Authority and Submission, by Watchman Nee


When a deputy authority makes a mistake, God will step forward to judge it. His judgment is His vindication. God’s vindication is one great principle in His administration. God is willing to commit His name to us; He has allowed us to use His name, just as a man commits his personal seal to another and allows the latter to use it in his name. This being the case, when we misrepresent God, He will have to vindicate Himself. God needs to show man that the mistake is caused by us and not by Him.

Moses and Aaron suffered serious judgment as a result of one mistake. In the end Aaron died and Moses also died. The greater loss though was their disqualification from entering Canaan. Neither one of them debated with God; they knew that God’s vindication was more important than their entry into Canaan. They were willing to allow God to vindicate Himself rather than enter Canaan. In Deuteronomy 32 Moses especially made the point that they, rather than God, had made the mistake. We must maintain the absoluteness of the truth; we should not try to take any shortcuts. No faithful servant of God should take the cheap way out. God’s vindication is more important than our face, our likes, and our years of prayers and hopes. Moses and Aaron were meek; they submitted to the hand of God. They could have reasoned with God, but they chose, rather, to not argue. They did not pray for themselves even to the end. They prayed many times for the children of Israel, but they did not pray for themselves. Such silence is precious. They knew how to let God vindicate Himself, and they willingly took the blame upon themselves. When Moses wrote of this in his book, he pointed out that he was the one who made the mistake. We thank the Lord because here was a servant who knew how to judge himself and who allowed God to vindicate Himself. He did not argue in the face of judgment. He did not make proposals lightly and he did not want to control others. He was humble and gracious, and he feared God. He is indeed a model for us who are serving the Lord.

May the Lord give us the grace to be a teachable person. May He be gracious to the church in this end time. We need to pray, “Lord, may Your authority be manifested in the church, and may every brother and sister know what authority is. May authority be manifested in the local church, and may deputy authority be manifested through man.” I hope that the responsible ones in the church will not make any mistake concerning the matter of authority, and I hope that there will also be no mistake on the part of those who receive orders from the authority. I hope that everyone will know where he stands so that the Lord will have a free way to go on.

(Authority and Submission, Chapter 16, by Watchman Nee)