by John Greene
The word responsibility may well be the watch word in American culture. When you see programs in Europe and other places in the world, you don’t see or hear the politicking about personal duty in quite the same way. Authorities and their mouthpieces that seek to rule social settings use this word as a legal tool to dictate your personal duties to those around you. Even on the news, especially the local news, you are continually being told what you are responsible for. This moralizing is almost impossible to avoid. You are being told what your duty is, what is expected or demanded. On the other hand, the use of the word accountability seems to be on the decline. (“Culture: Prompting Falsehood Through the Lie“; “Building a Counterfeit Kingdom“)
While the words “responsibility” and “accountability” are considered as legal words today, they are both routinely expressed internally as a self-measuring tool. Yet, how much better to consider ourselves as answerable to our Father? This is truth and His righteousness. In caring and loving Christians, personal answerability is expressed in reaction to any given situation in life. As a disciple, to be answerable is proactive, as disciples notify others about what is to come, as watchmen of the times, and of the condition of souls. (Matthew 18:18-20) In this way, the terrible states of many people are able to be turned around as they repent from the past and focus on the purposes that all genuine Christians have. (Matthew 28:18-20) On the other hand, the Beasts (of man’s system) demand your duty based on their terms, easily pointing the finger elsewhere when convenient. (Revelation 13:14-15; “Authority Scriptures“; “The Role of Authority in your Life“; Romans 14:11-12; Ezekiel 3:18-19)
The reality is that responsibility and accountability are tools of the world, increasing or magnifying a burden of expectation that is placed on you, a favorite word or concept of world leaders of all kinds. Accountability is reporting or performing what is a considered duty to authority. Even though many Christian denominations and sects don’t properly apply authority or regularly teach it as ‘doctrine‘, disciples of the Messiah are directly answerable to Elohim [YHWH] above all. (Mark 9:38-41) Reality has nothing to do with ‘religion,’ but scripture and personal relationship with YHWH through the Messiah and the Holy Spirit [Set Apart, Dedicated Ruach].
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” – Jeremiah 17:9, NKJV
How often do people minimize or deny what is known truth? What is false is often dressed up to look true, usually for the benefit of someone else in authority or some measure of authority. As a result, people build up a raft of rationalization for what is in no uncertain terms, a lie. With great finesse, people turn themselves into liars. This lie is most often for fairly useless purposes in the grand scheme of things, beyond building up the promoter of the lie. However, the lie reaches from the smallest child as he grows to the most important world leader. According to scripture, this condition started in Eden as man and woman turned aside from truth for the lie, preferring the deception because it made them ‘gods’.
As a result, people make themselves their own god or build their own gods based on a limitless ability to rationalize and create. Many look to leaders to save them or protect them from the pains and denials that have been built. They look to a man or men (yes, women too!) instead of relying on YHWH, the One that man and woman rejected so long ago because of deception and a clever lie. In this way, men become their own gods, driving themselves into the depths of spiritual poverty, neglect and desperation as they look for answers to their own created circumstances. (Mark 9:42-45; “Video: What is Idolatry?“; “The Idolatry Factor“; “YHWH’s Revolution“)
We’ve built layers of psychology and other ‘science’ to explain this limitless rationalizing and the pain that goes with the lie. Since a human ‘leader’ is required to set human limitations and rules, a ‘leader’ becomes required to mandate responsibility as the cultural lie flourishes. Responsibility to man becomes a fact of life and YHWH becomes second fiddle, if that. In this way, the teaching of Christ has diminished or little effect. Instead, multitudes have learned to look to themselves to provide or other men to provide what they cannot provide for. They live apart from the teaching of Yahshua [Jesus] and the power of the Holy Spirit. This fails time and time again, demonstrated without question through history. The insanity, repeating the same patterns over and over, continues unabated. As a result, mankind lives in a continual crisis of character and leadership. (Zechariah 2:8; Proverbs 7:2; Psalm 17:8-9; Deuteronomy 32:10; “Trust YHWH, Not World Leaders“)
It’s been said that King David was the apple of YHWH’s eye, but even he couldn’t uphold righteous leadership. His purpose at that time was to cleanse the land of Israel and to extend its boundaries, as it was the purpose of his predecessor. Instead, he involved himself in his own intrigues. (2 Samuel 11:1-5, 27) An affair with a married woman is just one matter, but King David had a life full of problems, even family problems that he could not deal with. This was a man that had the ultimate authority of his people and he was powerless to create real change on his own without the power of YHWH. In the same way every man or woman is capable of having a self-made disaster. Every man or woman is capable of making a disaster for someone else as well and most of us aren’t earthly kings of authority. Life spins out of control because of ‘small compromises’ of trust related to the authority of sovereignty or worldly authority. The problem is that, too often, trust is applied to the wrong place or person. (Psalm 51:1-17; “YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“)
There is no higher authority than Elohim, nor does He consult anyone. (Romans 11:33-36) The ways of YHWH are mysterious to the world. (1 Corinthians 1:27, 2:14, 3:19) However, YHWH reveals Himself to interested disciples of the Messiah through scripture, through the proper context of the Bible. (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17; Proverbs 12:15) He explains His mind and heart for us to the extent that we are able to understand. (1 Corinthians 2:10; Romans 1:17; Deuteronomy 29:29) What we don’t understand, we must leave to Him, all the while, trusting Him fully. YHWH has certain expectations where he expects His people to trust Him, submitting to what He says, even when not one disciple of Christ knows exactly where he or she is going in personal life as He listens and follows. (Ephesians 4:25; Colossians 3:16; James 5:16; Proverbs 24:24-25; 1 John 2:2)
YHWH answered Job: “Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me” (Job 41:11). YHWH ordered or laid out creation by His wisdom. Satan and a complicit mankind pay the price when they reorder that creation. Only when a disciple of the Messiah orders his life after YHWH and His Word through the teaching and knowledge of Christ, placing Him at the center, can anyone even hope for any level of peace. (Matthew 6:19-34; Romans 14:12; Psalm 90:12) Your obedience by serving Him in love is freedom in a world of bondage, as disciples learn and apply that knowledge. (2 Corinthians 5:10; “Two Kingdoms: Genetics of Spiritual Warfare”)
Throughout scripture, YHWH seeks the heart of people, asking them to examine their lives. (2 Kings 5:20-27) We can’t fob off what Elohim expects by forcing it on others, nor can sanctified disciples of Messiah cheapen the grace of YHWH. Righteousness and honesty aren’t by appearances. We know that men and women are famous for appearing accountable while avoiding accountability altogether. Scripture tells us about those who thought they could avoid answerability to YHWH. (Genesis 3:9; 2 Kings 5:1-27) Yahshua [Jesus] walked with His disciples while they argued about whom among them was greatest. He asks them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” (Mark 9:33-37) Yahshua [Jesus] created the opportunity for honesty. Deception doesn’t lead to freedom. Instead, unrepentant deception leads to destruction. (“Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“; “Deceptions of Ages: How People are Deceived“)
Personal examination is vital since self-deception and the deception of the world is virtually without boundary. (James 1:22-24, 5:16; Hebrews 3:12-13; Galatians 6:1; 1 Corinthians 12:7) A series of small compromises allows even professed Christians to rationalize almost anything. Keeping your life in line with scripture is vital to keep you from drifting away from YHWH, perhaps even rejecting the sacrifice of His Son. (Hebrews 10:18-27) Staying in the truth of YHWH’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit, your Counselor, protects you from yourself. (“Listening to the Holy Spirit“)
Does this mean that man cannot hold authority? Certain regions of human authority are mentioned in scripture, but these must be kept in context underneath His Authority. YHWH wants His people to follow the example of Yahshua [Jesus] the Master as a truly righteousness example. (Hebrews 13:17; John 13:1-14:7; 1 Peter 2:21) Like the centurion who told Yahshua [Jesus], “For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me” (Matthew 8:9) Disciples are the soldiers of Messiah, if there is to be a correct context, since Yahshua [Jesus] is the ‘High Priest’ of His disciples. To be within the Authority of righteousness is not a disgrace, nor a move against Elohim or the sacrifice of the Messiah. Remember where your trust always must rest when you are a disciple of Messiah. When your trust is in men and women over YHWH, your trust is a waste of your time. It may well lead to your destruction. (Hebrews 2:17, 4:14-16; “Authority: The Real Meaning of Romans 13“; “Disciple: The Bible & Higher Authority“)
In the first century, disciples were charged to meet together. All disciples in good relationship with other disciples allow us to be fellow workers through Messiah. The elders of the body or gathering of Messiah are often necessary, but not in the way that modern churches often behave. It is not about a hierarchy of men, but about meeting the spiritual needs of disciples and the purpose of spreading the real good news of Elohim’s Kingdom. It’s not about expensive buildings and infrastructure.
“Therefore, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Messiah, and also a sharer of the esteem that is to be revealed, I appeal to the elders among you: Shepherd the flock of Elohim which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but voluntarily, not out of greed for filthy gain, but eagerly, neither as being masters over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the cf2 Chief Shepherd1 appears, you shall receive the never-fading crown of esteem.” – 1 Peter 5:1-4, ISR98
The elders of the first century are a pattern that modern disciples are called to, even within the realm of the family. How the body or gathering of Messiah chooses to exercise trust in YHWH is directly reflected in their relationships as a witness to the world, whether poor, great or apostate. To be a disciple of the Master was never designed to be a one man show, but a group of fellow workers of like mind and trust, grounded in Bible truth, even though this is not often what you see today. So, while salvation is personal, one person at a time, friends of like mind are a good thing when this is possible. However, a herd mentality doesn’t work for you, nor does it put on spiritual armor when a herd follows after falsehood and tradition. (Ephesians 6:10-18; Hebrews 10:25) Meeting in small groups in homes was the norm among early disciples. Mega-churches and church buildings that weigh down disciples aren’t needed. In fact, during periods of opposition, meeting in large groups is dangerous and openly opposed. The corporate churches that exist today exist for the good of politicians and the leadership of nations, not for the good of Christians – not even the truth of scripture.
“Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” – Matthew 18:18-20, NKJV
Applying this knowledge is just as important within the family. Within the family, the presence of YHWH is in a small gathering of people that openly seek Bible truth. The family studies, learns and lives by Bible principles as the center of trust in the Father. This is the framework, the beginning of bringing other people into the right teaching and knowledge of Messiah through the Holy [Set Apart, Dedicated] Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Acts 2:40-47; Hebrews 4:12; Proverbs 27:17; “Prospering Your Family“; “Spiritual Authority & Satan’s Wheels of Destruction“)