Q & A - Fathers and sons
First posted: December 28, 2023
What is the true Biblical Way for being ordained into the 5-fold ministry office/s by the Lord Jesus Christ? How does ordination occur according to the Written Scriptures?
This question is related to what I have observed at our church, where the Apostle ordains mainly Pastors and Teachers to either start churches or Bible Colleges or to serve the congregation at the church. [A] prophet in [an] audio message says he is a spiritual son of Ap Theo and his wife. What are the hard-core truths in this Spiritual father-son relationship? Some biblical examples that are often cited during ordination and the binding "under authority requirement" thereafter are: Elijah and Elisha, Moses and Joshua, Paul and Timothy. Yet, when I examine these relationships, Elisha became prominent as a Prophet when Elijah was taken up, Joshua became [a] prominent conqueror when Moses had died, [and] Timothy took over from Paul. Similarly, even the 12 disciples assumed their roles after our Lord Jesus had died and resurrected from the dead and [was] taken up into heaven.
Regarding the question on ordination, asking oneself these questions may be of help:
Regarding the question on father-son relationships, the key is to realise that, in God's eyes, the father-son relationship is one of impartation, not hierarchical status. The false fathers use the title of "father" to establish a position of permanent superiority that imposes a debt of loyalty on others. The true fathers, by contrast, see the word "father" as a role, a responsibility, not as a title of nobility. They see their "sons" and "daughters" as their equals in terms of value, even if their sons and daughters are temporarily "smaller" than they are. A true father longs to see his child grow up and be as tall as, if not taller than, he is. A true father would not rejoice over a son whose growth is somehow stunted, even if a shorter son would mean that he could always "tower over" him. A true father does not see his son as "competition" but, instead, as an extension of himself, and he will wish for his son's success as much as he wishes his own (if not more). A true father is a constant sower of his own essence, his inner being, sowing and investing into his son (or daughter) to ensure that son's (or daughter's) maximum success. All of this is made evident when one asks oneself the following:
Many believers are familiar with the following passage, which happens to be the last 2 verses of the so-called "Old Testament":
"5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Malachi 4:5-6)
When Malachi 4:5-6 above says that the spirit of Elijah would come to turn the fathers towards the sons and vice versa, matriarchal believers are quick to see that as meaning that God will bring "reconciliation" to families with conflicts. They perceive it in that way because their matriarchal paradigms only allow them to understand things in terms of soul relationships and Canaanite emotionalism. However, that does not seem to be compatible with the nature of Elijah or John the Baptist (whom the Lord said had the spirit of Elijah). Neither Elijah nor John the Baptist were known as "proficient" in the pastoral department of "harmony", "diplomacy", and "family reconciliation". Instead, they were "harsh", "non-sociable", and willing to say what needed to be said with no regard for whose feelings would be hurt. Would God send such a person to bring soulish, feel-good reconciliation to families full of conflict? Also, why did God threaten to "smite the earth with a curse" if fathers and sons do not turn their hearts to each other? If He wanted families to "just get along", wouldn't He, as the "supreme father", want to set the example by trying even harder when families seemed unable/unwilling to resolve their conflicts (instead of cursing them)? Therefore, it is safe to say that God's message in Malachi 4:5-6 is about something else. Once the matriarchal interpretation is debunked and set aside, it is easier to discern the Spirit of God's explanation of the passage, which becomes even clearer when one considers who is asked to turn his heart first.
If the Lord's view of the father-son relationship is hierarchical, one would think that the first people called out by God in Malachi 4:5-6 would be the sons, meaning that God would have said, "he shall turn the hearts of the children to their fathers and the heart of the fathers to the children". Someone with a hierarchical perspective would emphasise obedience from the sons first before calling for any change in the fathers' behaviour. Therefore, it can be discerned that God's view is not hierarchical. The fact that He calls out the fathers first means that He does not see "fatherhood" as a badge of privilege to wave in front of the sons but, instead, as a position of responsibility and accountability. When one becomes a father, one does not gain a "privilege" or a "nobility title". Instead, one gains a burden and a responsibility, and one becomes immediately accountable for how one fulfils that burden and responsibility. Because of this, we can conclude that the turning of the fathers' hearts to their sons refers to fathers stopping the soul's cursed tendency to use their "fatherhood" to take advantage of their children. A father who turns his heart towards his son is one who will realise that he has a holy responsibility to nurture the potential of his son. Said in a few words, Malachi 4:6 speaks of fathers turning their "fatherhood" from a "hierarchical privilege" to a "sacred responsibility".
Taken from that perspective, the other half, i.e.- the sons turning their hearts towards their fathers, refers to sons recognising those who are truly acting as fathers towards them and being willing to submit to the anointing in them and to honour them, not out of legalistic duty, but out of the "debt of love" that the Spirit speaks of in Romans 13:8. Fathers who try to "collect" from their sons as if they were collecting a "tax" have not turned their hearts towards their sons and are still living in the Old Covenant of external compulsion. By contrast, fathers who live in the New Covenant and understand Romans 13:8 in their spirits do not "demand payment" from their sons. Why? Because they do not see their fatherly actions as a "favour" or "services rendered" but, instead, as duties that come with the position of "fatherhood". Old-Covenant, soulish fathers are always saying, "Quid pro quo, quid pro quo, my child". New-Covenant, spirit fathers give freely, not only because they see it as their duty to give, but because they want to give in grace what was given to them in grace. As Yeshua said, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give". (Matthew 10:8).
The curse against the earth that God threatens to apply at the end of Malachi 4:6 is a severe curse against the Girgashite spirit. This is because the Girgashite spirit is the spirit of earthliness, and it is the spirit most directly related to the soulish submission to hierarchies and to the natural paradigms and traditions of men. This is why it is no coincidence that the last verse before Malachi 4:6 that has both the Hebrew words erets ("earth" in Malachi 4:6) and naka ("smite" in Malachi 4:6) is Jeremiah 46:13, which speaks of how Nebuchadnezzar would smite (naka) the land (erets) of Egypt. As we have shared before, Egypt is most directly related in Scripture to the Girgashite spirit of earthliness, which confirms that the curse in Malachi 4:6 is indeed against the Girgashite spirit that promotes a false sense of hierarchical fatherhood. As a side note, it is no spiritual coincidence that the last plague against Egypt was the one that killed Pharaoh's firstborn son, thus showing how hierarchical fathers end up destroying the future of the children under them.
It is interesting to this writer that the KJV and other versions translate naka as "smite" in Malachi 4:6, especially because naka is the word constantly used in Scripture to refer to killing. As we have shared before, killing is related to the apostolic endowment of wisdom and judgements in a positive sense and to the Jebusite spirit in a negative sense. Therefore, the Lord is declaring that He will unleash apostolic judgements against those who refuse to let go of the matriarchal understanding of hierarchical fatherhood. This is quite ironic, given that people who call themselves "apostles" are usually the first to preach on the importance of others recognising their "fatherhood", which they do to establish themselves as permanently superior to their "children".
In his question, the brother in Christ refers to examples where the "son" blossoms into his calling after the "father" has left, as in the case of Moses with Joshua and Elijah with Elisha. It must be emphasised that, in these 2 particular cases, the "father" had to leave because he had spiritual attitudes that were acting as stumbling blocks to the "son".
As we have studied before, Moses' stumbling block was his refusal to let God judge and regenerate the people of Israel. When Moses delayed God's judgement, he spared the Israelite fathers' lives for a season, but he did so at the expense of the Israelite sons' futures, causing a 38-year delay that Joshua had to endure before he and the true believers could cross the River Jordan and embark on the conquest of the Promised Land. This is why Joshua could not enter into the fullness of his calling until Moses and the judgement-hindering soul in him were out of the way. Moses' pastoral heart became stuck in the black-horse stage, making it impossible for Joshua to operate in his green-horse, uncompromising calling until Moses was gone.
As we have also studied before, Elijah's stumbling block was his belief that the miracles wrought through him were the result of how "special" and "privileged" he was. He did not want to admit that God could work through others what He had worked through him. This is why he was so unwilling to anoint the people that God had called him to anoint, Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha (Judges 19:15-18). As you may know, Elijah only anointed Elisha, and he did so very, very reluctantly (as recounted in 2 Kings 2:1-14), but not before he used Elisha as his "luggage carrier" for a while (which was why Elisha was the only one that Elijah approached out of the 3). It was Elisha who eventually enabled/anointed the other two (Hazael directly, as per 2 Kings 8:7-15, and Jehu indirectly, as per 2 Kings 9:1-13). Therefore, Elijah had to be removed from the Earth before Elisha could come into the fullness of his prophetic anointing. Since Elijah would just not let go of his mantle and impart it to others, God had to physically force him out so that he could finally release the mantle into the hands of Elisha, who then walked in a double portion of Elijah's spirit.
As a parenthesis, someone may wonder why Malachi 4:5-6 above speaks of Elijah if Elijah was truly such an inadequate father figure. The answer to this requires distinguishing between the spirit of Elijah and the soul of Elijah. In Malachi 4:5-6, the Spirit of God declares that He will send "Elijah the prophet", which emphasises the prophetic spirit that operated in Elijah when he was connected to the anointing (especially since the prophetic endowment is the most "overtly spiritual" of all the endowments). Regardless of the man's flaws, that prophetic spirit in him was legitimate, and it is that spirit that the Lord is referring to in Malachi 4:5-6. Unfortunately, because of Elijah's soul contamination, a separation began to form between the prophetic spirit in him and the man himself, which is why Malachi 4:5 says "Elijah the prophet" and not "Elijah" alone. Interestingly, this soul contamination in Elijah also manifested itself in John the Baptist, who without hesitation recognised Yeshua as the Mashiach in the spirit when he saw Him at the River Jordan, but who later began to question Yeshua, sending disciples to ask Him whether He was really the awaited Messiah (Luke 7:20).
In his question, the brother in Christ also refers to two other father-and-son examples: Paul with Timothy and Yeshua with the 12 disciples. In the case of Paul with Timothy, it can be said that Timothy and Paul were not always together, even though Timothy did accompany Paul (and Silas) to many places, but it is clear that Timothy could operate "on his own" and did not depend on Paul's presence to operate in the ministerial endowments God had gifted him with. He did have some "growing" to do, and Paul would occasionally exhort him as the Spirit led him:
"2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; 4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:2-10)
Notice how Paul emphasises the gift of faith that was imparted to Timothy from his grandmother and mother, which shows how he wanted Timothy to see that he had spiritual gifts given to God through others, independently of Paul. Notice also how Paul exhorts him to shed any spirit of fear or shyness (for Timothy was susceptible to the Perizzite spirit) and to operate in the spirit of dunamis power, agape love, and a saved/whole mind. This shows how it was important for Paul that Timothy shed any spirit of dependence and stand on his own in the authority of God. Paul never attempted to make Timothy feel as if he owed all the spiritual authority in him to Paul. He constantly pointed to what God had gifted Timothy with so that Timothy could rise up and fulfil his calling in the Lord. This is why Timothy had no problem continuing to function as a teacher, an apostle (1 Thessalonians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 2:6), and an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5) after Paul left the Earth. According to wikipedia.org, Paul died around 64 or 65 AD, and it is believed that Timothy died around 97 AD, possibly as a martyr, stoned to death by angry pagans as he preached to them, attempting (at the age of 80) to halt a procession in honour of the goddess Diana. This means that Timothy did not shrink like a violet after Paul passed away but instead grew in his apostolic and evangelistic authority. Why? Because he knew that, though he had a received a strong impartation from Paul, his ultimate authority and spiritual qualities derived from God Himself.
As a parenthesis, it is also worth noting how Paul never refers to Timothy in a demeaning or patronising manner in Scripture. On the contrary, he often refers to Timothy as his "brother" (2 Corinthians 1:1, Colossians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 3:2, and Philemon 1:1). He even says "Timothy, brother and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ" in 1 Thessalonians 3:2, emphasising that Timothy's authority stood alongside of his instead of under his.
In the case of Yeshua with the disciples, Yeshua's need to depart was obviously not due to any unrighteous hindrance He was causing. Instead, it was so that He could amplify the level of impartation as He went through Death and Sheol and then ascended to Heaven to then send the Spirit of Truth:
"5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? 6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (John 16:5-15)
As Yeshua physically departed from their presence, He also made it possible for them to stop depending on Him for everything, which is what many of them had started to do (as shown in Matthew 8:25). They needed to mature and to operate in Him "on their own", without having to see Him physically in front of them. A good father will always want his sons and daughters to eventually "stand up on their own" and to not be soulishly dependent on them. Clearly, a good father will be with them as they grow and are in need of his attention and provision, but, once they have reached the age of maturity, he will want them to operate in the endowments inside of them without having to weakly reach for "daddy" or "mummy" for everything. In the case of God the Father, we are to always be "dependent" on Him in a way, but it is a not a soulish dependence where He does everything for us as we sit idly by. Instead, it is a "dependence" that is more of a "connectedness" where we are walking with Him in Oneness (as opposed to being carried by Him like lame children everywhere). It is a "dependence" or "connectedness" where God does things through us as we begin to manifest His very nature. It is an internal father-son connection to His very essence that can only be achieved with a New-Covenant heart. Old-Covenant "fathers" can only interact with their "children" from the outside, from behind a veil; their "children" may try to imitate them in some ways, but it will always be a superficial mimicry, for there is never a true impartation of essence between the "father" and the "child". Sadly, the souls of Old-Covenant "fathers" enjoy this limited mimicry because it not only reaffirms that they are "privileged" above their children (since the children cannot "do" all that they can do) but because it guarantees that the "children" will always need them around to function "properly".
In short, we saw that Scripture reveals how ordination is really from God, especially under the New Covenant. Man has constantly tried to get in the middle of that ordination process in order to gain authority over the souls of others, an authority that is not legitimate. The men and women who lived in the so-called "Old Testament" times, people like Jeremiah, Daniel, and Deborah, looked directly to God and received an ordination from Him. They received it by faith, and they operated in a New-Covenant relationship with Him, even when everyone around them remained in the Old Covenant. Now that Yeshua has come, the New Covenant has become readily available to all so that anyone who believes can instantly operate in it without the hassle and turmoil that people in the "Old Testament" days had to go through. Even so, the Church's backsliding souls refuse to embrace the New Covenant because the Old Covenant is more "convenient" and does not require surrendering things that the matriarchal soul likes to cling to. As a result, the Church's believers prefer to think of ordination in an Old-Covenant and soulish way, rejecting those who are truly ordained in the Spirit of God. The pastoral matriarchy rejoices in this because it allows them to maintain their soul-centred control over God's people and the things of the Spirit.
We also saw how being a true father involves the desire to impart of your essence to your sons and daughters so that they may be like you. By contrast, those trapped in the Old Covenant of superficial ordinations see "fatherhood" as a means to establish hierarchical superiority where the "sons" and "daughters" remain permanently "shorter" and "inferior" in quality when compared to their "fathers". To the Old-Covenant believer, being the "father" means having the right to collect on a never-ending debt of loyalty that the "sons" and "daughters" owe them. By contrast, New-Covenant believers see fatherhood as a responsibility where the father is the one permanently indebted to his sons and daughters by a debt of love (a debt that operates both ways). The New-Covenant believer knows that he or she is not to strive for hegemony over his or her brethren, knowing that God is the King of all and that we are to exercise an authority in the Anointing of the Spirit that flows in different directions depending on the circumstances.
We also saw how there is sometimes a need for "physical separation" (for lack of a better term) between the father and the son in order for the son to flourish. In fact, in some cases, the father's physical presence can actually serve as a severe stumbling block to the son's growth if the father has unresolved issues that he is unwilling to deal with (as was the case with Moses and Elijah). What is important to emphasise is that true fatherhood does not entail a permanent and soulish dependence where the son loses "authority" or "value" if the father is not "there".
We also saw how New-Covenant believers refuse the spirit of Egypt, which is a spirit that stubbornly clings to its paradigms and leads to the spiritual cursing unto death of its firstborn. New-Covenant believers choose instead to operate in the Spirit of Elijah, restoring true fatherhood and cursing those who cling to the false fatherhood of the Old Covenant, i.e.- the Church's Egyptian "fathers" and their complacent "children".