• GOD cannot lie, and he tells the truth all the time so that you will be free. JOHN 8:32; "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
• Men and Satan often twist that truth and make it into a lie to bring you into bondage. ROMANS 1:25; "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."
• The twisting of truth into a lie to captivate the minds of others is called "BEWITCHMENT". GALATIANS 3:1; "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?"
MATTHEW 23:8-12; "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9) And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10) Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11) But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12) And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."
Christ warned his disciples not to follow the practices of the Pharisees and Sadducees in seeking out such titles and recognition. Arrogance in the pulpit is a spiritual epidemic in many churches today. Respectfully recognizing someone by their rightful title isn't what Christ was addressing, but rather the wrong motives for doing so as well as placing to much importance on it which leads to self exaltation and sinful pride. Having or recognizing a person as a spiritual parent in the Lord is not wrong if that person has been responsible in large part for your coming to the Lord and development in Christ. They set and maintain a godly standard in Christ according to the Word of God that you can follow and won't be mislead by. People who haven't made such an investment or are misleading you don't deserve that type of recognition nor should ever seek it. Doing so is to seek ungodly preeminence and is sin. The apostle Paul called both Timothy and Titus his sons in the gospel as well as the entire church at Corinth because he had made that level of investment and loved them as such. Honor is given to those who earn it by servitude, not demand it by privilege of position. The higher your position the greater your level of servitude must be. Paul earned that respect and recognition by his "servitude" towards them for the LORD. He treated them as equals in the Kingdom of God and did not demand that they call him "father" nor seek to lord over them, but he warned them against others who would.
1st CORINTHIANS 4:14-17; "I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 15) For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16) Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. 17) For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church."
Titles have their place in that they signify function, not superiority before GOD. God is no respecter of persons, but does expect respect for ordained authority. ROMANS 2:11; "For there is no respect of persons with God." We are to possess the titles of our function, but not let the titles possess us and make us believe or portray ourselves as more than what we truly are. In the Kingdom of God titles such as "apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, bishop, elder, and even rabbi" are titles of servitude and not of rulership. The Bible says Yeshua the Messiah has made all born again believers both "kings and priests" unto God. REVELATION 1:6; "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." We are kings under the "King of kings" to rule over the earth and not over each other. REVELATION 5:10; "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." As priests we are all servants to YAH our father and brethren unto one another in love. There is no more slavery. We are all children of the Most High without special distinction above another in the sight of God Almighty. Men & Satan use lies to gain from your manipulation & pain, but the Lord Yeshua endured pain for your freedom & gain.
1st CORINTHIANS 7:22-23; "For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. 23) Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."
The popular false teaching of "covering" has deceived many into bondage under other men; teaching that a mortal human being can be the spiritual covering for another. The only times covering is used in scripture as it relates to mankind is in the case of a husband covering his wife. GENESIS 20:16; "And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother (Abraham) a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved." We are not to rule over one another as kings but to "rule", as in govern in the Church (not in people's personal lives) on the earth with the oversight of ministering the Word, setting a godly example, and in intercessory prayer for the saints of God. HEBREWS 13:7 & 17; "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. 17) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." This always means servitude in the Kingdom of God unto the people of God because we are working for the King Yeshua himself who is the only covering for us all. We are all to be "accountable" to one another in order to avoid and overcome sin regardless of title.
JAMES 5:16; "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
A man in Samaria mentioned in the Holy Scriptures and known in history as "Simon the Sorcerer" fooled and bewitched many by their own "lack of knowledge" with witchcraft called "sorceries" that appeared to be the genuine power of God. ACTS 8:9-11; "But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10) To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. 11) And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries." When your minister finishes preaching or teaching go and study what he/she said for yourself. ACTS 17:11; "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." If you can't ask genuine questions, or almost every answer leads back to the leader, or you are told that you're a subordinate and your submission is demanded in any way then grab your Bible and find you another place to worship, because where you are is either becoming or already is a "CULT" and they need to repent. Don't stay and become bewitched by them. Flee, be free, and stay free in Christ Yeshua the Lord, who has made you free. ~ I.J. West
JOHN 8:36; "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."