"Uncovering the Covering Doctrine" was written by
Cheryl McGrath. We have been impressed with other articles from her pen.
This one was originally written for "Bread for the Bride," a voice of Great
Southland Ministries which Cheryl and her husband, Peter, established in 1996 in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. Their vision is to see God's
people equipped, matured and sent forth in the fullness of Jesus Christ.
For more great articles see their website at
You can contact Cheryl at
Cheryl Mcgrath lives with her husband, Peter, in Coffs Harbour, Australia.
They have four grown children and one grandchild. Cheryl and the team from
Great South Land Ministries minister at local, national and international levels
as the Holy Spirit directs.
Cheryl leads Great South Land Ministries, an interdenominational Australian
ministry (www.greatsouthland.org) Cheryl was born again after receiving a
revelation of Christ on the Cross at the age of thirteen. After many years
of walking with and serving Him, in August 2000 Cheryl was taken into a vision
where the Lord asked her if she was willing to help Him release His company of
daughters. Out of that experience has arisen "Women for the Nations," a
movement that seeks to release the daughters of the Kingdom in Spirit-led
ministry anywhere from their local neighborhoods to the nations of the world.
Cheryl believes the Lord has imparted a strong anointing to Great South Land
Ministries to nurture, disciple, and equip Christian women. "Our vision
for 'Women for the Nations' includes gatherings where women can worship and grow
together. We want to see women released in new song, in dance, as
prophets, as evangelists, as pastors, as teachers, as apostles, but most of all
as a holy priesthood set apart for the worship of Jesus Christ.
Eventually, we plan to take small teams of women who are called to the nations
on international ministry trips. We want to see His daughters free to
serve and glorify the Lord to their full God-given potential, in the tradition
of Deborah, Huldah, Lydia, Priscilla, Junia, and many others through the ages.
" Cheryl and her team are committed to serving the Lord's great company of women
through ministry and impartation of the Word and the Spirit wherever and
whenever He sends them.
Read Cheryl's testimony, it's
UNCOVERING THE "COVERING DOCTRINE"
(All scripture references NKJV unless otherwise stated.)
"I hope you will be patient with me as I keep on talking like a fool.
Please bear with me. I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God
himself. For I promised you as a pure bride to one husband, Christ.
But I fear that somehow you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion
to Christ, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent. You seem to believe
whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach about a different Jesus than the
one we preach, or a different Spirit than the one you received, or a different
kind of gospel than the one you believed." ( 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 NLT)
In this two-part edition of "Bread for the Bride," I am inviting you to take a
journey to freedom. Freedom, though, rarely comes without a cost, so be
prepared for a few bumps and bruises along the way! My fervent prayer is that by
the time you reach the end you will at the least be stirred to do some personal
exploring of the scriptures, and at the most some long-held religiously-based
mindsets will be shattered beyond hope of repair.
Firstly, though, let me share a little personal history in order to establish
the fact that the teaching I offer you in this article has not been arrived at
hastily, presumptuously, or with lack of experience in what is commonly known as
"the church". For almost my entire life I have been "churched". Born
to a Catholic-Italian father and an Anglican-Australian mother, anyone might
have guessed there would be a few pot-holes along my spiritual path! I do
remember at a very early age being taken by an uncle to a Catholic Mass, where
the sheer majestic atmosphere of the church overwhelmed me. He must be
some God! I thought. Later, I was introduced to Sunday School at a nearby
Baptist Church by yet another conscientious relative, where the most important
thing I learned was that God loved me. Good start! In my first year in
high school a friend and her mother shared the gospel. As a result, alone
in my bedroom, I experienced a life-changing revelation of Christ on the Cross.
I was born again! Several years were then spent attending a local Anglican
church with my friend. After some time I was allowed to teach the
kindergarten Sunday School class, but was still forbidden to take communion
because I had never undergone infant baptism. (That scenario had been too
stressful for my Catholic father and Protestant mother!)
In my early twenties, through the encouragement of the same friend, I was
baptized in the Holy Spirit. My husband and I started attending a little
Assemblies of God church, where to my great delight I heard for the first time
about the gifts and anointing of the Spirit. There followed nearly twenty
years in that denomination, and during those years, I was certain that I would
spend the rest of my life there. God had other plans, however, and after a
series of deep family crises which my church preferred not to know about, my
husband and I found ourselves fellowshipping briefly at a Uniting Church
(Methodist to American readers). Perhaps "fellowshipping" is not the right
word. "Attending" might be more appropriate, as fellowship did not appear
to be an offer. From there the journey through "churchianity" continued,
when a Congregational Pastor friend who'd been Spirit-filled invited us along to
his church. Alas, the pastor wanted the Spirit, but the congregation
didn't, so we, as well as the pastor, found ourselves being offered the left
boot of fellowship! A major geographical move found our family churchless again,
so off we went to find our new "spiritual home" among the local Pentecostals,
trying several different flavours, but somehow we knew we weren't fitting.
God came to the rescue again, directing us to a Baptist church with a
charismatic pastor, but with the clear message this was to be for "a season
only". This would prove interesting! (Lord, isn't this where I started???)
We spent three years of relative peace there, before He suddenly said "the
season's up." That was four years ago. These days we fellowship in a house
church community. I know this is the place of fellowship the Lord has for
me at this time, but I also know that He alone is my spiritual home. It
took a lot of years and a long journey for me to discover that truth.
Of course, there are many details I've omitted, some not so pleasant, to make
this history as brief as possible. My purpose in relating these facts is
not to imply any kind of pretentious credentials, or to elevate one type of
worship expression above another. My desire is only to establish the fact
that there IS a denominational history, and a fairly extensive one, from which I
draw upon in addressing this issue of "spiritual covering".
You see, in a number of the denominations I've been involved in, including at
leadership level, a "doctrine of covering" was taught and accepted. And
for many, many years, I never questioned this teaching. After all,
everyone believed it; the leadership upheld it, so it must be right, right? It
is only as the Holy Spirit has impressed me to study the scriptures more deeply
on this teaching that I've had to come to terms with the fact that He never
originated it! In His infinite grace, He chose to wait patiently for a time when
the Spirit of Truth would become dearer to me than the traditions of men.
The teaching on "covering" goes like this. Everyone needs to be
accountable to someone who is spiritually his or her superior. This
someone may be your cell group leader, the head of a church department or your
senior pastor etc. In turn, these leaders receive covering from someone
further up the line, for instance a denominational leader or a "recognized"
apostle. The necessity for this covering is based on the belief that
believers need to be safeguarded from falling into error and/or sin. So
covering is provided by those who are more spiritual than we to protect us from
such error. At the top of this pyramid of covering there is quite often a
well-known and recognized "name" but the chances of meeting or having any kind
of relationship with that person if you are at the bottom of the pyramid are
fairly slim. Currently, there are several networks offering this kind of
covering to those in some form of church leadership or ministry, more often than
not for an annual fee. The annual fee usually provides for the running of
the network, and conferences where you can fellowship with others under your
particular brand of covering. You may also be denied entrance from one of
these networks because you don't have the appropriate credentials.
One of the strange things about this "covering" teaching is that rarely is
anyone asked about their spiritual covering, until they step outside their
particular church, denomination or network. However, the minute a believer
shows signs of having something important to share with the wider Body of
Christ, suddenly all and sundry are interested primarily in that one important
question: "Who are you covered by? " It all sounds pretty reasonable
except for one problem - it's not found in scripture. In fact, the early
church was taught to rely on the inner anointing to discern the spiritual source
of potential ministers. (1 John 2:20; 1 John 4:1)
So, where did this idea originate that believers need to be "covered" in order
to serve God and minister within Christ's Body? Are you, like many
others, living your Christian life under the shadow of this fear that without
"covering" you dare not minister, preach, pray or do a myriad of other things
you're called to do by the Spirit of God, because you will somehow be
ministering without protection?
The purpose of this article is to shed some light on this issue based on
scriptural truth. To begin with, though, we need to understand that this
need to be covered by a perceived spiritual authority, and the scriptural
instruction to submit ourselves to God's delegated authorities, are NOT
necessarily one and the same thing. Furthermore, New Testament authority
as demonstrated by Jesus and the first apostles, is servanthood-authority,
upholding, strengthening, reinforcing and overseeing the Body from beneath, not
domineering, controlling and ruling from above. Therefore, it is vital in
examining this issue that we begin from a correct understanding of Biblical
submission and Biblical authority.
"LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU"
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form
of God, thought in not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no
reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the
likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and
became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Phil. 2:5-8)
The current mindset we carry in much of the church concerning submission is
quite unrelated to the submission taught and demonstrated by Jesus and the early
apostles. There is a desperate need to return to the same mind that was in
Christ Jesus. The scripture tells us that though He was equal with the
Father, Jesus CHOSE to submit Himself, He CHOSE to humble Himself, He CHOSE to
obey. This is the key to Biblical submission, and the model laid down for
us by both the Father and the Son. Submission is firstly a choice; a
choice that can only ever be made by the giver. Biblical submission can
never be demanded or forced. That kind of relationship is subservience,
not submission. Jesus chose to subject Himself to the Father, but the
Father "so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son."
Sacrificial giving and sacrificial submission are married to each other.
In the Spirit, you cannot have one without the other. If you try, you will
invariably end up with control, dependence and abuse rather than humility,
interdependence and grace.
The New Testament concept of submission, or subjection, is one of a totally
voluntary attitude of giving, of yielding one's preference and deferring to
another. In this way, Jesus as a child was subject to His parents, yet the
scriptures record that He did not even consult them when He was "about His
Father's business." (Luke 2:49,51)
"IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU"
"Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch
over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God. Give them
reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not
be for your benefit." (Hebrews 13:17, NLT)
"But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are
considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones
exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but
whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And
whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all." (Mark 10:42-44)
"Jesus got them together to settle things down. "You've observed how
godless rulers throw their weight around," he said, "and when people get a
little power how quickly it goes to their heads." (Mark 10:42 The Message)
There is no question that the scriptures instruct each one of us to submit to
God's delegated authority. It is the understanding and the application of
that authority we often stumble over. The Bible records that Jesus taught
the twelve this Kingdom authority as they walked along the road to Jerusalem.
His face had been set toward the Cross, and it is certain He was keenly aware of
the short time He had left with them. Perhaps He was conversing with His
Father about what were the most important lessons He could impart to them during
the time that was left. We know that He heard them disputing over who
among them was the best "leadership material". Perhaps Peter, having not
long before witnessed Jesus' transfiguration, thought that gave him special
status. Perhaps James and John felt they were more likely candidates for
rulership than impetuous Peter. Shortly before, they had asked Jesus to
give them special places of honour in His Kingdom. Whatever had started
their dispute, Jesus certainly knew how to end it! "Whoever desires to be first
among you, let him be your slave....." (Matt. 20:27).
The Lord was speaking to a group of people who had grown up under the rule of
the Roman Empire. The Romans exercised their authority through forced
subjection and harsh cruelty. In fact, the literal translation of the
words Jesus used in reference to Roman rule mean "to be under the power of" and
"to be subdued." Despite having witnessed Jesus using a very different kind of
authority and power, the disciples had not yet understood exactly what He would
require of them. The Romans were, in the political sense, their masters.
Yet here was Jesus stating that to exercise the authority He was going to invest
in them they would need to become slaves to one another, and not masters.
One might safely assume these weren't words any of them particularly wanted to
hear that day!
Kingdom authority has nothing to do with titles, positions, educational
qualifications or reputation. Kingdom authority is granted by the Lord
according to the measure with which He can trust us to wield it with humility.
The greatest authority in the kingdom is reserved for His bondslaves.
WHAT ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY?
In today's church system we have confused the word "covering" with the need for
accountability. Consequently many are holding themselves accountable to
people with title and position, regardless of whether or not they are developing
an ongoing transparent relationship with that person. In the Kingdom, it
is not possible to be truly accountable to those with whom we are not actively
growing in relationship. How can I be trusted to call you to account
righteously if I don't love you in Christ? How can you love me with
Christ-like love and not call me to account?
Paul was able to correct the Corinthians because he had true relationship with
them. He had travailed over them, nurtured them, wept for them and
rejoiced with them. Therefore he was able to reprove them, for their
edification and not for their destruction. (2 Corinthians 13:10)
When we turn to the scriptures for guidance on this issue of accountability, a
startling fact confronts us. The News Testament mentions accountability
ONLY in terms of the believer towards God. The scripture teaches that we
will give accountability TO GOD ALONE in the following areas:
- stewardship (Luke 16:2)
- ourselves (Rom. 14:12)
- fruit (Phil 4:17)
- what we do in the flesh (1 Pet. 4:5)
- leaders shall give account for the souls they watch over (Heb. 13:17)
What then, DO the scriptures teach about how believers, as members of the
corporate Body of Christ, are to relate to one another?
"... all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with
humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (1
In Galatians Chapter Two we read of a journey Paul took to Jerusalem.
He states that he went up "by revelation", that is, at the instigation of the
Holy Spirit, in order to confirm that the gospel he had been preaching was
approved by the eldership of the Jerusalem church. He goes on to state
that "those who seemed to be something, whatever they were, it makes no
difference to me," had nothing to add to his teachings. He further adds
that when James, Cephas (Peter) and John perceived the grace God had shown him,
he was given the "right hand of fellowship."
At the instigation of the Holy Spirit, Paul had subjected himself to the
Jerusalem eldership, including Peter, for the purpose of accountability.
One may safely assume that Peter, having spent around three years day and night
with Jesus, and highly regarded by the early believers, held very great
authority in the church. Paul, however did not ask Peter to cover him.
Instead, he did not hesitate in calling Peter to account when Peter was later
swayed to go back on his word by the fear of men (Gal. 2:11-14). Bear in
mind this is the same Peter who stated "We ought to obey God rather than men."
These men understood the nature of relationship through the Holy Spirit; ALL of
you be submissive to one another, ALL of you be clothed with humility.
Each of us is accountable to one another, whatever our function in the Body,
whether apostles, teachers, deacons or helpers. This is the church Christ
To say that we are demonstrating accountability to a person or group of people
we may briefly rub shoulders with at a meeting once or twice a week, or perhaps
once or twice a year, is ludicrous. True accountability is about how we
express Christ in us - our lifestyle, our character and our integrity in
families, jobs and church community. This cannot be measured outside Godly
relationships, and without a humble willingness to be in subjection one to
another. Each one of us needs to seek out and submit ourselves to those in
the Body the Lord has placed close to us to provide that accountability,
regardless of their position, title or function. Each one of us needs to
be willing, in humility and service, to provide that same accountability base
for others in the Body. This applies to leadership equally as it does to
the newest, most inexperienced member of the Christian community.
Sadly, what we see today in so much of the church, is a frenzied jockeying for
position under the supposedly protective umbrella of some ministry name or
reputation, in order to prove ourselves "covered". "Who covers you?
" has become one of the most frequently asked questions among Christians, and
too often it is the deciding factor in assessing a ministry's integrity or
otherwise. Consequently, an unsatisfactory answer to that question in some
church circles can label you "outside the camp" and almost certainly not to be
trusted. Christians are judging each other's worth and relationship with
God on this issue of covering, and using it to justify self-righteousness and
In Part Two of this study we will talk about what is at the root of this
distorted doctrine, and the clear choices that lie before us in order to be free
UNCOVERING THE COVERING DOCTRINE
".....then the LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and
above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire
by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering." ( Isaiah 4:5)
"He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." Ps. 91:4
IT'S ABOUT HIS NAME
"Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and
preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the
elders, confronted Him and spoke to Him, saying, "Tell us, by what authority are
You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?
" (Luke 20:1-2)
As we see from this portion of scripture, the question "who covers you? "
is not new. The chief priests, scribes and elders were not simply asking
Jesus where His supernatural power came from. More than that, they wanted
a NAME. "Who is he? ' Come on, tell us Jesus, who is the scribe, who
is the rabbi, who is the prophet who covers you? And no more of that
over-spiritualized talk about your Father. We want the name of the person
who said you could do these things!"
The apostle Paul confronted a similar problem in the Corinthian church.
"Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you
all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you
be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's
household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each
of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am
of Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?
Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" (1 Cor. 1:10-13)
The Lord is jealous over us concerning His Name. We were bought and paid
for by His Blood, and His Name is the only Name by which we are to identify
ourselves. When believers choose to find their identity in another name
other than His, the Spirit is grieved and His Name is dishonoured.
IT'S ABOUT THE FLESH
"Don't ever let anyone call you `Rabbi,' for you have only one teacher, and all
of you are on the same level as brothers and sisters. And don't address
anyone here on earth as `Father,' for only God in heaven is your spiritual
Father. And don't let anyone call you `Master,' for there is only one
master, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant. " (Matthew
The Corinthians were apparently separating into factions according to whom they
considered was the most authoritative teacher. They were following after
men, and for that reason Paul took issue with them. Further in his letter
he goes on to challenge them by describing this kind of mindset as carnal and
fleshly rather than spiritual:
"And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to
carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid
food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still
not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and
divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not
carnal?" (1 Cor. 3:1-4)
Finally, he instructs them:
"Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul
or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things
to come--all are yours. And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's." (1 Cor.
The Corinthians had become so obsessed with the attributes of certain teachers
they were idolizing them. They wanted to regard particular individuals as their
"master", "father", or "teacher", but Paul wanted them to understand that in
doing so they were falling short of their full inheritance in Christ. He
wanted them to see that all of these teachers, belonged to them as
servant-ministers, and not the other way around.
IT'S ABOUT A SUBSTITUTE KING
At the heart of the Corinthians' idolatry was the age-old desire for a ruler, a
king. The flesh would much rather fear man than fear God. The flesh
would much rather submit to the control of law than submit to the freedom of the
Spirit. This principle is seen throughout scripture.
Afraid they would die, the Israelites begged Moses to be God's messenger to
them, rather than hear His Voice for themselves.
"Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound
of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they
trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us,
and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die." ( Exodus
God desired for the people to hear Him for themselves, but they refused.
Effectively, the Israelites were elevating Moses as their mediator. The
entire nation had been called as a kingdom of priests, but their preference was
to be ruled by one man. (Exodus 19:1-9)
Many years later, when the prophet Samuel officiated as Israel's judge, Israel's
carnal desire for a man-king surfaced again.
"Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah,
and said to him, "Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways.
Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations." But the thing displeased
Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the
Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all
that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me,
that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they
have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this
day--with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods--so they are doing
to you also. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall
solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behaviour of the king who will reign
over them." So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him
for a king. And he said, "This will be the behaviour of the king who will
reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and
to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint
captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow
his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and
equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers,
cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your
vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will
take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and
servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your
finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take
a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will
cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves,
and the Lord will not hear you in that day.
Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No,
but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and
that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles." And
Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of
the Lord. So the Lord said to Samuel, "Heed their voice, and make them a
king." (1 Samuel 8:4-22)
The key to Israel's demand for a human king, rather than the direct reign of
Yahweh over them, was "that we also may be like all the nations, and that our
king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles." They wanted a
name and a face that could "go out before" them. They wanted someone
visible they could show the other nations. They wanted a symbol, a token
leader who could take responsibility for how they would live and conduct their
lives. They wanted someone with a reputation they could identify with.
They wanted to be like the world. They wanted human "covering."
You see, friends, there is a place for governmental leadership, there is a place
for accountability within the Body, there is a place for submission to
legitimate God-delegated authority. All these are valid and in order, but
only insofar as they are not permitted to substitute for the direct rule of God
in our lives. And only insofar as they are not sought out as a counterfeit
for the sovereignty and rulership of the Holy Spirit within each believer.
IT'S OF A DIFFERENT SPIRIT
"You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the
holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones."
Many Bible scholars agree that God's rebuke to the "king of Tyre" recorded in
Ezekiel 28:1-19 is prophetically addressed to Satan. In it, we find that
originally this fallen angel was called the "anointed cherub who covers".
Some scholars believe he was especially anointed to cover the Mercy Seat in the
Holy of Holies. In the Presence of God, he walked back and forth in the
midst of the fiery stones. The passage states that when iniquity was found
in him he was cast out of God's holy mountain, and removed from the midst of the
This Hebrew word "to cover" means "to hedge, fence about, shut in, block,
overshadow, screen, stop the approach, shut off, cover" ( H. "cakak"
Strongs 05526 ). It is a word than can be used either in relation to
defense or oppression.
Beloved, Satan still desires to walk back and forth in the midst of God's
living, fiery stones. He still desires to be the covering cherub on God's
holy mountain, but the covering he offers is oppressive, designed purely to
hinder believers and rob them of the freedom and full potential that is ours
The doctrine of covering is an old lie with a new name. It is fundamental
to the maintenance of a false hierarchical religious system controlling many
Christians in this day. Without the power of this erroneous mindset, it is
even doubtful that some sections of the "church" could survive.
"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit -- just as you were called to one hope when you
were called -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who
is OVER ALL and THROUGH ALL and IN ALL. (Ephesians 4:3-6)
The scriptures plainly state that it is God alone who is OVER all. Only
God can cover His people, and only the Holy Spirit can unite them. The
most disturbing aspect about the covering teaching is that it subtly encourages
believers to look to men and women rather than develop their own deep
relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. It upholds a man-made
church built on hierarchy rather than a spiritual temple built through the unity
of the Spirit. It promotes a class system of rulership by title, human
appointment and personality, and devalues the priesthood of every believer.
It negates leadership by the Holy Spirit and discourages believers from hearing
the direction of the Spirit for themselves. It is a doctrine of demons
being used to deceive and bind countless believers.
Now, about that freedom we were talking about at the beginning of this article!
Don't, repeat DON'T, use your newfound liberty as a license for rebellion
against authority. If you have been trapped in this covering doctrine be
wise in how you appropriate your freedom. There are many, many humble and
faithful men and women overseeing and serving the Body of Christ with humility
and devotion, and it may well be that whoever has been "covering" you is one of
them. If you are blessed enough to be aligned with a servant-leader who
demonstrates true Biblical authority, honour them, support them, and submit to
them. But don't expect them to cover you - that's not theirs to give.
False doctrines are mindsets and beliefs that can only be cast down by the
Spirit and the Word together. And ultimately, our walk in the Spirit is
not the responsibility of leadership; it is our own responsibility. It is
time for each one of us to choose - do we want the rulership of kings, or do we
want the rulership of THE King?
Finally, let me leave you with these thoughts:
1) Who covered Philip when He went down to Samaria and started a revival?
(The apostles heard about it and sent Peter and John down to check it out!)
2) Who covered Philip when the angel of the Lord directed him to the Gaza
desert? (Acts 8:26-40) (There's no record of the Ethiopian
eunuch asking him for his "covering" credentials!)
3)Who covered Ananias when he was sent to pray for Saul? (He
went to pray for a known enemy of the church and didn't even get
permission!) (Acts 9:10-18)
4)Who covered Apollos when he taught boldly in the synagogue, even though he
had not yet received the full gospel? (Acts 18:24-25)
5)And who covered Aquilla and Priscilla when they took Apollos under their
wing to instruct him further? (Acts 18:26)
6)Who covered Agabus when he traveled down from Judea to deliver a prophetic
word to Paul? (Acts 21:10)
The answer is the same in each instance: The Holy Spirit covered, protected,
led, and enabled. He is the only covering we need. The real question
is this: is He the only covering we want?
"IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU."
Great South Land Ministries
Copyright Cheryl McGrath, Great South Land Ministries, 2003. This article may
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for reproducing this article or any part of it on a website. Used with
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