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N.T. leadership vs. O.T. leadership November 14, 2001

Posted by roopster in Bible, Bible Study, Christianity, Church, Church leadership, Religion.

In keeping with my previous blogs,

let’s begin a study on what I believe leadership is under the new covenant. There are many in the church who use Old Testament leadership principles and apply them to the church thereby creating environments of spiritual abuse.

The first thing that we need to establish is the significance between the 2 covenants, old and new, when in comes to how God relates to man.

In the Old Covenant, God primarily spoke through 3 groups of people, the prophet, the priest, and the king. They were God’s representatives to his people. In other words, God did not directly deal with the people but did so through one of those 3 groups.

However, in the new covenant, we are all kings and priests:

1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Revelation 1:6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

This applies to all of us who are a part of the Body of Christ. In other words, when it comes to our relationship with God, there is NO elite class of individuals (i.e. the prophet, priest, and king in the old covenant) in the new covenant.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

1 Cor. 3:5-7
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

There is no longer a select group of individuals between God and His children. There is now only ONE Mediator, Jesus.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.

So you see, the very foundation that today’s leaders attempt to build that they are somehow a part of an elite class that God is using to declare His Word is false. The Word of God is already declared.

In the old covenant, to question Moses was to question God. There is no “Moses” in the new covenant. In fact, new covenant leadership are servants:

Luke 22:25-26 “And [Jesus] said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But not so with you, but let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.”

Leaders in the church are there to help people follow their Shepherd – Jesus. They are there to teach people how to depend on their Guide, Helper, Counselor, Teacher – The Holy Spirit. They are not there to be their Shepherd. They are not there to be their Guide.



1. SpiritualMadMan - November 15, 2001

Paul,I agree with what you said.But, would hasten to add that there is ‘Positional Authority’ in the church today.Not because of an ‘elite class’ but because they *serve* the church is a position of responsibility.I believe part of the ‘double honor’ we are to give men of God is the respect due the position. Respect not homage…They are *not* an elite class. For God can raise up stones to be ministers just as surely as he can do so to replace people who refuse to praise Him.If (er when) judgement begins in the house of God… It’s going to be very interesting to see just who *really* is elite or not.There is one area that has not changed between OT and NT leadership…Both Paul and Moses were willing to sacrifice their eternal souls if it would save their target ministry.I don’t see such willingness to sacrifice from the current crop…

2. Pneumatika - November 16, 2001

Paul,I certianly appreciate your study here. I have, however, been learning some about what you call “OT leadership style.” I am not sure you are correct in this assesment, but you are reflecting truly on what we have both been taught or understood from our gentile Christian perspective and culture.I don’t feel I’m really qualified to say much about this other than I have a lot more to learn. As I come to a greater understanding of the revelation of God’s kingdom as understood by ancient Jewry, I am un-learning many of my preconceptions about how the earliest believers understood spiritual leadership and the way of walking.- that Pneumatika guy

3. Roopster - November 16, 2001

P-Guy,My main point on O.T. Leadership is that they directly spoke on behalf of God to the people. They were the mediators between God and man… No one had the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to lead them hence they were lead by the Word of the Prophet etc.Now we all have the Holy Spirit IN US.Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.So we no longer need to be lead by an individual representing God.Do you disagree with the above? That’s the point I wanted to make… I’m sure a comprehensive study of O.T. Leadership has many more aspects to it than my generalization.Paul

4. roopster - November 17, 2001

Here’s an interesting verse:1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.


5. Heretic - March 7, 2007

I agree with #3, however I don’t think that detracts from the fact that God does indeed ivest authority in men.

However, we’ve mis-defined what that authority is for. Authority’s purpose is to bring glory to God. It is to lead men and women from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.

It is not to micromanage the personal affairs of others, nor to be Lords over them.

Here’s a post I wrote on the subject:

This is something that is in great tension. Because while we are a priesthood of believers, there are different offices within the body – such as pastor, apostle, prophet, teacher. But we need to realize their role in our lives. It is to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. Not to be a go-between for them and God!


6. roopster - March 7, 2007


I agree. I’ll check out your post.


7. Peter - April 24, 2007


Hard to believe that this is such a foreign concept within the Body.

I would take one exception to what you say in that the NT doesn’t specifically teach the proper governance as the elder oversight with all of us being exactly the same is pretty clear.

Also clear is our Lord telling us not to be like unbelievers, lording it over one another, which is exactly what 99% of our fellow brothers and sisters now live under: a Western-business CEO model, with a Board of Governors with varying degrees of authority.

First off, may God have mercy on us as we are speaking of His Body.

I have two thoughts:

One, that there is something in us that wants a king, no different than the Israelites. Having provided shepherding to some younger brothers and sisters (same as you if I remember right) it is amazing how much elevation naturally happens and also the allure of being the “final” authority. With time, we all become catholics without some intervention. It is imperative for any who are functioning in the Body in that capacity to pull away from the adualtion and “respect”, not ever to get between any fellow saint and our Lord, and if required to leave a situation so that any unhealthy dependence gets fixed.

Second, the NT clearly shows there are two ways to oversee, one paid and one unpaid. The paid way has been the predominant way for the last two thousand years. It is not wrong, but not the best way, which the Holy Spirit clearly stated in Acts 20–Paul’s own self support and example that it is far better to give than recieve. (How many would still feel the “call” if they were no longer paid.) Under an unpaid system, naturally the workload would need to be spread amongst the elders and the differing gifts of function would become manifest.

Having said this, I have no doubt the His Church is just fine; that the unseen is progressing; that there is oneness and growth, but that no one of us nor any group will be able to claim credit; that there will always be a remnant.

Your brother,


8. Truthseeker - August 15, 2007

Peter, I love the idea that pastors are to lead people to the shepherd, not be the shepherd. In the O.T., God put Moses between Himself and man because man did not want to hear Him directly. This was never His plan!

I think I am being abused by my Christian friends, who are always exhorting me that I need to be under submission to a pastor — Outside of Romans 13, which I believe is about the government, do you know of any N.T. passages that support this?

9. Heretic - August 15, 2007


I think you need to look at Romans 13 again. I don’t think it means what you think it means!

Question: If Paul was advocating submission to the (Roman) government – then why did they martyr him for treason?

10. Trell Lee - January 28, 2008

I totlally agree, one must know how to rightly divide the word of truth. 2tim 2:15.The bible says God is spirit and they that worship him MUST worship him in spirit and truth.If jesus said it than we Must obey it. The scriptures are of know private interpretation 2 Peter 2:10. God knows how to communicate. when we say we cannot understand the bible alike we say God doesnt know how to communicate.let’s follow New testament Christianity. Paul said it himself in Gal 3:20&21. If righteousness meaning salvation came by the law then Christ is dead in vain.

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