Friday, February 05, 2016


Large human organizations need a hierarchy of authority to transmit information and to direct actions. Messages and instructions pass down through the hierarchy to the people on the bottom. Reports go back up in the same way. Hierarchy also allows decisions to be made at the appropriate level. The person at the top sets the general policies and rules, but delegates simple decisions down the hierarchy to an appropriate level of responsibility. Difficult or important decisions are delegated back up to the top. A hierarchical structure is very effective, but it is also dangerous, because it concentrates power in the hands of a few people.

Satan is a major user of hierarchy. He probably invented it, because he had no other way to control his empire. He is confined to one place in space and time, so he has to communicate and implement his decisions through a hierarchy of demons and evil spirits (Ephesians 6:12). His problem is that many of them are deceitful and rebellious. They disobey him frequently, so his will is not always done. When reporting about events in the world they often lie, so he is often in the dark about what is going on. Satan is at the top of a large, unreliable and unstable empire. He is a finite being, so he has to use hierarchy to control his organization.

God is not constrained in this way. He is omniscient, so he knows everything that is happening, everywhere in the universe, all the time. He is not dependent on reports up a hierarchy. God is also omnipotent, so he has the ability to decide what should be happening in every situation in the universe at the moment it occurs. He can speak to any person in the universe, whenever he chooses, so he does not need to work through intermediaries. Therefore, God has no need for hierarchy.

God does not need hierarchy in the church. He knows what is happening to every Christian all the time, so he does not need anyone to report to him. He has a personal plan for every Christian, so he does not need to delegate decisions down to a church leader. The Holy Spirit lives in every Christian, so God can communicate his will directly to any one he chooses. He does not need to speak through a hierarchy. If every Christian obeys the voice of the Spirit, God’s will will be done, without the need for any intermediaries.

Being Church Where We Live, pp.46-47.


August said...

There is always the simple hierarchy of family. Additionally, if one man develops a reputation as a good leader of his own family, he will often find men wanting him to lead them too. Kingdoms can develop organically from this root.

Vincenzo said...

I've always believed that if you want to get an idea on how Satan's kingdom operates, just look at human crime syndicates like the Mafia. It's hierarchical and power belongs to a few, and yet you also have rival families who will work together to accomplish a particular goal. When the chips are down, however, every man is out for himself and they will betray each other if it benefits them. That is why fear and force are implemented to keep the ranks in line. Satan uses fear and punishment to ensure obedience. I'm sure that if one demon disobeys an order, another demon who wants his position will rat him out to gain favor.