So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in MY WORD, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH will make you FREE.” (John 8:31,32; NASB)

It was for FREEDOM that Christ set us FREE; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a YOKE OF SLAVERY. (Gal. 5:1; NASB)

[Editor’s note: This article is adapted from the book, CHARISMATIC CAPTIVATION. The book exposes the widespread problem of authoritarian abuse in Neo-Pentecostal church-groups, and explains how it became infused into the very fabric, foundation, and functions of the Neo-Pentecostal church arising out of a false movement known as the Discipleship/Shepherding Movement (1970-77). References to “Discipleship” or “Shepherding” (and variables) doctrines, teachings, proponents and participants, and so forth, allude to those pertinences that arose out of that “movement.” The content of this article is contextual to the entirety of the book, and is best understood by reading the book. A small portion of the book’s content is published in the posted articles listed and linked at the end of this article.]

Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that COVER with A COVERING, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into EGYPT [symbol of captivity in Scripture], and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh [symbol of Satan and autocratic dictators in Scripture], and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your CONFUSION. For his princes were at Zoan [aka, Goshen, where Pharaoh met with Moses and Aaron; Easton’s Bible Dictionary], and his ambassadors came to Hanes. They were all ashamed of a people that could not PROFIT them, nor be an help nor PROFIT, but a shame, and also a reproach. (Isaiah 30:1-5; KJV; emphases and parentheses added)

Before I begin this article, let me emphasize that it is vital that you first read Part 1 of this series which is its foundation.

Albeit, as a preface to this part, I will summarize some of what I stated at the outset of Part 1. To begin with, “Spiritual covering” as theorized by proponents, propagators, and practitioners of these hyper-authoritarian teachings is an absolute MYTH and outright deception! No semblance of the teachings concerning “spiritual covering” exists anywhere within the pages of Scripture. It is a complete fabrication concocted by the originators of these fallacious doctrines as a pretext for facilitation of entirely self-aggrandizing objectives of subjugation, domination, and control.

[For a detailed history of the Shepherding Movement and the genesis of these false doctrines, READ THIS ARTICLE.]

Indeed, what the Discipleship proponents refer to as “spiritual covering” is really “spiritual control.” However, even the use of the word “spiritual” in this connection requires some qualification, because the only thing “spiritual” about this unauthorized control is that it is inspired by demon-spirits of deception and error. As I explain in detail in Charismatic Captivation, what the Discipleship version of “spiritual covering” really is, is nothing less than witchcraft or sorcery. When the myth has been thoroughly debunked, as it will be within these pages, it will be clear that this doctrine of “spiritual covering,” like all the other aspects of the Shepherdship heresy, is a patently false “doctrine of demons” being manifested in these last days precisely in accordance with Holy Prophecy of Scripture which foretells of deception such as this being promulgated by demons in the last days, leading to many falling away from the Lord into apostasy:

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of LIARS seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron. (1 Tim. 4:1,2)

Spiritual Mediators
One of the foundational tenets of these fallacious hyper-authoritarian teachings is the matter of “absolute submission.” Today, some thirty years after the Shepherding Movement teachings were soundly debunked and their originators publicly discredited, Neo-Pentecostal preachers and teachers for the most part are careful not to use that specific terminology. However, in the case of the majority of their audiences and adherents it is not necessary to expressly allude to the matter anyway, because the essence of the concept, as I repeatedly indicate throughout my writings on the topic, has been infused into the very fabric, foundation, and functions of the entire Neo-Pentecostal Movement. Not to say that the tentacles of these deceptive teachings have not reached into Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal sects and denominations as well, for they certainly have. Even Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, and other denominations have been polluted by the poisoned waters of the Shepherding doctrines in the form of the widely proliferated “Alpha Course,” over several decades now.

The premise of “absolute submission” is predicated on the hypothesis that the spiritual leaders are in effect (though most Discipleship teaching adherents would emphatically deny the attribution) “spiritual mediators” between God and their followers, who assume the role of hearing from God on the behalf of their followers. According to the theory, the followers are spiritually deficient and inferior to the chain of leaders who are over them, and thus basically incapable of seeking and hearing from God for themselves and cultivating on-going communion and fellowship with God, so they need a human “mediator”—someone who supposedly has a more elite status and standing with God—to be a priestly “go-between” between “the stupid sheep” and God. The hypothesis is that the leaders are much more spiritual than the people, and therefore more capable of hearing from God what is best for their followers. By the way, if that premise sounds familiar to you, you are right, because in essence it is virtually identical to the theories upon which the surrogate priesthood and papal system of Catholicism were based, which, totally supplanted and negated the personal priesthood of believers in the Medieval Church. [Read Chapter 3 of Charismatic Captivation, for a revealing dissertation concerning the Nicolaitans and that sects’ connection with the genesis of the “Universal (Catholic) Church.”]

This whole matter of “spiritual mediators” is so totally ludicrous and such a complete affront to the truth of the personal priesthood of believers that every knowledgeable believer should be thoroughly disgusted and totally outraged at such an idiotic, outlandish, and even blasphemous notion. The Bible explicitly says: “There is one God, and ONE mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all….” (1 Tim. 2:5). There is never, ever to be any “spiritual mediators” between God and men, except the Christ—Jesus Himself. The Man with the nail-prints in His wrists is the only true spiritual mediator between God and Man. All the rest are pretentious impostors! Jesus is the only Man (human) who ever lived a perfectly sinless life, which was the requisite enabling Him to become the Spotless Lamb of God, the propitiatory sacrifice, typified by the oblational sacrificial lambs, which the Jewish high priests offered up for the sins of the people century after century.

So also was Jesus the true Spiritual High Priest, who those centuries of natural high priests who offered up the sacrificial lambs year after year represented. Those that came before Him were the types and the shadows, the mere “eikons” (Gr.) (reflections) of the real. Jesus was the real, the source of the reflection. He was the Image that the types and shadows reflected. He was the true Sacrificial Lamb who took away the sins of the world. And, He was the true Spiritual High Priest (Heb. 3:1), who offered up the true Sacrificial Lamb—His own sinless life—as a ransom for all, once and for all.

And the former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers, because they were prevented by death from continuing, but He (Christ Jesus), on the other hand, because He abides forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Hence, also, He is able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting that we should have such a High Priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those (O.T. Jewish) high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did ONCE FOR ALL when He offered HIMSELF. (Heb. 7:23-28)

…we have such a High Priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister in the sanctuary, and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. (Heb. 8:1,2)

But when CHRIST appeared as a High Priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. (Heb. 9:11,12)

The point is that the true High Priest (i.e., Christ) has now entered into the true Holy of Holies into the actual presence of God as the ultimate and only effectual Mediator on our behalf (Heb. 9:23,24). He lives evermore in the presence of God as our Intercessor (Heb. 7:25), having appeased His righteous wrath, having taken upon Himself the punishment due us, and having canceled out our debt of transgressions which separated and disfellowshipped us from God. Hence, since Christ Jesus has accomplished the ultimate on our behalf before God, and perpetually lives in the presence of God as our spiritual High Priest and Intercessor, and since He has made peace for us between ourselves and God forevermore (Rom. 5:1), we hardly need human mediators between us and God.

His once-and-for-all sacrifice and entrance into the true Holy of Holies has granted us all equal access, free access, bold and confident access (Eph. 3:12), not only into the Holy Place, but also even behind the veil into the Holy of Holies, for each of us, even unto the very Throne of Grace itself, that is to say, the very Throne of “the God of all Grace” (1 Pet. 5:10). Of this access we are invited to avail ourselves freely, not coweringly but boldly, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16, KJV).

To suggest that any human could do this for us as a mediator between us and God is not only preposterous and absurd, but also an affront to Jesus Himself. It is blasphemy! Those who pose and interpose themselves as mediators between believers and God are fortunate that God has not struck them down dead! Indeed, I believe this very thing will happen in the days ahead. God is now issuing fair warning! If Uzza, the loyal friend and servant of David was struck dead by God for merely touching the religious icon of God’s presence, and if Ananias and Sapphira were struck down dead by God for having lied to the Holy Spirit, how much severer punishment would one deserve who is so blatantly blasphemous as to purport to be the spiritual mediator between God and men?

[To read how this matter of “absolute authority” and “spiritual covering” has been used as a premise for sexual authoritarian abuse by unscrupulous Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal church leaders, in particular, read the full article.]

Ultimate Accountability
You see, when taken to their fullest extent, what these false teachings culminate in, is an infringement upon the Biblical fact of ultimate accountability to God, which is to say that in the end everyone is accountable to God, and to God alone, for his/her conduct and for the substance of the life he/she lived. Ultimately, it is to an Almighty and All-Knowing God that we must give account for the totality of our lives. Ultimately, each believer is accountable only to the authority of God Himself, and not to any supposed “spiritual authority” of men, whether it be an individual or a humanly-constructed hierarchy.

This Truth and its veracity is unequivocally and wholly supported by the preponderance of Scripture, and proof-texts corroborating this absolute fact are so numerous that to quote them all would require a separate volume of its own. But, there is one passage that states it about as directly and succinctly as it can be stated, which is, Romans 14:12: “So then EACH OF US shall GIVE ACCOUNT of HIMSELF to GOD.”

Moreover, the verses that precede this particular passage are also extremely enlightening and germane to this point regarding ultimate accountability unto God. In verse four, Paul poses the consummate question to which every believer would be well-advised to give careful heed: “Who are you to judge the servant of another?”

To judge someone else, it is imperative to understand, by its very nature, means that the person who is sitting in the seat of the judge is of a greater status, standing, authority, and behavioral stature, than the one who is being judged. Yet, clearly an overwhelming preponderance of Scripture teaches that as Jesus stated, “You (all believers) are all on the same level as brothers” (Mat. 23:8; L.B.; parenthesis added by author). As established repeatedly throughout this book, in the Kingdom of God there is absolute parity among believers. There is no such a thing as “big me, little you” in the Kingdom of God. Oh, to be sure, in real life, demonstration of carnal attitudes of ascendancy and arrogance over fellows is just as common among purporting believers as it is in the world. But, that is not the way it really is in the Kingdom of God and from God’s perspective. Such fleshly attitudes are of the category of the “evil passions and desires” which every believer must crucify if he is going to show forth evidence or fruit that he has been genuinely Born Again and been made a bona fide partaker of the attributes of the Divine Nature (Gal. 5:24; 2 Pet. 2:4).

Notice also in the verse cited (Rom. 14:4) the phrase “servant of another.” This makes it abundantly clear that every believer is a bond-servant of God, not of any man. Even when of our own volition we lay down our lives to serve others, we do so because in so doing the Person we are ultimately serving is God, not even the people we are serving, though they are the ostensible recipients of our service. The verse continues by saying: “To HIS OWN MASTER he stands or falls; and stand he will, for THE LORD is able to make him stand.” In saying, “ THE LORD is able to make him stand,” the passage identifies the “master” of the believer as being the Lord Jesus Himself, and not any human.

Verses seven through nine of the same chapter in Romans go on to clearly indicate that every believer “belongs” ultimately to the Lord, and thus is not the subject of any human being in terms of ultimate accountability for his or her life:

For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live FOR THE LORD, or if we die, we die FOR THE LORD; therefore whether we live or die, WE ARE THE LORD’S. For to this end Christ died and lived, that HE might be LORD both of the dead and of the living.

But, the next verse, verse ten, really puts it all into proper perspective by reminding us that none of us have the right to take unto ourselves the status of judge over our fellows with regard to the final analysis, assessment, and adjudication of their lives, as well as the fact that none of us have attained unto the transcendent or elite status required to grant us the right to regard a fellow believer with contempt or condescension, or regard any fellow believer, who is also a joint-heir, that is, equal-heir, with Christ, as in any way inferior or “subjectable” to us so as to be their judges, because we are not the judges; rather, we all are the “judgees,” ourselves who will be judged by “the righteous Judge” (2 Tim. 4:8):

But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? FOR WE SHALL ALL STAND BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF GOD. (Rom. 14:10)

Hebrews 12:23 refers to “THE Judge of ALL,” which is none other than God Himself. Hebrews 10:30 plainly tells us: “THE LORD will judge His people,” which means that ultimate accounting and the final adjudication of our lives is relegated to the Lord alone. The reason for this is simple: perfect and perfectly righteous and just judgment requires omniscience and infinite knowledge and wisdom, which we, in our human estate of extremely finite knowledge, do not possess. Only God is capable of judging “the thoughts and intentions of the heart” with perfect knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, for it is to His eyes, the manifold eyes of the Spirit, alone that all that we are is “open and laid bare” (Heb. 4:12,13). He who knows us most is the one who can judge us best. No one knows us—who we really are, the totality of our constitution and the reasons behind it all, good or bad—like God knows us. Amazingly, God is the one who KNOWS us BEST and yet LOVES us the MOST.

Thus, we see the incontrovertible and unequivocal truth that ultimately every believer is accountable to God and not to any mere mortal. As I have said elsewhere in this volume, only the one with the nail prints in His hands is the one who has been found worthy to be our Lord, Master, and Savior. This is precisely the import of James’ statement wherein speaking of Jesus He says: “There is ONLY ONE Lawgiver and Judge, THE ONE WHO IS ABLE TO SAVE and to destroy, but who are you to judge your neighbor?” (Jas. 4:12).

So, dear saint of God, the next time someone tries to “pull rank” on you, intimidate, or subjugate you with some humanly contrived, imaginary, unauthorized, invalid, Scripturally-prohibited, and non-existent, claim of pseudo-authority, ask that person to stretch forth his or her hands, and look to see if there are nail-holes in those hands. If not, just have a good chuckle, turn, walk away, and simply forget it! Because that person is not YOUR Lord or YOUR Master! He’s just another pretender and imposter—false Christ—motivated by an antichrist spirit! Then PRAISE JESUS—the One who is able to save and destroy to the uttermost—FOREVER! HE ALONE is Lord!

[For more on the detrimental effects of submitting yourself under the spiritual coverings of men, I urge you to read The Curses of Unauthorized Covenants.]

[To read this article in its entirety, click on the title above. There are links on that page to other related articles.]

 

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in MY WORD, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH will make you FREE.” (John 8:31,32; NASB)

It was for FREEDOM that Christ set us FREE; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a YOKE OF SLAVERY. (Galatians 5:1; NASB)

[Editor’s note: This article is adapted from the book, CHARISMATIC CAPTIVATION. The book exposes the widespread problem of authoritarian abuse in Neo-Pentecostal church-groups, and explains how it became infused into the very fabric, foundation, and functions of the Neo-Pentecostal church arising out of a false movement known as the Discipleship/Shepherding Movement (1970-77). References to “Discipleship” or “Shepherding” (and variables) doctrines, teachings, proponents and participants, and so forth, allude to those pertinences that arose out of that “movement.” The content of this article is contextual to the entirety of the book, and is best understood by reading the book. A small portion of the book’s content is published in the posted articles listed and linked at the end of this article.]

Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that COVER with A COVERING, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into EGYPT [symbol of captivity in Scripture], and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh [symbol of Satan and autocratic dictators in Scripture], and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your CONFUSION. For his princes were at Zoan [aka, Goshen, where Pharaoh met with Moses and Aaron; Easton’s Bible Dictionary], and his ambassadors came to Hanes. They were all ashamed of a people that could not PROFIT them, nor be an help nor PROFIT, but a shame, and also a reproach. (Isaiah 30:1-5; KJV; emphases and parentheses added)

The second primary conceptual error on which the heretical hyper-authoritarian Discipleship/Shepherding doctrines are established, is the matter of “spiritual covering.” Indeed, so-called “spiritual covering” is the very centerpiece of these wholly unBiblical teachings and the authoritarian abuse they engender, which is absolutely endemic in Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal (Charismatic, “third wave,” and New Apostolic Reformation) sects. Over the course of the 20th Century it became institutionally infused into the very fabric, foundation, and functions of these groups, meaning in their protodenomination and network organizations. Virtually none of those in existence today are free from the influence and attitudes of domination and control over their adherents. It is witchcraft of the highest order for the basest of motivations—mammon—the love of money and self-aggrandizement.

Let me begin by stating plainly and directly: “spiritual covering” as theorized by the Discipleship theosophy is an absolute MYTH. No semblance of the Shepherding teaching version of “spiritual covering” exists anywhere within the pages of Scripture. “Spiritual covering,” in the vein it is presented by proponents and propagators of these hyper-authoritarian teachings, is an outright deception! It is a complete fabrication concocted by the originators of these fallacious doctrines as a supposed pretext for facilitation of entirely self-aggrandizing objectives of subjugation, domination, and control.

[For a detailed history of the Shepherding Movement, READ THIS CHAPTER.]

Indeed, what the Discipleship proponents refer to as “spiritual covering” is really “spiritual control.” However, even the use of the word “spiritual” in this connection requires some qualification, because the only thing “spiritual” about this unauthorized control is that it is inspired by demon-spirits of deception and error. As we shall discuss later in Chapter Nine, what the Discipleship version of “spiritual covering” really is, is nothing less than witchcraft or sorcery. When the myth has been thoroughly debunked, as it will be within these pages, it will be clear that this doctrine of “spiritual covering,” like all the other aspects of the Shepherdship heresy, is a patently false “doctrine of demons” being manifested in these last days precisely in accordance with Holy Prophecy of Scripture which foretells of deception such as this being promulgated by demons in the last days, leading to many falling away from the Lord into apostasy:

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of LIARS seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.(1 Tim. 4:1,2)

Proofing the Proof-text
Discipleship proponents point to a particular Pauline dissertation found in the Eleventh Chapter of First Corinthians as the primary purported proof-text for their concept of “spiritual covering.” It will soon be evident, however, that, as is typical of the other aspects of Discipleship errors, the assertions made on the basis of these verses are the product of blatant and overt perversion, distortion, misrepresentation, and misapplication of the true import and intent of the passage. The unfortunate effect of this corruption of Canon is essentially the same as that which inured unto the Galatians, which was that they became guilty of “deserting” Christ for a different “christ” and a different gospel:

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ; for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and who want to DISTORT the gospel of Christ.(Gal. 1:6)

The following is the passage from which the concept of “spiritual covering,” as well as several other assertions made by Discipleship proponents, is extrapolated. Since it will be a basis for much of this discussion, it has been set in verse format for easier reference. Also, I have added some explanations which appear in italics and parentheses, to assist in understanding the true import of these verses.

    First Corinthians 11:2-16:
    2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything, and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.
    3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the Head of every man, and the man (husband) is the head of a (singular) woman (wife), and God is the Head of Christ.
    4 Every MAN who has something on his Head (Christ) while praying or prophesying, disgraces his Head (Christ).
    5 But every woman who has her head uncovered (not under the authority of her husband) while praying or prophesying, disgraces her head (her husband); for she is one and the same with her whose head is shaved (woman taken captive from vanquished enemies and forced against her will to become an Israelite’s wife).
    6 For if a woman does not cover her head (allow the authority of her husband to cover and protect her from the spiritual deception of the fallen angels), let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.
    7 For a man ought NOT to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman (wife) is the glory of man (husband).
    8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man;
    9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.
    10 Therefore the woman ought to have authority on her head, because of the (fallen) angels.
    11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.
    12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.
    13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with head uncovered?
    14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair (type for “covering”), it is a dishonor to him,
    15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for A COVERING (a protection).
    16 But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.

Now I don’t want to be unkind, but in my opinion a person must be totally brainwashed to read this text and in all sincerity and earnestness conclude it says what Discipleship proponents and adherents assert that it says. Indeed, this text has been used as a premise for a number of pretty silly and bizarre notions, ranging from the role of women in the church all the way to the assertion that God is saying here that women are supposed to wear little doilies on their heads when they attend church. So let’s examine this passage, and see what it really says and what it does not say.

Pertinent Peculiarities of the Language
First of all, an extremely vital fact to keep in mind in all Bible study and interpretation, and one which I must take a moment to point out here at the very outset of our scrutiny of this text, is that the Greek language, in which most of the New Testament was written originally, did not have a specific word for “husband” and “wife” as in the English language. Instead, the word for husband is the word for “man,” and the word for “wife” is the word for “woman.” The only way to determine whether the reference is to the male gender class or to the office of husband, or likewise to the female gender class or the office of wife, is by deciphering the intent of the context. This fact is absolutely critical to the particular passage we are examining here and to properly evaluating and understanding its import.

So, with this in mind, careful scrutiny of the context of these verses on the backdrop of the whole of Scripture, leads to the unequivocal and incontrovertible conclusion that the words used here which are translated in many English versions as “man” and “woman” really should be “husband” and “wife.” Validation of that is inherent in the fact that the principles evoked in this passage are limited in application to the husband and wife relationship. They are NOT applicable in the context of general interrelations between men and women, but rather only apply in the sphere of the husband and wife relationship.

Identifying the Subject and Scope
Once these peculiarities of the language are understood, the next matter of utmost importance is identifying the subject and scope of the passage we are examining. For reasons that shall become evident, it is vital to understand that the clear and unmistakable subject of this passage is the matter of Domestic Divine Order, that is to say, the order of authority existing among husbands and wives and their children, or to say it yet another way, the government operable within the structure of the FAMILY unit. “Domestic Authority” is the exclusive focus as well as the limits of the scope of this passage. The aspects and applications of the authority addressed in these verses are limited to the purview of that particular ilk of authority, and cannot be universally applied to other types of authority.

Recognizing the true focus and scope of this text is crucial to comprehending its import. Not recognizing these parameters, or blatant disregard of them, whichever may be the case, has been a primary factor resulting in the formulation of the fallacious assertions adamantly proclaimed and staunchly defended by Discipleship proponents supposedly based on this passage. To be specific, the matter of “spiritual covering” is the heart of the issue. And indeed, there is a type of spiritual covering that is addressed in these verses. However, what is critical is that, as stated already, the spiritual covering that is discussed in this context is NOT Ecclesiastical Authority, that is to say, Governmental Authority within the Church. Rather, Domestic Authority is the clear and unequivocal focus of Paul’s dissertation here, which the Apostle makes evident in verse three by specifically identifying the topic of this portion of his letter and by expressing explicitly what it is he wants the readers to understand: “But I want you to understand that CHRIST is the Head of every man, and the MAN (HUSBAND) is the head of a WOMAN (his WIFE), and GOD is the Head of Christ.”

Another way to characterize the focus of this passage, which the enbolded portions of this verse bring out, is: “spiritual headship.” However, the propensity of some to “exceed that which is written” has resulted in the misconstruction and misapplication of this perfectly valid truth, and the manufacturing of a kind of so-called “headship” based purely in human imagination without any Scriptural foundation whatsoever. In point of fact, the only valid ilk of “spiritual headship” or “spiritual covering” there is, and the only one which is supported by the Word of God, is that which is being addressed here, which is the “spiritual headship” and “spiritual covering” the husband provides for his own wife as the God-appointed representative of Christ within the family unit. In no way, however, does this passage contain any evidence or corroboration of the sort of “spiritual covering” Discipleship proponents allege is provided by a shepherd to his followers. To extrapolate from this passage a pretext for some sort of “headship” interposable by “spiritual leaders” over subordinate believers is an act of gross distortion, convolution, and misrepresentation of the Word of God, as well as an act of blatant and extreme irresponsibility.

CHRIST—the Only Spiritual Covering for Every Man
Now as I stated initially, ecclesiastical authority is decidedly not the focus of this passage. Indeed, the only mention of the matter of ecclesiastical authority occurs in oblique references in verses four and seven, which actually state the very opposite of what the Discipleship/Shepherdship proponents purport the verses say and the very opposite of the assertions they cite the verses as a proof-text for:

    4 Every MAN who has something on his Head (i.e., Christ) while praying or prophesying, disgraces his Head (Christ).
    7 For a MAN ought NOT to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman (wife) is the glory of man (husband).

In verse four, Paul specifically states that, juxtaposed to the married woman, who must have a covering of spiritual authority, i.e., a spiritual “head,” which role is fulfilled by her husband, any man who covers his Head with a “spiritual covering”—a human, surrogate, intermediary “head”—is bringing reproach, dishonor, and disgrace to his Head, because, as Paul indicates repeatedly in this text, the man’s Head is Christ Himself. Thus, to characterize the import of the text in another, forthright fashion: in this passage, the Spirit is expressly prohibiting human, surrogate, intermediary spiritual “headship” in the case of MEN, in that Christ Himself is the Head, or “spiritual covering” “of every man” who is truly Born Again and has truly submitted to the Lordship of Christ over his life.

Notice also the phrase “while praying or prophesying.” Praying and prophesying are the spiritual activities and functions in which believers are to engage. This phrase gives qualification to this statement, making its import to be that it is in the realm of spiritual activities and endeavors in particular that a man is NOT to have another human being as his “head,” or as a “covering,” for that role and function is to be fulfilled by the Lord Jesus alone. Christ alone is qualified and capable of fulfilling that crucial role and function.

This is vital to the matter of the Discipleship error, because this has been one of the areas of greatest excess and abuse, in that many so-called “spiritual leaders” (especially laymen) in these in-house “chains of command” became extremely caught up in their newly acquired (albeit, illegitimate) authority, for which they were not properly grounded or adequately developed or sufficiently mature spiritually to properly handle, but which they nonetheless began to wield and intrusively interpose into the lives of their “subordinates,” including their most private, personal, and even intimate choices and decisions. The outlandish and totally false hypothesis was that each of the multi-levels of “spiritual leaders” over the peonic, subjugated, and supposedly inferior believer were his “spiritual heads” and “spiritual coverings,” and whatever communication or correction God desired to relate to the believer, He would relay through one of these surrogate “heads,” and so-called “confirmation” of the validity and veracity of the communication would manifest in the form of unanimous “agreement” among all these “heads.” Theoretically, if just one of the “heads” in the chain of “heads” did not have “a witness” for the matter, that meant the communication was not from or of God.

This “no witness” nonsense became a primary mechanism of control, manipulation, domination, and other more nefarious activities, in an array of circumstances ranging from preventing members from leaving the church or group, to sexually-oriented abuse under the color of spiritual authority. The gravely damaging effect of this absurd and wholly false theosophy and system of religious enslavement is well captured in the quoted impassioned complaint of a former member of the Discipleship Movement responding to Bob Mumford’s attempted conciliation with disjoined former followers:

“Saying I’m sorry wasn’t enough….We had been taught that the men who led us somehow heard from God better than we did. Even after we left the movement there was that hidden fear that they might be right and we were somehow less of a Christian and had failed God by not being totally obedient to them.” (Mumford Repents of Discipleship Errors, Charisma & Life, February 1990, pp. 15,16)

Though we are certainly to avail ourselves of the ministry God disseminates through Fivefold ministers, and though we are to maintain a compliant and cooperative attitude toward them, and treat them with due honor and respect, no mere human is ever the “head” or “spiritual covering” of any other man, especially; or woman, for that matter, because “spiritual covering” exists and is effectual only in the relationship of the husband to his own WIFE—no other woman. In other words, even a Fivefold minister—apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher—is the spiritual “head” of only ONE woman on this planet—his own WIFE (if he is married)! That, my friend, is it! FURTHERMORE, a Fivefold minister is the spiritual “head” of absolutely NO MAN! I cannot state it any more succinctly or directly than that.

[For more on the detrimental effects of submitting yourself under the spiritual coverings of men, I urge you to read The Curses of Unauthorized Covenants.]

[To read this article in its entirety, click on the title above. There are links on that page to other related articles.]

The main focus of the initial installment of our discussion was the matter of hyper-authoritarianism in general and how easy it is for the most principled spiritual leaders to cross over the “thin line of leadership” between leading and lording, discipling and dominating, coaching and coercing, to operate in “foul ground” without even realizing it. In this part, we begin turning our attention to some of the whys and wherefors of ecclesiastical predomination.

Of course, as was pointed out in Part 1, there is nothing new about authoritarian abuse by spiritual leaders. In any age, there is no shortage of unscrupulous religious dictators bent on self-aggrandizement facilitated through personal kingdom-building purportedly “in the name of the Lord.” Nevertheless, while it is not indigenous exclusively to our time, due perhaps to the move toward organizational ecumenicism commonly referred to today as “networking,” there is little doubt that it is more widespread than ever before, to the point that sadly the term, “ubiquitous,” now applies. Unfortunately, today there is little difference between the ecclesiastical and the secular realm with respect to corruption. And, after no small number of years of studying this phenomenon, I have concluded that the primary cause is nothing more sophisticated than base greed fueled by the oldest and most powerful human propensity which God Himself testifies is the ROOT of ALL evil — “the love of money.”

Moreover, whatever the premise and psychology behind it, the sad historical record is that few of the corrupt and covetousness-crazed ecclesiastical autocrats alluded to herein are ever heedful of the criticisms or pleas of their fellows to turn back from such blatantly aberrant behavior, thus we will not engage here in the futility of attempting to convince them to do so. What is written here, is primarily for those sincere, honest, earnest, upstanding, and conscientious leaders who may realize from the reasonings offered herein that unwittingly and unintentionally from time to time they have transgressed the invisible line between leading and lording. The majority of that ilk, we are persuaded, will follow the leading of the Spirit to discontinue any unscriptural and improper leadership techniques, methods, and methodologies.

Most reasonable ministry professionals, if forthright, would agree that ecclesiastical predominance and authoritarian abuse exists in nearly every branch of the Church — denominations, modern protodenominational associations and “networks,” as well as among independents — and in far too great a quantity. Regardless of the “checks” against such errancy supposedly inherent in an “established” ecclesiastical hierarchy, every honest minister knows there exists — between the sequestered and secluded air-conditioned offices of organizational headquarters and the salt mines of the local church — a cavernous void rife for subtile selfish-ambition, self-aggrandizement, and corruption by unscrupulous church-leaders.

As earnest as organizational officials may be about their role of “overseeing,” it has limitations. A local church-leader so disposed can construct a partition around the affairs of that local operation, buttressed by servile and intensely loyal church cronies, that is quite difficult to “see over.” Despite genuinely believed, eloquently articulated, and convincing pontifications describing the purported fail-safe system of accountability in place between the senior church leader and headquarter officials, the unsavory reality is that a leader could be a drunkard, womanizer, wife-beater, child-molester, swindler, and egregious authority-abuser, without anyone at headquarters ever knowing until a cataclysmic public eruption occurs. Indeed, the increasing public scandals of this sort involving high-profile ministers lading the news-media these days is testimony of that reality. Impersonal hierarchical governance will never be a safeguard against these potentialities. Only down-to-earth, real relationships with real mutual accountability based on a balance between “the God-kind of love” and the standard of “God-kind of living” among equals having different functions and responsibilities can ensure against inappropriate behavior and improper practices by church leadership.

The stark truth remains, even in these days of supposed increased human knowledge, political systems by their very nature, whether secular or ecclesiastical, are fertile breeding grounds for corruption. As long as the Church insists on mimicking the world’s way of star-worship and undue exaltation of its leaders, and coronating them with inordinate and undue political and monetary deference and “power” attributed to royalty, we will continue to subject ourselves to such ecclesiastical corruption and public chagrin. For, as Lord Acton so aptly observed, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” By no means are the hallowed halls of the Ecclesia a safe-haven from that adage.

Maybe it’s our European lineage, or maybe it’s just a basic human propensity, but the American Church seems to have this inexorable need for a de facto ecclesiastical aristocracy from which it is not willing to repent. Like Israel in the day of Saul, we clamor for our kings and our queens after the manner of the other nations of the world. We are even willing to render unto our Caesars a superabundance of our personal resources in order to have royalty through whom to vicariously live a life of opulence, ease, and privilege. Like the nations of the world, we just plain want our kings. They need not even subjugate or conquer us to gain aristocratic ascendancy, for we freely and wantonly bestow it upon them. Speaking about the need for a single world leader who would have the political cunning and charisma to preside over a one world order, a senior United Nations official quipped to reporters some two decades ago now, “Give us a super-leader, be he devil or Divine, and the world will follow!” Likewise, this seems to be the collective clamor for Christendom as well. And, the worldwide, ever-expanding move toward the false unity of ecclesiastical ecumenicism taking place in the institutional churches is certainly further evidence of that religion-related proclivity.

So it is not only base lusts of crazed charlatans that leads to authoritarian abuse, but rather it exists and even flourishes also because of the unredeemed fleshly desires of those who are willing to be subjugated by charismatic beguilers spewing forth utopian promises of grandeur. Let’s face it, somewhere in the human psyche is the desire for Oz, a new Garden of Eden, heaven on earth — call it what you will — we long for it, even Christians, who theologically should know better. Little wonder then that even the “elect” can be so easily deceived by new-age “New World” philosophies and vain promises. Unredeemed humanity and unenlightened Christianity alike crave utopia now, in this life, in this present world-system — never mind that it is antichrist-ruled — rather than have to endure the temporary tribulations requisite to the manifestation of Christ’s Kingdom on earth.

Besides having a general dislike for learning, mankind, as a whole, is intellectually and spiritually lazy. The majority of people don’t want to have to study, to read, to seek, to investigate, to ruminate, to mentally assimilate, to pray — we want someone else to do all that for us, because it requires too much effort and cuts into the time we allot to leisure, pleasure, and entertainment. Thus, what most people are looking for is not merely a spiritual shepherd — someone to teach and guide us in the ways of God, but a guru, a dalai, a priest — someone to do all the “spiritual stuff” for us, and then just tell us what we should believe and do.

The fact of the matter is, especially in a free society, there would be no authoritarian subjugation if there were no one willing to be subjugated by self-aggrandizing despots. Without question, in the case of many, their tacit acquiescence to predomination is purely a matter of intellectual and spiritual laziness coupled with general apathy. However, in those cases where a very defined and definitive system of deliberate domination and control has been instituted, there is another dynamic at work — selfish ambition.

Indeed, at bottom, it is selfish ambition, both on the part of the subjugator, and, ironically, the subjugated as well, that drives hyper-authoritarianism. The subjugator is bent on building a private kingdom wherein he or she is exalted and exulted as lord, master, and supreme-ruler. And, the “subjugatees” are enticed into becoming a participant in the grandeur through promises of shared ascendancy and personal aggrandizement, which appeals to and appeases their own selfish lusts for superiority.

Where it is employed today, the nuts and bolts of ecclesiastical group-predomination, virtually without exception is a kind of multi-level, pyramid authority structure, or polity. It is identical to the M-L-M (multi-level marketing) schema so popular today in the business sector, wherein each participant recruits other participants, all of whom formulate his “downline.” Supposedly, each participant’s downline is his personal pipeline of income reaped from the efforts of his recruits as well as each of theirs, and so on down the line. The basic hypothesis is that this pyramid-shaped structure intrinsically produces exponential and near effortless synergism equating ultimately to perpetual residual income. Essentially, it’s the modern, sophisticated version of the old chain-letter.

Two things that should alert thinking observers to the impropriety of these types of structures apparently escapes the notice of many. One is the fact that pyramid schemes, though most M-L-M have found crafty ways to circumvent it, have been deemed by every state in the U.S. to be illegal, essentially because the postulation of synergism is fraudulent except in the case of those in the first few levels at the apex of the pyramid. The second is that the pyramid, as evidenced by the pyramids of occult-rife Egyptian heritage, is the very signature and icon of the occult and its ultimate author, Satan.

Notwithstanding, there are a plethora of hybrids of this system being used very effectively in churches in America and around the world to expand their membership, from mainline denominations to independents, though all those employing it would adamantly and vociferously deny it. Nevertheless, it can hardly be denied that a staple of modern church “development” methodologies is the “small group” concept, which virtually all churches employ in some degree and form. In some churches they are called “cell groups.” Others call them “care groups,” or various other appellations. Whatever they are called, they are essentially small groups of only a few to fifty or a little more, who meet usually in someones house, usually the leader’s, for the supposed purpose of fellowship, prayer, and exhortation.

In itself, of course, there is nothing wrong with that concept, and indeed it is quite Scriptural, useful, and effectual in terms of practical ministry. In fact, it is in the small group setting, away from the ecclesiastical formality of the sanctuary where people can be real that real ministry takes place. After all, real fellowship and ministry cannot be achieved with the back of someone’s head, or in the hour or two of a church-service. Moreover, there is certainly much more to real fellowship and ministry than mere handshakes, chit-chat, and congregational prayer.

The main problem comes in the leadership of those small groups, and the status given those who host or “lead” them. Indeed, the essence of the problem is in whether the people in charge of these meetings are considered merely “hosts” or spiritual “leaders.” In many churches, those who host these meetings are considered and even called “leaders.” Sometimes the term is prefaced by the prefix “lay-“, nonetheless, they are given a status of being a “leader” of some echelon in the church polity, as well as varying degrees and forms of deference commonly attributed to that nomenclature.

Now the concept of deploying the laity of a local church in constructive and effectual roles of real and substantive function according to their God-given giftings and talents is an altogether proper, needed, even necessary, and certainly Scriptural concept (Rom. 12:3-13; 1 Pet. 4:10,11; et al.). However, where that concept goes awry in application is when untrained, ungifted, unanointed, untried laymen are all of a sudden dubbed “leaders,” and congregants look to them for counsel, Biblical answers, and direction for the diverse range of problems and needs believers typically encounter in their Christian pilgrimage.

When it comes to such spiritual input into the lives of God’s sheep who were purchased with the precious cost of the shed blood of Jesus, it is vital that it be: firstly, correct and Biblically-based; secondly, God-inspired; thirdly, prudent and pragmatic; fourthly, timely according to God’s timetable; and fifthly, presented in a constructive rather than destructive way. All of that requires experience and expertise. Summarily, the matter of speaking unto God’s sheep on His behalf is a fearful thing that should not be taken lightly. Nor, because of its extensive potential ramifications, should it be delegated to undeveloped, inexperienced, Sunday-morning spiritual “dabblers,” or spiritual “weekend warriors,” especially those steeped in self-absorption and a super-inflated sense of self-importance, seeking status, recognition, and ascendancy over others.

The problem with the multi-level downline or small group system instituted within the ecclesiastical mini-society also known as local churches is that by nature that system is fertile ground for such spiritual sophomorism and thus attracts the very people who engage in it. The very unfortunate result is two-fold. One, what in essence, to put it bluntly, is a bastardization of the ministry. True ministry is devalued, degraded, debased, and debauched, which is precisely what has happened on a large scale in many sectors of the Church today. Two, the sheep of those flocks are being subjected to a debauched, defiled, and, in some cases, a desecrated counterfeit of genuine ministry, depriving them of the benefit they could have derived from true God-ordained and -anointed ministry.

Almost without exception, where hyper-authoritarianism is occurring, such a small group system with lay-leadership is employed, supposedly to promote “church growth,” which invariably refers to growth in terms of size rather than spirituality. And, in these multi-level downlines the under-leaders are indoctrinated by the ultimate leader with certain patent hyper-authoritarian precepts and practices by which to “govern” the affairs and functions of their particular downlines. The under-leaders in turn pass those dogmas and doctrines onto the group they lead. The result is an entire church of participants in an infrastructure of unauthorized domination and control over its members that to them seems wholly proper and good because they were spiritually reared and trained in it, in some cases from the very beginning of their new life in Christ.

This is a dire development in our churches today that sorely needs wholesale correction, but it is only one of the many factors leading to authoritarian abuse and psychological enslavement in church-groups.

READ PART ONE OF THIS ARTICLE

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The Ephesians Four Network Blog features commentary, teaching, and prophetic words relative to the establishment and advancement of the Kingdom of God on Earth through the Church that Jesus is Building. The contributing editor is Dr. Steven Lambert, whose website address is: www.slm.org, where you can find many more articles and information about his ministry.

There is a very thin line between leading and lording, discipling and dominating, coaching and coercing. So thin is the line, it is at times and in certain scenarios nearly indistinguishable.

Indeed, church leaders commonly cross the divide without even realizing it, and are much chagrined upon discovery of their transgression. Moreover, many find themselves alternatingly on one side or the other of the line at different times. For the majority of sincere, upstanding, and ethical ministers, transversing — or transgressing, as it may be — the line is altogether unintentional, and when they suddenly find themselves on the wrong side, they cannot remember when, how, or even why the misstep occurred. Unfortunately there are also ministers not of this upright ilk, who intentionally and indeed unabashedly leap over the boundary line to operate in “foul territory” as their habitual modus operandi.

The role of leadership, regardless the arena, is intrinsically complex. Certainly, because of human fickleness and unpredictability it is an art, not an exact science. Even for the most masterful, leading free-willed humans often resistant to the very premise of being led is a tenuous and slippery slope. The particular kind of leadership ministers are charged with exercising is especially formidable, in that the ministry is, at bottom, the arduous and precarious discipline of behavior-modification.

Further complicating the task, as every minister is painfully aware, is the fact that for church leadership professionals ministry is also their livelihood, their means of support for themselves as well as their families. While at first thought this may seem to be tangential, rather it is central. For, the unfortunate fact is that like most other areas of human endeavor, financial reward and unredeemed personal ambition are primary motivators to those who transgress the boundaries of Scriptural propriety to lord over the flock entrusted to their charge. Regardless of how sophisticated the world becomes, the love of money, as Divine Sophistry reveals, remains the root of all evil.

In the case of leaders who purposely and knowingly choose to be dominating and controlling dictators over associates and God’s sheep in order to build their private kingdoms, the sad record is that precious few are influenced toward repentance or change by the criticism or pleas of fellows. Though those of this ilk always seem to be plentiful, nevertheless, there are also many sincere and earnest leaders who functioning in the fray leadership often is, err on the foul side of the line. With many of these, the transgression is unwitting and unwilling. That is to say, they don’t realize they are engaging in improper domination and control, nor do they mean to, but are merely trying to fulfill as best they know how their responsibility to lead.

Frequently, especially in the case of organizational church leaders, they tutored under other leaders on their way to becoming leaders themselves. As a result, many ministers merely mimic, at least partially, the methodologyand methods of their mentors or some leader with whom they are impressed. The theory of mentoring, of course, is certainly Scriptural, however, it is also incumbent upon those who are being mentored to evaluate the Scripturality, ethicality, and effectuality of the methodology and methods employed by their mentors. Nowhere does Scripture advocate or condone “blind” obedience or obeisance of spiritual leaders, regardless of their status and stature.

On the contrary, God commands all believers to examine all spiritual postulations carefully, holding fast to that which is good, and abstaining from every form of evil (1 Thes. 5:21,22). Moreover, the Holy Spirit termed the Bereans “more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica” because they examined the Scriptures daily themselves to evaluate the veracity of the things being preached by the greatest of all God’s theologians and messengers, the Apostle Paul, and his associates as well (Ac. 17:10,11).

While the Holy Spirit calls evaluation of teaching, or doctrine, “noble-minded,” leaders who dominatefollowers, invariably call it “rebellion” when their adherents engage in it. Instead of teaching their followers to study the Scripture themselves in order to scrutinize what they and other ministers are teaching, they essentially insist their followers simply accept and believe what they tell them Scripture says and means, and to merely do what they tell them to do. Of course, that very proposition by Dark Ages Church leaders contributed greatly to twelve hundred years of apostasy.

Jesus’ Great Commission charged all ministers to “make disciples…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you….” The word “disciple” means “learner.” Jesus was saying that the task of ministers is to make or compel believers to become “learners” through the medium of teaching, which is systematic and specific instruction, not just generalized preaching. To put it another way, the role of ministersis to teach people to become learners. Unfortunately, this concept is novel to many believers as well as ministers. To paraphrase a familiar idiom regarding secular education, the Church should be the highest institute for the highest (i.e., spiritual) learning.

Still, the task of ministers does not end with teaching believers to be learners, but according to Jesus’ exhortation extends beyond that to the task of “teaching them to observe.” As James declared, we are not justified by what we have heard or know, but rather by what we do or observe. The job of ministers, as daunting as it may be, is not to merely teach believers to mentally assimilate abstract principles, but also to teach believers to obey and apply those principles in their lives. And, as any earnest minister knows, while teaching people to be learners is difficult, teaching them to be “obeyers” is even more difficult.

But, nothing exists in a vacuum, including ministry. What ministers are supposed to do according to Scripture and what they feel they can do according to the situation in which they function often do not correspond. Besides being ministers, they are also husbands and fathers, and therefore have a legitimate as well as Scripturalmandate to properly provide for their families, just as any other head-of-household believer. Factor in the element that all active professional ministers to some degree are “elected” to the positions they hold in their immediate organization by the very people they are to minister to, and you have a major, ongoing dilemma which every minister knows all too well. The expression: “between a rock and a hardspot,” may have no more apt application than the ministry — the “rock” being Jesus and His impliable charge to ministers, and the “hardspot” being practical, personal ministry to intractable humans with an intrinsic propensity forspiritual non-compliance.

The result is another invisible line separating what a minister should be counseling, teaching, saying, deciding (et al.), and what the people are willing to tolerate, receive, accept, and allow from the minister.Ministers grapple with this very real predicament daily. From the perspective between what the people will allow and what God mandates, ministers are perpetually “damned if they do and damned if they don’t.”

Like the umpire, on every call, alternatingly, you have one team and its fans against you and the other team andits fans for you. It is never a win-win job, but always a win-lose job. Somebody is adamantly and vehemently against you on every call. That is just the nature of the job. A veteran major league umpire once bemoaned his was the only profession in which you must be perfect the first day on the job and then improve from there. Well, there is one other profession of that ilk — the ministry. But, the requisites of ministry are even more stringent than umpiring because in addition to having perfect knowledge and judgment, the minister is expected by his constituents to also be a veritable perfect replication of Christ Himself, totally devoid of anything human.

This Catch-22 is among the primary factors that cause even sincere, honest, earnest, and well-intentioned leaders to cross the invisible line between legitimate and illegitimate authority, and gradually gravitate toward domination instead of discipling, lording instead of leading, and coercing instead of coaching, coaxing, and convincing. And,as stated before, it often happens unknowingly and even unintentionally. The overwhelming majority of ministry professionals have no desire whatsoever of operating outside the bounds of authority, and would be appalled to find they have encroached upon “foul ground.” In the continuation of this article, we will examine some practical tips for recognizing improper domination and control by church leaders.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from the book, CHARISMATIC CAPTIVATION, by Steven Lambert. The book exposes the widespread problem of authoritarian abuse in Neo-Pentecostal church-groups, and explains how it became infused into the very fabric, foundation, and functions of the Neo-Pentecostal church, arising out of a false movement known as the Discipleship/Shepherding Movement (1970-77).

>>> CLICK HERE to read Part 2 of this article.

The Ephesians Four Network Blog features commentary, teaching, and prophetic words relative to the establishment and advancement of the Kingdom of God on Earth through the Church that Jesus is Building. The contributing editor is Dr. Steven Lambert, whose website address is: www.slm.org, where you can find many more articles and information about his ministry.

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