Spiritual Authority By Watchmen Nee

Note from Pastor Terry

During this short break from Corporate Prayer. I  encourage individuals to continue to study "Spiritual Authority" By Watchmen Nee. This study will bless you and your families, as well as, the  COLFC body. The questions are sent out on Wednesdays. The answers from the preceding week will be sent through a separate email.  If you have not receive email send a email to admin@colfc.org with the subject: Please add me to e notifier.


Chapter 14 Questions & Answers

  1. What was Moses’ first reaction when he and Aaron were attacked by the congregation led by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram?

Moses fell upon his face.  Being one who knows authority, he was being gentle, and was empty of personal feeling.  He neither defended himself nor got stirred up.  He trusted everything to God.


  1. How did Moses display meekness and humility when he dealt with Korah?

Moses exhorted Korah so as to restore him.  Then he gave his slanderers a whole night’s time to repent.  Moses’ actions showed he was seeking restoration.


  1. How did Moses prove himself to be the true servant of God?

Although the people verbally attacked Moses, he insisted that they had not sinned against him, but against God.  Moses had no thought of judging.  He was being obedient to God when he exhorted them.


  1. After witnessing the demise of the rebellious families, what was the reaction of the Israelites?

Their hearts remained untouched.  Their fear was of the punishment, not God.  They failed to understand Moses.  Even after a night’s thought, they rebelled the next day.


  1. According to the author, what were the attributes that made Moses an excellent delegated authority?

Moses’ heart was full of love and compassion, the yearning of one who truly knows God.  He cared for God’s people and he bore the responsibilities of both the obedient and the rebellious.  A person who cares only for himself, and who often complains of the responsibility he bears for others, is unfit to represent authority.

Chapter 13 Questions & Answers

  1. How is delegated authority supposed to handle slander?

All who desire to be God’s spokesmen, and desire to help the brothers and sisters must learn to not listen to slander.  Let God do the listening.  Do not pay attention to how people criticize you; do not get angry because of the words of others.  Those who are disturbed and overwhelmed by words of slander prove themselves unfit to be a delegated authority.

  1. How is delegated authority to defend himself or herself?

Vindication, defense, or whatever reaction there may be should come from God, not from man.  He or she who vindicates himself or herself does not know God.  No one on earth could ever be more authoritative than Christ, yet He never defended Himself.  Authority and self-defense are not compatible.  The one against whom you defend yourself becomes your judge.  He rises higher than you when you begin to answer his criticism.  He who speaks for himself is under judgement; therefore he is without authority.

  1. What did the author share regarding meekness and delegated authority?

God cannot appoint a stiff-necked person to authority; He will not delegate authority to an arrogant person.  Those whom He sets up in authority have His meekness and are tender.  We should never try to establish our own authority.  The more we try, the less fit we are for authority.  See II Peter 5:6

  1. What are the assumed requirements for being a delegated authority?

People usually assume the necessary requirements for authority include:  splendor and magnificence; strength of personality, bearing, or appearance; power; strong determination; clever ideas; or eloquent lips.  The person least likely to be given authority is often the very one who considers himself an authority.  Likewise, the more authority a person thinks he has, the less he actually has.


  1. According to the author, what is the one credential of authority?

Revelation is the evidence of authority.  A man’s value before God is not decided by the judgement of others or his own.  He is measured by the revelation he receives from God.  If God gives revelation, authority is established; but when His revelation is withdrawn, the man is rejected.  Authority is set up to execute God’s order, not to uplift oneself.  If God is willing to give us revelation and to speak clearly with us, if we have face-to-face communion with Him, then no one can eliminate us.  We must learn not to strive or to speak for ourselves.  We must listen more and hear from God.

Chapter 12 Questions & Answers

  1. What is essential in order to be a delegated authority? How can this be obtained?

There is no one fit to be God’s delegated authority unless he or she knows first how to be under authority.  God’s children should not only learn to recognize authority, they should likewise be looking for those to whom they ought to be obedient.  No one can know how to exercise authority until his or her own rebellion is dealt with.

  1. What are the three requirements for a delegated authority?

He or she must know that all authority comes from God, and he or she is a representative of God’s authority (e.g. policemen and judges execute authority and enforce the law, but they should not write the law).  He or she must deny himself or herself.  He or she must be broken by God.  Although we can still have opinions, thoughts, and judgements, we dare not open our mouths inadvertently.  We must live in fear (reverence) and trembling before the Lord, rather than freely dispense our opinions and teachings on anybody and everything as if they were gospel.  He or she must constantly keep in fellowship with the Lord.  We should not only communicate with God, but also live in His presence (commune).  If communion is cut off, authority also ceases.

  1. What determines the degree of delegated authority you have?

The degree to which we know God and understand His will determines the degree of delegated authority we have.  It has nothing to do with our own thoughts, ideas, or personal strength.

  1. According to the author, how is authority established?

Authority is established by God, therefore no delegated authority need try to secure his or her own authority.  Do not insist others listen to you.  If you are set up by God, those who refuse to hear you disobey God.

  1. What do I do when the authority God entrusts to me is tested?

Do not be in haste, nor strive, nor speak for yourself.  Their rebellion and sin are against God and His authority.  If your authority is really of God, those who oppose will find their spiritual course blocked.  The government of God is a most serious matter.

Chapter 11 Questions & Answers


  1.  Explain the concept of submission being absolute, and obedience being relative.  How are you to conduct yourself when delegated authority is in conflict with direct authority (God)?

Submission is a matter of attitude, while obedience is a matter of conduct.  Submission ought to be absolute; a must.  Some authorities must be obeyed, while others should not; especially in matters which touch upon Christian fundamentals (such as believing the Lord, preaching the gospel, etc.).  Even during those times when there is an inability to obey, there should still be an attitude of submission maintained.  One who knows authority will be soft and tender in his or her heart, attitude, and words; no signs of harshness or rebellion.

  2.  According to the author, how can we judge whether a person is obedient to authority?

A person who has known authority will naturally try to find authority wherever he or she goes.  A person who has met God’s authority is soft and tender, but strong, because he or she is afraid of being wrong.  A person who has truly met authority never likes to be in authority; only those who do not know authority are those who wish to be authorities.  A person who has contacted authority keeps his or her mouth closed and does not speak carelessly.  A person who has touched authority is sensitive to each act of lawlessness and rebellion around him or her.


  3.  How do we solve the problems that come from lack of obedience to authority?

Only a living contact with authority can solve the problems.  As a result, as soon as one offends authority he or she realizes they have offended God.  Before one can point out another’s error, he or she must be led to know authority, then the error can be pointed out and corrected.


  4. What two essentials maintain the church?  Explain.

Life and authority maintain the church.  The indwelling life we have received is a life of submission, enabling us to obey authority.  Most difficulties within the church are related to lack of inward submission. 


  5.  What happens when the spirit of rebellion leaves us?

Without the spirit of rebellion we find that we can have a difference of opinion and still submit to one another.  We also see the spirit of obedience quickly restored to the church.



Chapter 10 Questions & Answers

  1. Explain the link between reason and thought, and its detriment.

Man’s rebellion is manifested in word, reason, and especially thought.  Reasons must be cast aside (destroyed), or else man’s thought cannot be brought back into obedience to Christ.  It takes the power of God to fight against reason.  Reason is something we inherited from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  We cannot allow it to block out the knowledge of God.  II Cor 10:4-6


  1. According to the author, men fail to believe in the Lord because they are so often imprisoned in the stronghold of some reason or other.  How can men be delivered?

Unless God destroys these strongholds, men will never be set free.  Only the authority of God can take every thought captive to obey Christ.  To know authority, man’s reasoning must first be overthrown.


  1. What controls man’s thoughts?

Man’s thoughts are controlled by either one of two powers:  either by reasoning, or by the authority of Christ.  No one in this universe can freely exercise his will, because he is either captured by his reasoning or apprehended by Christ.  He consequently either serves Satan or serves God.


  1. List three examples given in the book where men were given the opportunity to exercise their opinion.

Paul was on his way to Damascus to seize the Christians there.  When he was smitten by a great light, and met the authority of God, he abandoned his own agenda and sought to do the will of the Lord.  King Saul was instructed by God to destroy all of the Amalekites with their sheep and cattle.  He reasoned that the animals could be used in sacrifice to God.  God rejected King Saul, who was to be slain by an Amalekite and his rule terminated.  Nadab and Abihu failed to be subject to their father’s authority.  When they burned incense according to their own thought and feeling, they sinned against God by offering strange fire.  God rejected them and they were punished with death. 


  1. If God is not looking at how fervently we preach the gospel or how willingly we suffer for Him, what is He looking for from us?

God looks to see how obedient we are.  God’s kingdom begins when there is an absolute obedience to God—no voicing of opinion, no presenting reasoning, no murmuring, no reviling.  Satan is not afraid of our work as long as we act on the principle of rebellion.  We must all learn to accept discipline that our mouths may be so instructed as not to speak loosely, our mind not to argue, and our hearts not to offer God counsel.


Chapter 9 Questions & Answers

  1. What is necessary to know authority?

To know authority, one must first meet authority; otherwise he or she will never obey.  The mere hearing of the message of obedience is totally ineffective.  He or she must have an encounter with God. 


  1. What is the careless error Eve made with her words?

In Genesis 3:3, she added to God’s word, which clearly showed she didn’t know the authority of God.  God’s word is clear enough.


  1. Is it still rebellion if it’s between family members as in the case of Ham’s brothers, and Miriam, Aaron, and Moses? Explain.

Chapter 8 Questions & Answers

  1.     Explain how authority finds its fullest expression in the Body.

The authority and obedience found in Christ and the church are of such a perfect nature that they surpass all other expressions of authority and obedience.  Just as Christ obeyed God, the Church (Body) must obey Christ (the Head).


2.  Explain the difference between God’s command and God’s will, and why obeying commands is not enough.

God’s command is a spoken word.  His will is an idea conceived in God’s mind.  Behind the command lies the will, and in the will is the law of life.


Chapter 7 Questions  

  1. What are the fourfold symbols of submission to earthly authorities that the author presents?
  • Rendering tax to whom tax is due;
  • Custom to whom Custom;
  • Fear-Reverence to whom Reverence;
  • Honor to whom Honor


  1. On pages 67-68, the author states that there is an order in the Church. Do you agree with this statement? Why?

God has appointed Authority within His church.  They are Elders who will take the lead, and lead well, and labor in the word, as well as teach.  Our Agreement is with God because God commands that we submit to them.


  1. 1Peter 5:5 states “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ ” What is the implication in Peter’s statement?

Peter was implying that God gives grace to those that are humble.  Many within the flock that are younger (in the Faith) should submit themselves to the elders, to give due respect and reverence to their authority, and to yield to their admonitions, reproof, and experience.


  1. According to II Peter 2:10-11, Why is it important to remain alert in our submission to authority?

Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, intended to warn us of walking after the flesh, and following the devices and the desires of our own plans within our hearts.  He desired to arm us against our own influences, within our own carnal mind, and our conduct when refusing to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  We must remain alert, examining our hearts by God’s word and His delegated authority. 


  1. On pages 73-74, Watchman Nee speaks of a woman’s vow (pledge). Why is submission to God’s delegated authority important? 

God works through His direct as well as delegated authority. To bypass, unless through error, would not work.


The author also speaks of the law that was given, which produced a preventive measure against making thoughtless or uncommitted vows, lying and hypocrisy.  If a promise was properly made, a man or woman was bound by it.  If they did not keep it or made it with a rash attitude, the result would be God’s displeasure.


Chapter 6 Questions & Answers

  1. God establishes His Kingdom on the basis of Authority. Can you provide an example of Biblical authority?

There are many examples of Biblical Authority. Abraham, Isaac, King Saul, King David, King Jesus. Read the Scripture texts that was provided such as Romans 13,   

2. According to the author, the Lord established His Kingdom by?

Submission/Obedience. Result, Righteousness, fruitful.

3. Is there a time when we should NOT obey authority?

We should not obey Spiritual authority when that authority is forcing you to sin or abuse power.

4. What would occur if we obeyed the principle of Satan?

Rebellion, Sin, lawlessness, Disorder, Dysfunction, Disunity

5. According to Watchman Nee, believers are called_ ______?

Obeyer’s -People who are willing to be obedience

6. God’s authority is established in the Church and reaches the nations. If the Church fails to allow God’s authority to prevail, what will be the result?

Jesus established His Kingdom authority within the Church, and the Church which is the representation of Jesus will establish His Kingdom within the earth.