Romans 13 (Part 9)
First posted: April 20, 2014
This article is the ninth in a series of articles dealing in detail with the spiritual meaning behind Romans chapter 13.
As we shared in a prior posting, Romans 13:13 lists 6 negative "characteristics", grouped in 3 "pairs":
"Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying." (Romans 13:13)
In an earlier posting, we meditated on the first pair, "rioting and drunkenness", which, as we saw, points to how the evangelistic endowment is perverted by the Girgashite-teacher and Canaanite-pastor spirits. In the previous posting, we meditated on the second pair, "chambering and wantonness", which, as we saw then, points to how the prophetic endowment is perverted by the Canaanite-pastor and Girgashite-teacher spirits. We shall now meditate on the third pair, "strife and envying" ...
The word "strife" in Romans 13:13 was translated from the Greek word eris, which only appears in 9 New Testament verses, all of them within Paul's epistles. In 4 of those verses (including Romans 13:13), eris is mentioned as part of a list of negative qualities. Therefore, to get a better sense of the individual meaning behind eris, we must consider the other 5 verses where it does not appear as part of a list. The first such verse is in verse 11 of the following passage, translated as "contentions":
"11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name." (1 Corinthians 1:11-15)
Notice how eris is used above in the context of people dividing themselves into factions headed by various apostles. The apostle Paul uses the word eris in the same sense in verse 3 of the following passage, translated as "strife":
"3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?" (1 Corinthians 3:3-5)
The next time eris appears in Scripture is in verse 20 of the following passage, inconsistently translated as "debates" in the KJV:
"19 Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying. 20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults" (2 Corinthians 12:19-20)
As shown by verses 10 and 11 of 2 Corinthians 12, the word "we" used by Paul in verse 19 above refers to people carrying out an apostolic role. Hence, we can conclude that there is a spiritual connection between the word eris and the distortion of the apostolic endowment. As revealed by the passages above, the Corinthians acknowledged the apostolic ministry and embraced it because of the "aura of wisdom" that came with it. However, instead of embracing the righteous judgements for which apostolic wisdom is intended, they saw apostolic wisdom as a quick way to distinguish themselves from other believers. In other words, they saw the apostolic ministry as a "quick" and "efficient" way to give themselves a spiritual label that did not require a spiritual sacrifice. Just like the Sardis Church described in Revelation 3, they were gluing on themselves names that spoke to them of "spiritual life" even though they were not quite "alive" on the inside. All of this speaks of a Girgashite contamination, for, as we have shared before, the Girgashite spirit is the spirit most directly related to unrighteous division and external labels of religiosity. This connection to the Girgashite spirit is emphasised by Paul's use of the word "carnal" in 1 Corinthians 3:3 shortly after using the word eris (translated as "strife"). This is due to the fact that the word "carnal" used in the Greek in 1 Corinthians 3:3 is the adjective form of the noun "flesh"; and, as we have shared before, the spirit most directly related to the "flesh" in a negative sense is the Girgashite spirit.
As we have also shared before, teachers who "go bad" turn into Girgashites, meaning that the "eris" of Romans 13:13 arises from apostolic wisdom being handled by distorted teachers. As we have studied before, there is a natural and very strong linkage between the apostolic and teacher endowments. The apostolic endowment produces a "river" of wisdom that flows into "teacher lakes", where it is stored and organised for the believers' "consumption". Said another way, the apostolic endowment produces "new" and "innovative" principles that are then taken by the teacher endowment to be explained and perpetuated across time to different generations. However, when these "new" and "innovative" principles are taken in the flesh, they become a substitute for prophetic self-sacrifice unto God, and they get twisted into a source of vicarious pride for those who receive them. As genuine apostolic wisdom gets corrupted, it eventually disappears and is replaced by a mechanical and literal "wisdom" that has an "apostolic" label on it but is actually nothing more than "teacherly" in its nature, regurgitating old principles that are anything but new or innovative, even if they seem "new" on the surface. As can be seen from the above, this Girgashite pseudo-wisdom leads to the division of believers into various factions, with each faction staunchly standing by a different belief that is actually false upon closer inspection.
This fruitless partitioning of believers can be seen, for example, in the differing views on the so-called "Rapture". Unbeknownst to most, the current rapture theory is relatively new, having arisen in America during the late 17th century and early 18th century from the mind of Massachusetts preacher Increase Mather and promoted by his son Cotton Mather (as indicated on wikipedia.org). When Increase Mather stumbled upon 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, he became aware that there was a deep spiritual truth embedded within that passage. Unfortunately for him, however, the Jebusite and Girgashite influences in his Puritanical upbringing got the best of him, and, despite his good intentions, he turned the opportunity to expose a wonderful revelation into an opportunity for the enemy to trap believers in a false and simplistic doctrine that has done much to harm God's purposes in the latter days. Because Increase Mather allowed his apostolic anointing to be contaminated by a literal, Girgashite understanding, his rapture quasi-revelation quickly created factions within the Church, with some favouring the "pre-Tribulation rapture", others favouring the "mid-Tribulation rapture", and yet others favouring the "post-Tribulation rapture". All the factions have passages they can turn to in order to support their side, but this is all because they start from a mistaken understanding of what the rapture is. Instead of discerning that the "contradiction" between each faction's passages is the result of a mistaken interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, they double down on their theory, twisting the passages that contradict their view like a determined kid forcing a square peg into a round hole. When their passage twisting is futile, they discard the passage and simply resort to the authority and "tradition" of their faction's leaders, repeating their mantra, "Out of sight, out of mind" as they relegate the "stubborn" passage to either oblivion or a magical and convenient interpretation.
From the above, we can say that the "eris" strife mentioned in Romans 13:13 refers to how the Girgashite spirit can distort the apostolic endowment, taking any legitimate apostolic revelation and interpreting it in the flesh, thereby stripping it of any life or significant truth. As this happens, apostolic wisdom becomes a label that people begin to identify with at a carnal level, thereby leading to a "Balkanization" of people into pointless factions that squabble over trivialities of no eternal consequence. Interestingly enough, even the translation of the word eris by the KJV translators was "fractured" and "divisive". Even though it only appears in 9 verses, eris is translated in 4 different ways in the KJV, thereby revealing its divisive effect on soul-centred believers.
As we said above, the Girgashite spirit degrades the apostolic endowment into eris that balkanises people into factions that squabble over purposeless trivialities. This is why the apostle Paul also uses the word eris in the following verse, where it is translated as "strife":
"4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself." (1 Timothy 6:4-5)
Curiously enough, the phrase "strifes of words" was translated from the Greek word logomachia, which is derived from the word logos meaning "word" and the verb machomai, which speaks of up-close, hand-to-hand struggle. As we have shared before, the word logos is related to judgements, and, thus, to the apostolic endowment of wisdom. Hence, logomachia speaks of a struggle between competing apostolic "wisdoms". Since these "wisdoms" are actually tainted with Girgashite earthliness, these logomachias degrade into banal discussions over semantics, definitions, and technicalities that leave the combatants arguing in circles that go nowhere. This correlates with the reference to "corrupt minds" in verse 5 above, since these logomachia's require a willingness to engage in purely mental struggles with no true, spiritual overtone, struggles where the greatest prize is proving that you are "wittier" than your opponent, all whilst defending the "honour" of your faction.
The word eris is also used in verse 9 of the following passage, translated this time as "contentions" in the KJV:
"9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself." (Titus 3:9-11)
Notice how eris is used in the context of squabbles over the Law, which again points to the apostolic endowment, given that it is the endowment most directly related to judgements and spiritual law. The "strivings about the law" referred to in verse 4, however, refer to arguments over superficial aspects of spiritual laws that quickly degrade into debates over the proper length of women's dresses, the appropriate length of men's hair, the validity of working on Sundays, the necessity of water baptism to "get to Heaven", and other such "tantalising" topics of "transformative", "eternal" importance. Fellow believer, every time you perceive that you have been drawn into debates where the duelling concepts are mental, "dry" and of a "technical-manual" nature, Titus 3:9-11 calls you to separate yourself from such debates and the people who waste their own times and others' in them. If the person you are speaking to dismisses the spirit of your words and betrays a sense of pride and identity in his point of view, there is no point in engaging in a mental "fencing" struggle with him. As long as you "play" at his mental, simplistic level, the risk of lowering yourself to his level is higher than the potential of him dying to his.
The word eris is also used by Paul in verse 15 of the following passage, translated as "strife":
"15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." (Philippians 1:15-18)
Notice how eris is again associated to the notion of fleshly competition. It is worth noticing, however, that the passage above reveals that "good" things can indeed arise from a person speaking apostolic wisdom with an eris mindset. Obviously, this requires that the person speak words of truth that have yet to suffer any major deterioration from the eris spirit. Even when this is the case, the spiritual fruit that can be produced from such words is limited. As shown by the passage above, such words may have the power to introduce people to a new way of thinking, "showing them the door", so to speak, but they will have little power to lead them very far in after they have crossed the threshold. This is why men and women of great spiritual discernment can at times be born from ministries with very limited discernment. It shall be up to the person to take his understanding to a new level, for the words (born in eris) that introduced him to the truth will be of little help in this. In fact, after being introduced to the truth by the "eris words", the person will have to deliberately distance himself from such words (à la Titus 3:10-11) if he wants to grow in God's truth.
The passage above also reveals a truth that may be overlooked if we focus on the futility of eris debates. As indicated in verse 17, Paul was "set for the defence of the Gospel", meaning that there are times when the Lord will call you to engage in what may be labelled a "war of words". In fact, the word "defence" in verse 17 was translated from the Greek word apologia, which is derived from the word logos meaning "word" and is the word from which the English word "apologist" is derived. When you engage in these Spirit-inspired, red-horse debates, however, you will not be warring at the same level as the other person. Even as the other person rejects the spirit of your words and reveals his sense of pride in his own point of view, the words coming out of your mouth will be waging warfare in the spirit realm, destroying spiritual strongholds that have kept the minds of many in captivity. Even if the person you are speaking to rejects everything you say, the words you have spoken in the Spirit will have produced a lasting damage on the enemy's mental strangleholds, thus enabling the future freedom of many minds beyond the mind of the person you debated in the natural realm, as shown by Acts 17:
"16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. 17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. 18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. 19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?" (Acts 17:16-19)
"29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them." (Acts 17:29-34)
In the cases where God sends you to have a "debate" with a person who is contaminated to the point of no return by the spirit described in 1 Timothy 6:4-5, your words, rejected and disdained as they may be, will serve to release judgement against that person, causing permanent damage to that person's ability to spread his or her poisoned thinking to others on Earth. Said another way, the Spirit's intention will always go beyond winning a (futile) debate, as those in the flesh are so wont to pursue.
As we shared above, the word eris appears in the following verse, translated as "contentions":
"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain" (Titus 3:9)
The word "unprofitable" was translated from the Greek adjective anopheles, which, interestingly enough, is only used twice in Scripture, the other time being in verse 18 of the following passage, translated as "unprofitableness":
"15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God." (Hebrews 7:15-19)
Notice how anopheles is used in the context of Old-Covenant priesthood and the "law of a carnal commandment" (v16). The word "carnal" was translated from sarkikos, the adjective form of the noun sarx meaning "flesh". Therefore, the phrase "carnal commandment" is not implying that the Mosaic Law was "carnal" in the sinful sense of the word, but, rather, it is emphasising its external or superficial nature, just as the literal word "flesh" speaks of the outside or visible part of the human body. However, when a person does not perceive anything in the (apostolic) Law beyond its external or superficial component, it does becomes "carnal" in a negative sense, turning Girgashite and woefully incomplete, making its follower permanently imperfect (v19).
The fact that the Lord only uses anopheles in Titus 3:9 and Hebrews 7:18 reveals the following fact: When the Girgashite spirit takes hold of the apostolic endowment of laws and judgements, it regresses the person from the Melchizedek priesthood to the Aaronic priesthood and from New-Covenant closeness to God (v19) to Old-Covenant separation from God. The person is then left dabbling and babbling in shadows, squabbling about superficial wisdom of no eternal value.
"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect." (Hebrews 10:1)
"1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." (Hebrews 8:1-6)
The word "vain" at the end of Titus 3:9 quoted above was translated from the Greek word mataios, which is derived from the word maten meaning "in vain, fruitless". Interestingly enough, just like anopheles, maten is only used twice in Scripture, in the verses below, which emphasise the connection between eris and Girgashite teachers:
"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:9)
The word "envying" at the end of Romans 13:13 was translated from the Greek word zelos, which appears 17 times in the New Testament. Interestingly enough, it is used 8 times in a positive way to denote a righteous zeal consistent with God's nature and 9 times in a negative way. This fact is lost in the KJV translation, since the KJV (and other) translators are prone to translating the word differently, depending on whether it is being used positively or not. This inconsistent translation is ironically consistent with the matriarchal believer's understanding of anger and wrath. Having been indoctrinated that all "anger" and "hatred" is evil, matriarchal believers are completely unable to discern that a believer in the Spirit of God will at times become very "angry" and manifest great "hatred". Consider, for example, the first time that the Spirit of God chooses to use the word zelos in Scripture, which is verse 17 of the following passage, translated as "zeal":
"13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." (John 2:13-17)
Notice how the word zelos is used to express a consuming passion that causes you to do "outrageous" and even "violent" things. Therefore, we can infer that zelos involves a strong manifestation of left-handed emotions. Notice also how Yeshua's zelos was triggered by what He saw at the Temple, meaning that it was stirred by something that He judged as extremely inappropriate and out of place. This means that zelos has a strong right-handed, apostolic component, since the apostolic endowment enables the issuing of righteous judgements.
The next time zelos appears in Scripture is in verse 17 of the following passage, translated as "indignation":
"16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. 17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison." (Acts 5:17-18)
Notice how the religious leaders were filled with zelos as they saw a multitude following after the "lowly" apostles. This reveals a strong component behind zelos: the element of jealousy. This is why the English word "jealous" is actually derived from the Greek word zelos, and it is the reason why zelos was translated as "jealousy" in the following verse:
"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:2)
The word zelos also appears in a positive sense in verse 27 of the following passage, translated as "indignation":
"26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries" (Hebrews 10:26-27)
Notice how the passage above uses the word zelos in the context of God's judgements, which emphasises its spiritual connection to the apostolic endowment of wisdom and judgements. Notice also that the word zelos is associated with "fire", which reinforces its connection to passion and strong emotions.
In a negative sense, passions are most directly associated to the Canaanite spirit, since, as we have studied before, that is the spirit of low, soulish passions. As we have also shared before, Canaanites are "pastors gone bad". Hence, we can infer that the endowment that is most directly related to passions from the soul is the pastoral endowment. This makes sense if we consider that the other 4 ministries have a less direct link to the soul and passions: The 3 "male" ministries of apostle, prophet, and evangelist, for example, are more spirit-based than soul-based, which minimises their direct connection to passions from the soul; and, as we have shared before, teachers are by nature more "methodical" and "mechanical", which makes them less "emotional" and "passionate" than most people. By contrast, the pastoral endowment is intrinsically designed to minister to issues of the soul, constantly empathising with people in pain. This inherent ability to experience strong emotions on behalf of people is what leads to pastors becoming vulnerable to Canaanite passions.
From all of the above, we can safely conclude that zelos is strongly related to the Canaanite spirit in a negative sense and to God's pastoral endowment in a positive sense. This connection is further emphasised by the linkage between zelos and jealousy that we saw earlier. As we have shared before, Canaanite pastors are prone to an adulterous possession of the souls that they are called to care for. This derives from the pastor's inherent tendency to connect emotionally with others and to care for people who are in a situation of need; this leads soulish pastors to patronise those whom they care over, deeming them as needy souls that would never survive without them. Given that they must "stand over" the needy person to bind his wounds and nurse him back to health, soulish pastors begin to deem themselves superior to the needy person that they are attending to. And, as they "handle" the needy, weaker person almost at will during their "nursing" duties, they become convinced that they own him, growing so attached to him that they refuse to let him go, even if the needy person is healthy enough to move on. You may want to consider the plot of Stephen King's 1987 novel "Misery" for a more "graphic" description of what pastors spiritually do to other believers as they act in their unrighteous zelos (as some of you may know, that novel was the basis of a 1990 film with Kathy Bates and James Caan).
The last 2 times that zelos appears in Scripture is in verse 14 and 16 of James chapter 3, translated as "envying":
"14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." (James 3:14-16)
[The word "sensual" was poorly translated from the Greek adjective psychikos, which literally means "soulish"]
Notice how zelos is characterised by the Holy Spirit as "bitter" in verse 14. As we have shared before, bitterness, when referred to in a negative sense, speaks of Canaanite souls that resent God's judgements (in a positive sense, bitterness speaks of a righteous soul who resents man's unrighteous judgements). This once again emphasises the spiritual connection between zelos and Canaanite pastors, and it also reinforces its connection to judgement-making, for it emphasises the linkage between zelos and a deep sense of injustice. A person with zelos (whether righteous or unrighteous) derives this sense of injustice from a sense of "inappropriateness", i.e. from a sense that a person is being taken inappropriately by someone to whom he or she does not belong.
As you may have noticed already, zelos is linked to "wisdom" in James 3:15 (quoted above). This yet again emphasises its connection to judgement-making, since wisdom is for the making of judgements. All of this points to an important truth: The more you operate in wisdom and judgement-making, the more zelos you will experience in your life. Any "wisdom" that denies emotional "passion" is a stale wisdom, a detached wisdom that has no heart connection (James 3:14) to the truth it claims to know. Such soulish "wisdom" devolves into the false knowledge described in the following passage:
"1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him." (1 Corinthians 8:1-3)
True wisdom is not "aloof". On the contrary, true wisdom creates a deep soul identification with truth, which will inevitably lead to strong emotional reactions. Even so, these passionate reactions will be laden with impartial objectivity and a "lack of self".
It is worth noting that, in James 3:16, the Spirit declares that the pair "zelos & strife" produces the pair "confusion & every evil (poneros in Greek) work". Because of the order of the words in each pair, we can infer that zelos leads primarily to "confusion" and "strife" primarily to "every evil work" (though this does not deny the role of zelos in "every evil work" and the role of "strife" in confusion). The connection between zelos and "confusion" (or chaos) is evident in what happened at the Temple, as narrated in John 2:13-17. When zelos consumed Yeshua, tables and chairs were violently overturned, coins were strewn all over the ground, animals were forced to scatter quickly, and doves flew about chaotically. As we shared earlier, zelos is used positively in Scripture 8 times and negatively 9 times. Therefore, we can infer that the chaos caused by zelos must be judged by the nature of the zelos that causes it. Righteous, passionate zelos will produce chaos that is acceptable to God, and unrighteous zelos will produce chaos destructive of God's purposes.
The word "confusion" in James 3:16 was translated from the Greek word akatastasia, which is derived from the prefix a meaning "without" and the verb kathistemi meaning "to establish according to (down from)", which, in turn, speaks of building on top of a foundation. As shown by passages such as Proverbs 3:19, Proverbs 9:1, and Ephesians 2:20, the endowment most directly related to "foundations" is the apostolic endowment of wisdom and judgements. Therefore, we can say that the "confusion" caused by zelos topples things from the "wisdom and judgements" foundation that it stands on. Hence, when zelos is righteous, it topples structures and attitudes that are founded on a wrong judgement system, clearing the way for a new, righteous foundation to be laid. By contrast, when zelos is unrighteous, it topples structures and attitudes that were founded on righteous judgements and wisdom, enabling the building of structures that are founded on anarchical, Canaanite passions.
The word zelos also appears in verse 2 of the following passage, translated as "zeal":
"1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Romans 10:1-3)
The word "knowledge" at the end of verse 2 was translated from the Greek word epignosis, which is derived from the prefix epi meaning "upon" or "above" and the word gnosis meaning "knowledge". As we have shared before, the word gnosis speaks of knowledge at the heart level, as opposed to the mind level. This again points to how zelos is related to an intimate, personal connection to a "truth". In the case of unrighteous zelos, the "truth" in question is actually a falsehood with which a Canaanite-passions connection has been made.
As we have shared so far, zelos is spawned by judgement-making. Therefore, Romans 10:2 points to the connection between epignosis and the making of judgements. This connection to wisdom and judgements is emphasised in verse 17 of the following passage, where epignosis is translated as "knowledge":
"16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:16-23)
As shown by the passage above, a true epignosis of God will inevitably be accompanied by a manifestation of deep wisdom and revelation, and a true fulfilment of the Church's purpose on Earth (v23) cannot happen without such a manifestation. Therefore, it is so saddening and angering to God that the Church has so easily settled for such shallow "wisdom" full of platitudes and half-truths. It is no wonder that the Church has been unable to fill the Earth with God's Presence.
"6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 3:6-7)
The word "knowledge" in the phrase "knowledge of the truth" at the end of verse 7 above was translated from epignosis, which emphasises its connection to the apostolic endowment of judgements, since truth and judgements are inextricably intertwined. As shown by the passage above, those who allow themselves to be swayed by "female" (i.e. soulish) Canaanite passions can never reach the epignosis of truth, regardless of all the learning they may engage in. At best, their learning leads to nothing more than mental knowledge; at worst, their learning leads to the establishment of falsehoods that are defended with Canaanite, vengeful passion.
From all of the above, we can conclude that the pair "strife and envying" points to how the apostolic endowment is distorted by Girgashite teachers and Canaanite pastors, i.e.- the 2 distorted "female" ministries that comprise the pastoral matriarchy. This means that the matriarchal spirit degrades the apostolic to unGodly "strife and envying".
When the Girgashite spirit takes hold of the apostolic endowment, it reduces it to a superficial, "skin-level" wisdom, a wisdom of the "flesh" devoid of true revelation. As it does, it begins to divide people into factions that rally around various "wisdoms", with each faction defending their position in endless, futile debates that produce no spiritual benefit. This means that the apostolic endowment, which is supposed to be used for growth-inducing judgements, is turned into a tool to make superficial judgements about sterile words that produce no real growth.
By contrast, when the Canaanite spirit takes hold of the apostolic endowment, it turns it into emotional indignation that is based on heart "knowledge" of falsehoods that are mistakenly held as "foundational truths". Because it is founded on falsehoods, this unrighteous indignation becomes jealous over things that are "none of their business", meaning that it starts to take adulterous possession of people and things that do not belong to them. As this unrighteous zeal is acted on, it creates unnecessary chaos that shakes people and things off of righteous foundations. Whereas the Girgashite spirit turns the apostolic endowment into a weapon for stagnation and subtle regression, the Canaanite spirit turns it into a weapon for rapid and devastating regression. Even so, the devastating nature of Canaanite zeal must not force us to conclude that all emotional zeal is devoid of apostolic wisdom. In fact, the more you grow in God's apostolic endowment, the more prone you will be to experiencing intense emotional zeal as you discern the inappropriateness of people and things that defy God's Lordship and ownership. You will then understand that the wrath expressed by God in the so-called "Old Testament" has nothing to do with "Old" versus "New" Testament but rather with how much your heart has intimate knowledge (epignosis) of His Truth.
Those who have broken away from the matriarchal spirit will be quick to see the same wrath throughout the so-called "New Testament", and they will be aware that God's apostolic nature is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
There is more to say regarding Romans 13, but we shall do so (if God allows it) in a future article.