Show Proper Respect
Show Proper Respect to Everyone

        Many Pastor and Teacher when instructing their congregation, will speak of Bible commands such as respect and obedience to those in authority, and this is right. They may often reference 1 Peter 2:17 "Show proper respect to everyone..." and this is right also, that we love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, and honor the King. But here there deserves strong warning, test everything against the complete word of God. As teachers have you imparted full understanding to the meaning of "proper" respect? As teachers regarding this respect, have you imparted full understanding as how this relates when "submitting to" authority?

        When teaching the new Christian it must be understood that it is possible to mislead by teaching out of context. By this I mean it is possible to teach that we 'respect everyone in the very same way', and this would be teaching in error. Is this what the Bible teaches about submitting to authorities, or the love needed that our knowledge and wisdom received from God is used properly. We are encouraged to grow and mature in the Lord, however to the immature who receive a partial teaching, they may yet be using wisdom and knowledge of the world, unaware that instead it is Gods' wisdom and knowledge that needs be used.

        Those teaching must always be aware that the new spiritual man; having newly left behind the old ways of flesh, may in error still be using knowledge and wisdom of the world, not yet filled or matured from the Bible and so aware of Gods' wisdom and knowledge. A teacher must always use wisdom and knowledge that comes from our Lord, not teaching out of context or omission, but in consideration of the spiritual needs of those being taught concerning the renewing of the mind.

        The new spiritual man must be quickly made aware that the Lord wants us to become prepared for a spiritual war, and in this not using worldly wisdom or knowledge, nor even worldly weapons. They must be warned that all who call themselves brothers may not be true brethren and believers, for there is spiritual darkness and deceivers. Satan has his angels of darkness, having also those of wickedness who have forsaken the Lord and serve Satan, these will lead even the elect astray if possible.

        It is important when teaching a babe in the Lord, that the Kingdom of God be separated from the false kingdom of Satan, constantly keeping this in mind regarding the needs of the immature babe in Christ. Our Lord does not call babes in the Lord to join the darkness of this world, nor be ignorant of the power and authority they have over false and deceptive authorities. Most strongly should be warning they will pay all debts to those whom they become indebted, Satan works with this purpose to renew their minds through deceit.

        The Lord does not ask us to be unquestionably obedient to the darkness in this world, nor does the Lord teach us to accept all authority as righteous. Surely we know the difference in love that is required between what is righteous and what is unrighteous. How else would we learn the true meaning of scripture such as Paul when saying in 1Cor 9:22-23 "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." Would a teacher say this scripture teaches good comes out of evil, or that doing evil is justified in accomplishing good. Is it possible that a teacher may be as immature as a student?

        Always enforce that you are teaching the new man or new spiritual man, keeping the true Kingdom of God separate from the false kingdom of Satan, in this way they will begin to understand the meaning and difference of how they are to stand before both. To begin, listen to Rom 13:6-7 "Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." Teach that the Christ-like love they must learn to manifest will be manifest in many ways, to one it may be praise, while to another it may be rebuke, yet this love is to build upon the worthy foundation of Christ. With this understood, read again Romans 13:1-7 so often taught in error, is there any doubt concerning the obedient leader described as this authority, and certainly not the servant of Satan?

        Are we to honor an individual who is in sin not lesding to death, yes however here the sin is not honored, and honor properly administered has power and authority that will first bind the strong man, turning the individual from sin if possible. Are we to submit and be obedient to authority involved in sin, yes however our obedience must not enter into or perpetuate this sin, but has the power and authority to turn if possible the disobedient and make known the will of the Lord. For those able to discerne good from evil, there is also the command having nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but instead to expose them. The appointed teachers and leaders are also as the sentry upon the wall, who upon seeing an advancing enemy must give warning. Remember also the consequence for the one who gives no warning.

        Will those being taught ever become mature in the Lord with teaching that is incomplete, teaching that is misleading and for this reason in error? Error will begin in both commission and omission, and unless this error is attended to, both those who begin and those who do not rebuke are a part in misleading. The new spiritual man will find themselves in the world beside non-believers, this does not mean they are to adopt the ways of the world. Instead they should reflect the Christ-like ways of our Lord, yet in kindness and love that does not further the ways of wickedness. Mature understanding of Gods teachings must be sought and error must be corrected, for as Satan tempted Christ with Scripture, so shall we be tempted. As Christ was not silent but rebuked with the wisdom of God, so should the new Christian be prepared to answer and witness in the will of God.

        New Christians should not be taught in error that they are not to judge, as though all judgment refers to final judgment, the word teaches in discernment judging is called for from the disciple. Nor should they be taught that slander into which angels would not enter is warning that spiritual man must remain humble and silent, this is not what scripture teaches. Look closer at this scripture and what actually is said in Jude 8-9 "But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" This scripture teaches of the danger in being out of the Lords will with slanderer and foolish argument, instead Michael spoke with the authority of the Lord his master.

        The greater lesson of Jude verse-9 involving the dispute between Michael and Satan over the remains of Moses, is not to engage in matters of your Lord with slanderous accusation. Slander in this context indicating ignorance that is lack of spiritual understanding from the Lord, being both outside the will of God, being also argumentative and foolishness. Ponder this, are we to call no one as fool, then what do you call a foolish man as in Luke 12:20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'" The question then that needs be asked is, what do you call a fool, remembering in this context the fool being ignorant and so in danger of their soul?

        Do not place others in danger by instructing that all authorities are the same, or that the same obedience is commanded be given all authorities. We know from Col 1:16-17 "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him." Teach the full word of God with strong emphasis until no doubt remains that we are to give unto Caesar what is Caesars, and unto God that which is Gods.

        Though we live apart from the world does not mean we do not live in the world. Though we are to be peace makers, we will also fight a spiritual war, and this war will be fought upon this world. The authorities we will be brought before will be authorities upon this world (though they are servants belonging to the ruler of the kingdom of the air), and in this war some of us may even die. Our God is the God of all creation, Satan will have authority by deception only over that which he is given permission.

        We also know what has been commanded by our supreme authority in Eph 3:10-11 "His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord." This then is what should be taught to the new man, the new spiritual man, what Gods will and purpose is upon this earth.
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