Rejected and Approved Authority
Does God Really Reject
It’s unthinkable how a loving God can reject people, more so reject a church. But He does. The way so many doctrines are twisted today, most believers discard the idea of a rejecting God. And more so, a hating God. They insist that God hates only the sin, not the sinner, as they also probably maintain that God rejects only the wrong doctrine, not the church upholding it.
“God loved Jacob but hated Esau,” (Rom.9). That should be a shocker—God hated Esau. God hating a sinner? Wow! Because this pronouncement was made even before Esau could do any wickedness (it was pronounced before the twins were born), God hated only the sinner in this case, not the sin. Why is that? Because God is sovereign—nothing is impossible to him. Hence, we cannot formulate our own denominational doctrines, though bible-based, and confine God to them. We just submit fully to God’s complete Word from Genesis to Revelation, as He speaks them to us—the Word straight from God’s mouth.
Believing and Doing
And how you believe and obey God’s rhema Word straight from His mouth daily, especially in the NOW moment, is how God will reject or approve your authority. It’s not having cool and sound and bible-based denominational doctrines that you get His approval. “To the faithful, you reveal yourself faithful. To the blameless, you’re blameless. To the pure, you’re pure. But to the crooked, you’re clever,” (Ps.18). When you select only portions in the bible to believe as a doctrine, it makes you unfaithful and crooked. And God deals with you cleverly, like how he dealt with Esau. Esau selected what to believe—he believed his right as a firstborn to the inheritance but he didn’t believe it was more important than food. He belittled it (thinking it smart)—and opted for the lentil soup over his birthright.
The curious thing is, God foresaw this even before Jacob and Esau were born. And before any of that could happen, God rejected Esau outright. Scary. Does God reject you now for your future sins? Apparently. He did that several times. Even before Solomon could be king and marry pagan wives and practice idolatry, God already raised up in David’s time fierce enemies against Solomon’s future kingship (1Kings11.14-25). Incredible. You can never outwit God.
How About Encompassing Grace?
Some would ask: But doesn’t God’s grace enable you to be cleansed of all sin—past, present, and future? You can be rejected while being forgiven. God rejected Solomon’s kingship over the ten tribes of Israel and gave it to Jeroboam, while maintaining 2 tribes for Solomon. That’s God’s grace. Consequences often remain even after pardon. And this pardon was based on His earlier covenant with an approved authority—for David’s sake.
So, what can you do about your future sins to avoid rejection? Forget about the future and live for the NOW moment. Your now determines your future. Jesus says, live one day at a time. Tomorrow will have its own worries. That’s what we mean by walking with God. Don’t think about the 100-mile distance. Just walk with God now. If you study well the lives of Esau and Solomon, you’d find inaccuracies in their lives, character flaws they should’ve remedied on a daily basis. For instance, early on, Esau had been a source of grief to his parents (Gen.26). Solomon, though blessed with God’s wisdom, married Pharaoh’s daughter. Allowing God to transform you daily is how God’s genuine grace protects you from God’s rejection and hatred, both now and in the future.
How to Recognize Rejected and Approved Authority
So, remember: God rejects and hates sinners. “It is God who judges—He brings one down, he exalts another,” (Ps.75). Here’s another proof that God can both love and hate sinners (not just their sin), and love and reject them, too, at the same time: “I will give the one I love into the hands of her enemies. My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest. She roars at me; therefore I hate her,” (Jer. 12). You see that? God can love and hate sinners at the same time. God loves (and hates) all those he rejected and sent to hell.
And it’s vital to have a sharp spirit to discern what is and is not rejected authority. If you remain under a rejected authority you cannot justify yourself by pleading innocence. “The spiritual man judges all things,” (1Cor.2.15) because he has the mind of Christ. God expects you to judge accurately as a spiritual man. You should never fall prey to fakes. And judging all things means your life and character should be above reproach: “The spiritual man makes judgments about everything, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment.”
How does rejected authority look like? To man’s eyes, rejected authority may come in the form of small, insignificant churches, ugly and dilapidated church buildings, or a pastor who gets small or no salary, or a church with only 5 members. Approved authority is seen as a big church, a cathedral, with modern sound systems and air-conditioning and lots of money, a moneyed pastor with his own Crosswind, and membership by the thousands.
Samuel the prophet thought so. He saw Eliab—a valiant soldier of Saul—and thought he was the Lord’s anointed. But God rebuked him and said that He never looked at what man valued. NEVER. Yet, even today, churches still do as Samuel did. At least Samuel repented. God outright rejected Eliab without any apparent reason. He just rejected him, period. Of course God had a reason but He didn't tell Samuel about it. Sometimes I try to put myself in Samuel's place. How do you tell someone excited to serve in ministry that God has rejected him?
Or take a look at Jesus. He was abandoned by his own disciples, the people and the bible-based spiritual leaders rejected him, he was punished severely in public that anyone who looked at him was appalled at his disfigurement, he was executed, his body was never found, all his disciples were murdered, and the Acts church disappeared in the Dark Ages. He looked every inch a failure, a reject. Yet God saw him as the only successful man who ever lived. He is the declared the only Way.
Jesus’ Concept of an Approved Authority
Jesus, the only Way, sees approved authority this way—the poor in spirit owns God’s Kingdom. Poor in spirit. This does not mean poverty (HIShubs believes God will prosper the church in the last days) but a preferential option to what the world despises. Anything the world looks down on, we uphold. If the world worships high rise buildings (as it does now) the church should deride the significance of any structural buildings. The disciples were infected by the virus of awesome temple buildings. Jesus belittled it, saying not one stone would be left on another. In short, “Oh that! That’s nothing!” Yet you see how many Christians get easily impressed by mega churches and modern church or ministry buildings. A guy excitedly invited another to his church. The reason? “Hey! You got to see the modern CCTV installed in out church!” If the invited guy were my Jesus, he’d simply say, “Oh that? That’s nothing.” And then they’d think he was just envious.
Now, it doesn’t mean just because a church looks ugly and dilapidated, it is approved. Better is having both material and spiritual blessings. But even this depends on being poor in spirit. As God looks at the heart, we should, too. We look at the life and character. Is it poor in spirit? Money and titles can change character overnight.
Life and Character, Not Possessions
In David’s time, even sages and smart advisers who saw the difference between David’s and Saul’s life and character opted for rejected authority. Some people see the obvious but still hold on to what makes their flesh comfy. God’s Spirit had left Saul and instead a demon now tormented him. His advisers told him he should look for someone who could play the harp to soothe his condition. And they recommended David because, “The Lord is with him.” They knew all about it, and yet they continued with rejected authority.
Saul heard if from his trusted advisers. And later he’d prove it—David’s harp playing indeed soothed his demonic attacks. Why he’d have such attacks and why David was able to soothe it made clear enough who was and wasn’t rejected authority. David’s demolishing Goliath made it even clearer. Why Saul and his entire army froze in fear for days and why David killed Goliath in less than a minute should have been obvious which authority was rejected and which was approved.
A gauge of true success in the spirit is how you’re able to defeat Satan. I’ve seen big ministries ran cowardly in the face of the enemy doing scary acts in spiritual warfare. I’ve seen titled and powerful preachers easily give in to temptation. I’ve seen church people harbor secret sins and wicked characters and yet get respect and honor because of their wealth and possessions. Saul should have at least, in his term, prepared everything for a smooth transfer of power to David when the time came. Jonathan, Saul’s son, was already contemplating on that. Instead, Saul knew all about it and still wanted to kill David. That’s characteristic of rejected authority.
Submit Even to Rejected Authority
David was submissive to Saul even if he was the rejected authority and Samuel had already declared David the next king. It's vital to submit even to rejected authority. Yet, you should know where the approved authority is--and start praying how to be part of it. Jonathan knew that and started contemplating on joining David while serving his father Saul. And if you're the rejected authority, you should have the wisdom to give way to approved authority in a smooth transition. However, be ready for the consequences of staying with rejected authority. Jonathan and the others all perished with Saul later on in battle.
Rahab, the harlot, saw her nation having a rejected authority and the Israelites having the approved authority. She joined them and even helped the Jewish spies, their enemy, hide from their pursuers. She even told a lie for this. Lying is a sin, but the point here is that she decided the right thing--joining approved authority and abandoning the rejected one.
Saul thought he was still the approved authority (although he also saw he wasn’t anymore) simply because he possessed the kingdom, the army, and the title. David had none of these. In man’s eyes, if you possess what man values, you are the approved authority. Herod probably thought likewise. Saul thought, “God has handed over David to me,” when he thought he would at last capture David (1Sam.23.7). He really thought he was still the approved authority. This was a different Saul from the one who was just starting out in ministry—when he was yet title-less and saw himself as among the weakest in his clan. He was meek, yet fierce and powerful in spirit. But when at the height of his career, God’s Spirit left him.
Even today, it’s hard for many church people to accept that a rich and peopled church could be rejected. Or that a titled and degreed pastor could be rejected. I’m not saying all of them are. The point here is, we should see as God sees when identifying the approved and the rejected. They base it all on what you possess materially, what the physical eyes can see. And most of the time, they know what is and what is not, and yet pursue what is not.
They Knew What Jesus Was Talking About
The Pharisees and Law teachers knew what Jesus was talking about in Matt.12. Jesus asked, “Haven’t you read what David and his men did?” when he was challenged about the Sabbath. Of course they had. They were Old Testament experts. They were bible-based. They were believers. He again asked them a second time, “Have you not read in the Law?” Of course they had. They knew what Jesus was talking about. The problem was, they saw themselves as the approved and Jesus as the rejected. Why? Simply because Jesus had no riches, army, and title—they did.
Well, at times they almost saw Jesus as the approved. But the acceptance waned until such time they unanimously rejected Jesus, shouting “Crucify him!” That’s characteristic of approved authority—it is always crucified. Today, we know what is approved of God, yet we opt for what is rejected. We pray “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It means we know what is approved and what is rejected. We know that there are no denominations in heaven, and God wills that the same be done on earth, yet we stubbornly opt for what is rejected. We know that in Acts, apostles and prophets led the church. And yet denominations stubbornly eliminate modern day apostles and prophets in church. We know that a beautiful church approved of God is a gathering of holy lives living God’s will and ways in worship. Yet so many stubbornly insist on constructing big and beautiful church buildings which they believe please God and base ministry success on that. They know what Scriptures is talking about yet they insist on what is rejected by God.
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