Authority and Submission

A Major Factor in the Church of God, even in the Present Era, is the Dynamic of the Authority granted to the ministry. Certain organizations have declared that “It’s all about Government”. What role does “Government” rightfully play in the Church, and How should WE Respond to it?


  © Rich Traver,    11-31-09 [ 158 ] 

Authority, and the exercise thereof, is not a new thing among the communities of men. From the time of Nimrod, at least, we have documentation of the feral desire, embedded deep within the human drive mechanism, to scheme, connive and to fight to take control over other individuals. Nimrod was declared a “mighty hunter before the Lord” as early as chapter 10 of Genesis. Nimrod is mentioned specifically as being a founder of cities, no doubt under his own firm control. It says of him in verse 8 of Genesis 10 that “he began to be a mighty one on the earth”. In these ancient biblical genealogies few are given the amount of narrative as Nimrod.

Not long before the reign of Nimrod, the earth had become hopelessly corrupted, making necessary the Great Universal Flood, which effectively erased and started human society and religion all over again.

But we need to consider what Nimrod represents, as there are characteristics in his nature that well illustrates what’s wrong with society, even religious societies, and the way they operate, right up to the present day.

“Before the Lord”

Hidden in the text is a seemingly minor comment. Various commentaries recognize that Nimrod for the tyrant he was. Josephus rates him as a despot,[1] “Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. … He also changed the government into tyranny, -- seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power.” Nimrod’s being “a mighty hunter before the Lord” isn’t as clear in our translations as it could be. He actually stood before the Lord in a sense of being an interloper, in his case becoming a demigod in the eyes of people. Using his prowess in managing the wild animal threat to the lives of his citizenry, he gained a reputation as ‘protector’. He in effect used that to take control of the political power structure in his day[2] becoming a potentate without equal. It was under his regime also that the ancient pagan religions, that we find embedded traces of in modern religion, were forged.

But the lesson of Nimrod is that he illustrates how governments of men, sooner or later, exhibit the characteristic of wanting to get in-between the people and God! Christ alluded to the prevailing phenomenon in Matthew 20:25-28. “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26: But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27: And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” In other words, they were not to structure the Church in the likeness of the civil governments of the world. We aren’t so fortunate in all situations to see Church leadership in full agreement with this clear prohibition, as we see demonstrated by their actions.

Read the rest here.




[1]  Antiquities, Book 1, Chapter 4, Paragraphs 2 & 3

[2]  Haley's Bible Handbook suggests he might have lived thru almost all of the four centuries between the Flood and the days of Abraham.