Part of the nature of man is to desire power. There are many examples of this. Have you ever watched Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest or Knots Landing? The major plot and many of the minor ones are based on one person trying to gain more power than their opponent. During the rise of the Babylonian, Greek, Roman and other empires, why did they keep expanding their borders until they had gone as far as they could? They wanted to become the greatest and have more power than any other man or empire. Why wasn't Hitler satisfied with being a dictator over Germany? He was a power-crazed maniac. People are no different today. Men like to have power and they usually want more once they have tasted a small helping. This brings us to the point of this article, that is, God in His wisdom has not entrusted power over His people in any man or group of men.

Christ told the eleven disciples "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth" (Matthew 28:18). This clearly leaves no power in men because they are "on earth" and Christ has all authority here.

What about the special men, the apostles? We find that these men were all to be equal. Two of them asked for predominance over the other ten, causing strife among them. In Matthew 20:25-28, Jesus explained that greatness comes from serving and not from authority or position.

"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many."

We also see that any thing the apostles did had to be approved in heaven first: "I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19). We understand from the original that the bound and loosed have the idea of already being so in heaven. The apostles had no rule-making authority. Examples from the New Testament also show the apostles equality with (lack of power over) other Christians. In Acts 6, the disturbance over the daily serving to the widows was not decided by the apostles, but by the congregation. I'm sure man's reasoning would think the inspired men could make better choices on this occasion, but they did not have the right (power) to do that. Again in Acts 15, the whole assembly was involved in deciding the circumcision issue with the apostles and elders, vs. 22. (Note: This was not done in a Men's Business Meeting.)

Coming to the present, have men now obtained power over others as claimed by many? No! We, as members of the church, are compared to members of a physical body (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). In explaining the use of spiritual gifts, it shows that different members may have different functions, but one is not more important than any other, although men may see one as better than another. As members of the same body, there is only one head over the body, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." As stated earlier, He has all authority over the members.

The power of man to rule over others is a power of his own imagination. It has not been given to him by God. Let us see that we do not seek this "power" to our own condemnation.