Staying Under Covering
Covering is the power of God that is channelled through the spirits of those in positions of spiritual authority and leadership for the benefit and protection of those under their authority.
For instance, Paul’s spirit was the channel or conduit through which the power of God was supplied to the church at Corinth to provide spiritual discipline to the man who was committing adultery with his Father’s wife:
1 Corinthians 5:2-5 NKJV: For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Notice here that, even though Paul was not physically present, his spirit with the power of the Lord Jesus was a channel for exercising spiritual discipline for the erring brother by delivering him to Satan for the destruction of the flesh (or premature physical death) so that he would still go to heaven and not continue in adultery and go to hell.
How could this be done?
It is obvious that God’s power through Paul’s spirit was providing protection for the brethren in the Corinthian church. So to deliver this particular brother to Satan all Paul had to do was to remove the spiritual covering of protection over that particular brother. This Paul did without being physically present, simply by asking God do it in prayer, since it was through Paul’s spirit that the power of God was being channelled to provide covering for that church or assembly of God’s people in Corinth.
This concept of God using those in positions of spiritual authority and leadership to provide covering in the church is spoken of prophetically in:
Isaiah 32:1-4 NKJV: Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, And princes will rule with justice. A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, And a cover from the tempest, As rivers of water in a dry place, As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. The eyes of those who see will not be dim, And the ears of those who hear will listen. Also the heart of the rash will understand knowledge, And the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly.
Isaiah 4:4-6 NKJV: 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. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.
Here, the Holy Spirit, through Isaiah, speaks of Kings and princes, symbolically, representing those in positions of spiritual leadership and authority, reigning in righteousness and justice as being men that will be a hiding place and a covering from the wind and tempest, and as channels of rivers of water and shadows of a great rock.
Rivers of water symbolically speak of the life and power of God (Jn. 4,10,14, 7. 38,39).
Shadows of a great rock symbolically speak of a covering from heat and a refuge from the elements: wind, storm and rain.
In fact in Is.4. 5,6 quoted above, it says God will create a covering above every assembly and dwelling in place in Mount Zion (Ps. 50.2), speaking of local churches in the perfect church in this 3rd. day.
Covering will cause those under it to:
1. Live above a multitude of sins by the extra spiritual power they receive from that covering (Pr. 10.12, 1 Pet. 4.8).
2. Experience accelerated spiritual growth by the extra spiritual nutrition they receive through the covering (Eph. 4.16, Col. 2.19).
3. Have protection from premature physical death by the extra protection they receive through the covering (Jn. 17.12, Ps. 102.16-20).
The word extra in the above statements is instructive: there is power, nutrition and protection we get from God directly ourselves through our own faith, prayer life and reading and study of the scriptures, however through covering we receive an extra measure of these things.
Without covering this extra would be missing and this could affect our conduct, growth and destiny, particularly when God has made covering available and we refused to get and stay under it because of pride or rebellion.
Now covering has always been in operation in the church, even though many are ignorant of it, so it has not operated very effectively hitherto.
However, in this the 3rd day as God is raising up a perfect, Zion, church as revealed in Is. 4.2-6 above the operation of covering will become much more effective and significant.
In fact it will be by covering the church will be perfected in the unity of the knowledge and character of God in answer to the Lord’s prayer in:
John 17:20-23 NKJV: I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
This will happen by God removing the present bad ‘Saul’ leadership in the church and raising up a perfect, ‘David’, leadership in the church, so that those that come under their covering will also operate perfectly and gradually become perfect themselves.
To get and stay under the covering of this new leadership you need to:
1. Recognize them by their fruit (Mat. 7.16-23), ability to rightly divide the Word (2Tim. 2.15), and the power of God (Ac. 2.22) released into your life through the Word they feed you with.
2. Have and maintain a right attitude towards them so your heart can be open to receive the covering coming from them, by esteeming them highly in love for their works sake (1 Th. 5.12,13). For instance in Nazareth they had a wrong attitude towards Christ and so he could no mighty work there (Mk. 6.3-6).
3. Practice obeying their instructions from the Word of God (Heb. 13.7,17). Judas’ continual dishonesty (without confession or repentance) in stealing from the bag (Jn. 12.6) caused his heart to be hardened in covetousness, so he could not receive the covering of righteousness and protection from Jesus’ leadership that Peter and the other apostles received in spite of their human weaknesses and failures (Jn.17.12).
4. Give financially to them in appreciation of the spiritual nutrition you are getting from them (Gal.6.6-8). It is not the amount you give that matters but the heart with which you do it (Lu. 21.1-4).