Who is the final authority in your life? Is it the Word of God, is it Jesus?” The real answer comes when your faith is tested. Because whatever you do under pressure, that’s where your real authority lies. It is important for you to face who and what is your final authority.
If we recognise that we are an Ecclesia, a church that is a called-out group of people that are authorised to pass legislation, to make rules, to exercise government on behalf of the people. The big deal of what we are called to do, is to be authority on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ, for God’s people, on the earth.
In Acts 19 we find the Apostle Paul arriving at Ephesus and for three months he preaches in the synagogue about the Kingdom of God. Contrary to what he has done in many other places when opposition arose, he goes away from the synagogue and from the people that stood against him to where he’s accepted. You will find that this happens in the life of an apostle, a special messenger, where there are times and places where God will call him to go specifically, and then he will meet with resistance. And then the time will come where God will lead him to withdraw, and go to another place so that the Word of God can spread – to the six other churches mentioned in Revelation.
When you’re called you flow with the Holy Spirit, then you’ve got to go where He leads you so that the release of the gospel can happen. Sometimes He’ll want you to exercise Ecclesia authority, and that will have repercussions, consequences to people and circumstances will happen around that. That’s what you have to do when you’re called to do something for the Lord.
Acts 19:20-26 God began to work through all of Asia. All the people that heard about the Way, the kingdom of God, came to burn their books about magic, about accessing the power of other gods. The value of the books equaled 50 000 pieces of silver. The amount measures the transforming of people’s hearts away from something that they had put great value into purchasing and releasing it for something that they couldn’t buy, but they had to believe it. But then a guy named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Diana, says, “We’re in danger of losing our power of our prosperity, because they are taking the reason for prosperity away from the people. If people stop believing in the great goddess, Diana, then we have no more job.” This caused a great uproar in the city. 28 Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” (Acts 19:28 NKJV).
³⁰ And when Paul wanted to go into the people, the disciples would not allow him. (Acts 19:30 NKJV) When did they get such authority over the apostle? Paul’s calling was pulling him, but the disciples recognized this is a moment when you’ve got to withdraw, not go fight. So where does that leave me? That leaves me with an accountability to the Ecclesia. There are times when the Lord will say to me, “Get at them, John. Say what you have to say, go after it.” Then there are times where some will say to me, “Pastor John, you’ve done your bit, it’s our turn now. This is not the time for you to fight anymore, this is a time for us to take the fight.” Watch the space. God is raising up others to take up the fight against the Nicolaitans. Against the Demetriuses of the world and speak for God about the way of God, the kingdom of God and Jesus.
In Revelation 1 and 2, God says to the church at Ephesus, “You guys have done so good, you have checked out false apostles, people that have called themselves apostles and people that are called, you’ve tested them, and you’ve stood the test. You’ve been patient. But this thing I have against you, you’ve lost your first love. But He says, “I like the fact that you are against the Nicolaitans.” To the church in Pergamos, He says, “Hey, I want to commend you for being able to live where satan’s throne is and to be where satan dwells, and stand there and live there, but I’ve got something against you and that is you love the Nicolaitans.”
This Nicolaitan thing is a big deal. It refers to a doctrine that at its core encourages worldly participation, leading people to indulge in sin and lower godly standards, and in this way, the Nicoliatian doctrine conquers God’s people. By accepting the fact that you can have an open mind about what is taught, and what to believe, and what next doctrine is the most prominent doctrine. The doctrine of the Nicoliatians came from Ephesus, which was the seat of many gods and from there it spread to Asia.
Our business is to cooperate with God, with the Holy Spirit, and with the Word of God, not with the system. So I asked you again, what is the final authority in your life? Is it your money? Your work? Your career? If you allow other things to have a higher priority in your life than this Ecclesia and what’s best for this Ecclesia; effectively, what happens is you put other things at a higher level of cooperation for you, than to cooperate with God.
If Jesus or our Heavenly Father is the greatest Father in the universe, then He’s not going to leave you the way you are headed in a direction that’s going to be harmful for you. He’s got to bring correction. He’s going to talk to you, but He’s also going to talk to the messenger that He sends to you. I’m here to say that the greatest value that you can bring to the Ecclesia, is to cooperate with God through the Ecclesia.”
What is going to be your biggest challenge? It’s already confronting you and God has already chosen to bring this out amongst us. “Great is the goddess Diana!” What does that translate to in our modern day world? “Great are the financial institutions of the world. They lend us money, so that we can buy houses and cars and goods. Do not talk against them. And that message of living debt-free – shut those apostles up, for their message will undermine all of our profitability going forward.” And the same goes for the medical institutions, sporting events, and the education system.
“I have this against you that you tolerate the Nicolaitans.” They are the compromising ones. “Have an open mind, have a free spirit. And you can pick and choose whatever you feel is the greatest. Go with the flow. Don’t make too much of a stand. Don’t be too radical. Don’t only just accept one God, you must be open-minded to all these gods.” It’s the spirit of Nicolaitans and it is the way that the church has been conquered.
Pastor John says, In my heart, I have a great appreciation for you. Because there are not many places in the earth that I could go and preach this message. There are not many people who would be ready to hear what I’ve just said. Because what I’ve taught here is radical, it’s revolutionary. And you have received it into your heart and have chosen to do something about it and say, “We are going to live like this Pastor John. And we don’t know what that whole journey is going to look like, but whatever God needs us to repent from, we will repent from it. And we will turn from that way so we no longer are compromised by the Nicolaiton message and we will turn back to our First Love. But I’ve got to start with repentance.”
God says, the blessing that you will receive is that I won’t remove your stick from the candlestick holder. You will not be removed from your assignment and your mission and the purpose that you were born for.
I have a deep, deep sense of gratitude and appreciation before the Lord for where we find ourselves as a church, for you all that are here with me. And now, we are in a place where we are requested by God to go big and bold, step in and step up. We are requested by the Holy Spirit to go for the maximum, the highest level attainable.
So, cooperation. As you go forward in your life, God wants you, the Holy Spirit wants you to cooperate with Him. If you take your logic and apply it to your decision that you will make for your future, please remember that you are applying logic to your future – not faith. There are things that God will have us pursue that will bring about the things that we are asking. How do we follow God with this process? He will lead us, He will guide us. He will never forsake us. He will never let us down.