- Feudal Society
- Tribal Society
The Kingdom of God is a Theocracy
A Theocracy is Government by God – a community governed by God through His ministers (priests). It is not a tyrannical rule, but pastoral caring. Some have said this can only happen when Christ returns, but the concept needs to be understood so that efforts in achieving this goal can be identified or accepted.
Now what does that mean to us as believers?
**One: the Body of Christ, the Church is a group of believers from all different backgrounds with different ideas. However we need to learn God’s way of doing things. One of those things is that our meetings should not be disorderly. If they are not in order, the devil has a foothold. Remember the Apostle said, “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).
1 Corinthians 14:40 But everything must be done in a proper and orderly way. (ISV)
The Government of God works down from the top to the believer, that means from Jesus to the five ministry gifts, then to the elders, designated leaders, the deacons, and so to the brethren. That does not mean God will not talk through His body the Church, but we must remember what Jesus said in Luke 7:28.
Luke 7:28 For I say to you, among those who are born of woman there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. But he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. (MKJV)
Example, the Centurion
The centurion, when asking Jesus to heal his servant, explained the order of command in the Roman army and, then he compared it to the order in the Kingdom of God. Jesus marvelled that a non-believer should understand this dynamic of faith.
Matthew 8:5 And when Jesus had entered into Capernaum, a centurion came to him, beseeching Him, 6 and saying, Lord, my son lies at home paralyzed and grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus says to him, I will come and heal him. 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my boy will be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, Go! And he goes; and to another, Come! And he comes; and to my servant, Do this! And he does it. 10 When Jesus heard, He marvelled and said to those who followed, Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, Go. And as you have believed, so let it be to you. And his boy was healed in that hour.
The centurion had faith in the structure and the line of command in God’s Kingdom. He knew that Jesus was under the headship of God, and that is why he knew that Jesus could do the mighty things.
The question I ask is: why, if Jesus has given us all authority; why do some Christians not move in the full power of the anointing?
- Submission to God.
- Submission to the Holy Spirit.
- Submission to your husbands and husbands to your wife
- Submission to your parents.
- Submission to your home group leaders.
- Submission to your pastors.
- Submission to each other or one another
Please note that submission does not mean absolute blindness as each situation should be evaluated based on, ‘are the people you are placing yourself into submission to moving in accordance to the Word of God. Our primary submission is to God and not to a person who may cause separation from God or in some cases danger to the individual.
The order in The Kingdom of God can be viewed in the list following, my intention is not to say someone is better or greater than another in the Church. We are all equal in the eyes of God, but when we are in the Church or church-planting we all have different jobs to do. If we recognise the importance of teamwork the whole unit will function as it was designed.
- God is the head of the of the Kingdom of God
- Jesus is the head of the Church.
- Five-fold ministry gifts and elders
- Designated leaders (deacons)
- The Brethren (followers, ‘sheep’, people)
- Finally, in our initial preparation for cross-cultural church planting, it is essential to understand what we are presenting such as structure and how confronting it will be to some existing cultures. Denominational structure in this case may in many cases detrimental, therefore we need to be careful of what is we presenting.
We should endeavour to understand a culture before we attempt to connect it with God’s way of life. One recommendation is look for the elements, which already exist in a culture, and which represent God’s cultural behaviour pattern. Focus on developing an understanding in these areas and then slowly show the differences between God’s culture and some local practices. When working with colleagues from other countries and cultures we should endeavour to do some cultural development diversity-training program to avoid frustration, which would reflect the strategy of the early Church.
Dr. Ian Traill