The Pecking Order

January 10, 2000

I mentioned to the latter rain list the issue of the pecking order several days ago and received many responses the next day in agreement. The list is heavily in the prophetic and coming to one accord on this is from the Lord. One mentioned that God is stirring others on this issue and if that is the case, then the first trumpet is being blown. You will have to read on to see what I mean, it is a collective effort and not something I can even put my own name on. This is something that I would have to positively speak out with on my site. For most of you, that means nothing, but for me, it would mean a few thousand people a week seeing it and I need to be careful. Glory to God. I cannot just rush out and do it, so I waited unto Sunday morning so I could go to church and pray about it and seek confirmation. My wife and I picked a Holiness church that we had never been to before to visit on the far side of town. We sat through the singing and prayers and words from the Lord and then the pastor got up and said, "please open your Bibles to the fourth chapter of Revelation, the first verse" and then proceeded to preach on the first trumpet and the open door. Praise God for His goodness, He is right on time and it's up to us to spread the message.

Thanks for bearing with me through all my failings people. I still love you and am praying for you all.


The Nicolaitans

The doctrine of the Nicolaitans was mentioned to the church of Pergamos of the seven churches of Asia in the Apocalypse. It was a symbolic name of a party that represented those who established a ruling class over the rest of the people in the church by exalting fleshly leadership and developing a "pecking order." This doctrine was hated by Jesus who warns the people to repent or else "I will come upon you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth." The same warning illustration applied to those that abused grace, which led to licentiousness from the example of Baalam, seducing Christians to fornication and tampering with idolatry. The individual overcomer is allowed to eat of the hidden manna and given a white stone with a new name written in it.

The Nicolaitans were mentioned by Iraneus in his treatise "Against Heresies" in the second century as they who are an offshoot of the knowledge which is falsely so-called, mentioning that they "lead lives of unrestrained indulgence." There is no absolute proof that the heretic Nicolas was the Deacon of the same name from Antioch of the seven deacons in the book of Acts, but Iraneus supposed him to be so. Ignatius mentions the Nicolaitans also, so there was in fact a heretical group existent at that time. Nicolas the deacon was perhaps confused with another Nicolas, the bishop Nicolas of Samaria who was a heretic in the company of Simon Magus.

The word Nicolaitans comes from Greek nikao, to conquer or overcome, and laos, which means people and which the word laity comes from. The two words together especially means the destruction of the people and refers to the earliest form of what we call a priestly order or clergy which later on in church history divided people allowing for leadership other than the Lord Jesus Christ. A good translation of Nicolaitan would be "those who prevail over the people." This clerical system later developed into the papal hierarchy of priests and clergy over the laity. The Council of Trent stated that "If anyone shall say that there is not in the Catholic Church a hierarchy established by the divine ordination, consisting of bishops, presbyters and ministers, let him be anathema." This very idea was taken over by the Protestants with their own corruption of church leadership. Another of the seven churches, the Church of Ephesus was commended for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans. The wrong separation of the clergy from the laity is a great evil in His sight and God hates the lust for religious power. There is an ungodly spiritual authority in the Church today, which is nothing more than the prideful spirit of control, manipulation, domination and intimidation.

Faithful believers who have put on Christ Jesus, are all God's laity. Peter exhorted us to "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords over God's heritage but being examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away." Shepherds serve the sheep but the wolves that clothe themselves with so-called leadership and spiritual authority serve themselves, thinking that they serve God. If you want a spiritual crown throughout eternity you must first give up your authority and leadership at the foot of Jesus. In these things we must come out and separate from the Babylonian wolves of the apostasy in sheep's clothing that will not give up their faded crowns, and become holy if we would not partake of her plagues. This is the Bride of Christ, not the interlopers and usurpers called godly who would lead you astray into the mystery of iniquity through fleshly leadership. Jesus wants servants who will defer the authority and care for His sheep. Different people in the church have different gifts and ministries from God, but all are of equal importance to the well being of the body.

Immediately after John the revelator received the message to the seven churches, a door was opened in Heaven. The very first voice that John heard was as a trumpet talking with him which said, "Come hither and I will show you things, which must be hereafter." The trumpets will be sounding in these last days and this is the first one. John was given a vision of the very throne room of God, and the true pecking order, and the way in which that authority conducts itself. John is carried in the spirit to this place with the 7 Spirits of God. Round about this throne were 24 seats for 24 elders clothed in white with golden crowns upon their heads. Now we do not know who these elders are or how much power and authority they have, but if anyone has bragging rights for a high ministry they have attained, it would have to be these 24 elders. Every time they hear the 4 living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to God, they fall down prostrate, worship Him and cast their crowns before the throne of God. Now if Jesus said that we should pray "let it be on earth as it is in heaven," no one has any business at all claiming a position over any other person as it always leads to abuse. God is now demanding that we throw down our crowns. Either we are obedient and the crowns are cast down or the Lord Himself will take them away.

Those in the New Testament never confirmed or bestowed leadership, not once. In all cases, Jesus was the true leader and His true followers were given ministerial functions as servants in the church, never leadership positions. There were no clergy as distinguished from laity. All the laoi of Christ were God's lot, inheritance, or clergy. The elders and overseers among them were divinely inspired and endowed "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ." Those in leadership positions in the church today are acting in the flesh according to the pride of their calling. It is important that we not step out of Gods will into any kind of presumption through leadership. Many abuse the power and use it according to their spiritual pride and God is now calling them to change their way of thinking or He will personally come against them.

We need to be suspicious of anyone who wants us to follow them into the Kingdom. If we are to meet Jesus as His Bride, we need to have a mind-set that we only want to follow Jesus. The best that we can do to get others into the kingdom is to point them to our only leader Jesus Christ. As true Christians, we are here to serve and minister and must reject any kind of pecking order and separate from those who will now teach otherwise. If we love these godly leaders enough, we will be praying for them and imploring them to give up their crowns. Judgment begins at the house of God and this seems to be the first step, if it is true that God is stirring up others on this same issue then the first trumpet is being sounded. Those that will be entering into the kingdom will be walking shoulder to shoulder marching in one rank behind our One Lord, Jesus Christ. It is time for all of us to take a stand on this and make sure that we are all called to work together in the ministry as one Body headed by Jesus.

The carnal mind will never understand what we are trying to do here. Jeremiah prophesies of the last days, "A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means and my people love to have it so: and what will you do in the end thereof?" This is our last chance to get it right, many are called but few are chosen.

The Lord said to His disciples, "You know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you but whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister. And whosoever of you will be the chiefest shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many." This is the opposite of the wisdom of the world in regards to leadership and authority, the key here is dominion and sovereignty is the issue. The greatest among us are those that would be the servant or slave to the most of us with the authority to love, minister and serve, not to lead. We are only beginning to see this and God is calling us out of Babylon. What we do see are those attempting to gain a false authority that puts them in a position to be served and recognized by the most. As true apostles and prophets are raised up, you will see men and women who are absolutely sold out to the concept of servanthood and being poured out in love upon their brothers and sisters.

We have those called to leadership conferences, youth leaders, apostolic leadership, church leaders and all kind of leaders. We hear good things from them that would lead us to change our mind about leaders in the church but we cannot, we must reject the pecking order every single time or suffer rebuke and be cut off. If we are to have true restoration, we need to restore the apostolic and reject fleshly leadership by not even being called leaders. Jesus should be our only leader; true authority speaks for itself. We will not be saying, I of this apostle or part of this leadership or that denomination but only having one Lord, one Master and one Teacher, that of Jesus and none other. As Paul would say, those that think they are somewhat add nothing. Jesus is sending forth His apostles. Paul says that we should all desire to prophesy allowing the Lord to speak through us. The great Commission gives us the mandate to proclaim the good news and do the work of an evangelist and we should all guide and pastor the sheep, teaching them the right way to go. No lords among them but Jesus.

There is in the world today a tremendous cry from the people of God, a travail coming forth touching the very heart of God. The shepherds are not leading the sheep into this outpouring, the people are entering in spite of the restraint that the shepherds are trying to put on them. The reason that the "leaders" do not want the Presence of the Lord in the midst of the congregation is that they will have to relinquish their crowns. These blind leading the blind have for too long demanded to have praises sung to them as if they were to be anything but a servant to the people. Now is the time that if a man is a prophet he should be saying like Zechariah, "I am no prophet, rather a tiller of the ground."

The whirlwind of the Lord is going forth in fury. This is God's truth we speak and He is pronouncing judgment on the church age preachers as we enter the kingdom age. The Lord is about to bring an everlasting reproach and perpetual shame on those who will not come to one accord. If church leaders do not lay down their crowns before Jesus as Lord, they will not be singing the praises of a new song with us but weeping alone between the porch and the altar. We as ministers are given to humanity as a sacrifice offering. Just as Jesus laid His life down for the brethren, we are to lay our own lives down. Jesus did not come to lord it over humanity, but to lay His life down for it; we should do the same.

When sheep follow other sheep they will perish.
Sheep following sheep can only see sheep butt before them.
When there is no vision, sheep perish.
We are all called to follow The LAMB, our Shepherd, not other sheep.

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