along the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”
Do you know anyone like that? Do you know men and women who make satan tremble? Do you have a relationship with men and women who know Jesus such that when they enter a room, with them comes a “darkness‑shattering Light?” Only such men are to be over any matter in the Kingdom of God. Bible knowledge is meaningless apart from this. Satan mocks those that are not truly walking in “the Power of an Indestructible Life,” “full of the Holy Ghost and Wisdom” but presume to be leaders because they have some kind of “training.”
Good intentions, sincerity, a degree in Bible (or “spiritual” Psychology — today’s “medicine man”), worldly leadership qualities, money…none of these will be any more than a joke to satan. The only authority in God’s Kingdom is in the Anointing — His current confirmation. Only a man visibly “full of the Holy Ghost and Wisdom” can be “over” any matter in the Kingdom of God. Unless, of course, we start our own kingdom and call it by Jesus’ Name. Then, I suppose, we can do anything that we want.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.…But you shall be named the Priests of the Lord, men shall call you the Servants of our God. Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.”
A man “full of the Holy Spirit and Wisdom” is a remarkable man. And far too rare in our day. Nevertheless, only such as he is allowed to be “over” any matter, even as seemingly insignificant as “waiting on tables” at a meal for widows (the Acts 6 example).
Today, “pulpits” are often filled with men not the slightest bit “full of the Holy Spirit.” (As you may have ascertained, to have a man stand in front of a crowd of Christians and deliver a Sunday morning speech to them is not God’s idea.) The “men’s business meetings” and elders’ and deacons’ boards of much of today’s “church” usually have none of the marks of anything more than a social club with religious jargon and worldly means. Even “good and honest men” are insufficient for the task of “destroying the works of the devil.” Today’s religion which assigns men to lead singing or worship, women to teach “Bible classes,” men to take charge of the “building and grounds” (and every other “over this matter” area that you can think of) should at least take note of the fact that any responsibility in God’s Kingdom requires true authority in the spiritual realm in order to be successful. Why?
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
In David’s day, those who were “over” the matter of music had to be of “prophet status” — a “seer” (1Chron. 25:1, 2, 3, 5‑7, etc.). Likewise, today, a man in responsibility must have a prophetic heart; a teachable, crucified, consecrated heart on fire for Jesus Christ. He must have an “open heaven” and live in holiness. (“Without holiness no one can see the Lord.”) Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, Jesus declared that he or she cannot see the Kingdom. That’s for all of us. He went on to tell us how everyone that is Born of the Spirit would Live. He said that the Wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. You see the force; you see the Power behind it. And so it is with EVERYONE BORN OF THE SPIRIT (John 3:5‑8). That’s the kind of person who can see the Throne of God and will “speak only what he hears the Father speaking.” He’s one who’s seated in the Most Holy Place and is eating hidden manna (Mat.4:4; Jn.4:32; Heb.9:2‑5). That person is the only person who is allowed to be in charge of anything in the Kingdom of God.
I’ve found that a good number of people, because of fear and pride, balk at these Truths. Some, whose salaries would be jeopardized if anyone acted on these Truths, will be fighting mad. Nevertheless, to be qualified to wait on tables, you have to be full of the Holy Spirit and full of Wisdom (Acts 6:3). In order to be in charge of anything in the Kingdom of God, you had better be brimming with the heart and fruit and Words of Christ, and have a Life currently before the Father in the Holy of Holies.
You know man. Man, in his state of “futile thinking” (as Paul once said), thinks that the best way to function in the “church” is to get as many people involved as possible in the “work of the Church.” Then they’ll be motivated. That’s wrong. Dead wrong. It will be the downfall of any church to “try to get people involved,” and overlook the fact that they are not brimming with the Holy Spirit and Wisdom. To “get a person involved” in positions that are visible and responsible, who is not living a full devotion to Christ and displaying the eternal fruit of that kind of life, is serious trouble. I personally don’t want to answer to God for starting a “Hypocrites in Training” Program. Don’t do it! No matter how tempting. Hold your ground, or you (as well as they themselves) will suffer the consequences later on.
A man capable of writing psalms with the depth of Asaph’s (Ps.73‑83) had the kind of heart that David entrusted with “overseeing” an area. How much more would a “leader” in a New Covenant church have the heart and depth to speak and write psalms like Asaph did?! Heman was the King’s Seer; Jeduthun was the King’s Seer; Asaph was the King’s Seer. Notice any pattern? Those three men were the ones who were entrusted to be “over the matter” that had come up.
The same goes, of course, for “waiting on tables” — even “menial” matters in the Church. You must be the King’s “Seer,” one who really knows God and can “see the invisible” to wait on tables, according to Acts 6:3. Doesn’t it seem as if being head busboy is a job that anyone can do? Perhaps find someone with restaurant experience who can get an ego boost by “getting involved?” No big deal? Frankly, it really doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, to the natural mind. Yet, according to the Holy Spirit, to be qualified for such a “trivial” thing as this, one must be overflowing with the Heart of God. And be so to the extent that everybody knows it; they can see it; it’s obvious and observable. If you can be told to “select from yourselves seven men full of the Holy Spirit and full of wisdom,” it must be a discernable, obvious quality that people can see.
Now, as then, if these men and women who you are considering for some kind of responsibility are not shattering the Darkness in an observable way, you must not select them to be “over” any matter whatsoever. They mustn’t presume to be, nor be asked to be, “teachers” or even head busboys.
Just for illustration’s sake, imagine again the scenario in Acts, chapter six where seven men were chosen to “wait on tables.” Imagine that the thousands came back to their leaders with seven men, as requested. They introduced the seven they had selected to John, Thomas, Peter, and the others with these words:
“These are honest and sincere men; they would do anything for you. And they know their Bibles real good.”
There could be no other response from the men of God than:
“No way! I love these brothers, too, but GOD said ‘Bursting with power from on High — full of the Holy Spirit and Wisdom!’ None of us are free to water down the Word from the Lord, our King, even with good intentions!”
One clear reason why men in leadership must walk in God’s Presence and Fullness: a man can’t take someone to a place he has never been himself. If you want to bring someone into the Throne Room of God, you’ve got to first be there yourself (Psalm 43:3‑4; John 1:4). To ask someone to bring you into the Throne Room of God in any area of spiritual service who isn’t living there is foolishness. His level of talent or sincerity or scholarship (or even “evangelistic success”) is not the issue in a Kingdom that “is not of this world.”
The blind man who cannot see God will cause everyone who follows him to fall into the ditch. Jesus Himself said that. If you’re blind to the Unseen World in certain areas, you may be just as saved as the next guy, but back off from leadership roles. Of course continue to offer your life and what God has done in you — in humility. But do not yield to the awesome temptation to accept an invitation to be “over” some matter before your time. And take personal responsibility to not allow someone to be over anything even as simple as “waiting on tables” without being “full of the Holy Spirit and Wisdom.” Talent or willingness or training or biblical knowledge are not enough! The standard is this: VISIBLY drunk with the Holy Spirit and pressing hard towards the full measure of the stature and fruitfulness of Christ (Eph. 5:17‑18, 4:11‑14).
Watch out for yielding to the flesh. The natural man makes decisions out of sympathy or cunning or externals — and has ruined most everything we see around us that wears Jesus’ Name. Most of the falls of major religious movements can be directly or indirectly traced back to this one point: allowing leadership (visible positions, “staff,” or anyone “over” any area) that is less than full of the Holy Spirit and full of Wisdom.
Men have told me in more than one city that while they acknowledge that all of this is true, “Whatever would happen to the church if everyone who was not ‘brimming with the power of God, full of the Holy Spirit,’ stepped down from leadership? No one would be left!”
And I say to you, as I said to them: “That’s not your concern. You obey God! And leave the rest to Him. ‘Unless the Lord builds the House, it’s builders build in vain.’ NEVER consider ramifications as you view the Word of God. Just OBEY GOD. It’s His House, He can handle it. To disobey God in order to do Him a favor in His Church is to invite disaster.” Please continue evermore to “walk by faith and not by sight.”
Now that we know what kind of man should be regarded as a “leader,” what do they do? “Business Meetings,” “Counselling Sessions,” “Budgeting,” “Office Management,” and “Speech‑Making” are out. These things are in no way related to the work of a man of God. A quick double‑check of the Bible confirms the fact that these are not God’s “job descriptions” for any of His men or women. Consider, though, how paralyzed today’s religious organizations would be without these things. Bedlam. Or a total standstill.
So what do men and women “full of the Holy Spirit and Wisdom” look like in their daily lives and in gatherings of God’s lambs? The answer might sound a little elusive, but anything else will cause the ambitious to attempt to carbon‑copy something. And it will cause the fearful to shrink back. The critical, if given a “job description” would endanger their fellowship with God and His Church. This, then, is really no cop‑out at all: you’ll definitely recognize the true nature of “leadership” when you personally encounter these Gifts from Heaven.
(In the mean time, you can get a pretty good idea about the substance of Divine Life in men and women by reading about the lives of Paul, Peter, Stephen, Philip, and the others. And read what these men of God wrote so that you can see how a man near God writes and acts. The Wisdom. The Intensity. The Depth. The Simplicity. The Fullness.) Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send and raise up such laborers!
So what shall we do if no such men exist in the Family you are with? As scary and un‑glorious as it may sound, just be brothers (Mat.23:8‑11). Don’t be like the Israelites who rejected God by wanting a king “like the other nations” — and hire someone to be the big cheese and spiritual giant. God forbid. Cry out together to the Lord of the Harvest to send or raise up laborers. Or, as God directs, move somewhere where you can “be equipped for works of service” (See Eph.4:9-16). But, whatever you do, heed not P. T. Barnum’s (or whoever it was) advice often incorporated into “church”: “THE SHOW MUST GO ON!” Simply gather to love one another, and to pray and fast and give glory to God, together. Please, don’t just give in to the normal desire to put together a competitive SHOW, “like the other denominations.” Demolish the hierarchy (someone being in charge of teaching a “class” or running a “program”). These are based on human wisdom rather than on the Word of God. According to James, such a “wisdom” is “unspiritual, and of the devil.”79
How refreshing, and ultimately fruitful, it will be to discard the Babylonian attempts to build towers to Heaven. Oh, for the end of the muck and mire and programs and politics. Oh! To see once again the very face of God. Amen.
74 Genesis 5:24; Heb.11:5‑6; Jude 14‑16. Back
75 Acts 19:13‑20. Back
76 More encouragement about the call of Leadership from the Word of God is available in the cassette tapes entitled: Leadership: As the Lion of Judah; Leadership: As the Murdered Lamb; Leadership: When Sent, Satan Falls; and Apostolic Foundations and Apostolic Patterns. Back
77 1Chronicles 25. Back
78 Hebrews 11:25‑28. Back
79 Proverbs 14:12, 16:25; James 3:15; Galatians 3:3. Back