“Apostolic Submission” Or False Tradition? [Demetrius Sinegal]
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The gentleman in the image below is Demetrius Sinegal.
His official website says that he is a “senior prophet,” “senior pastor,” “chief apostle,” and “presiding bishop.”
On July 29th, 2014, Sinegal posted the following statement on his official Facebook page:
“There should be no greater voice in your life than that of the one who’s covering you profess to be under. You can’t be under one’s covering, and be consecrated/affirmed by another. You can’t be a member of one church yet tithe to another. Submit where you are submitted. Apostolic covering, sonship, and/or relationship does not mean daily conversation, it means daily covering. Something done in the heavens, manifested in the earth. True covenant relationship means you treat those you are in COVENANT with equal to or better than a “big name” you honor or are impressed by. It means KNOWING the value of those you’re in relationship with.”
Since Sinegal has an on-going series for people who are tired of church, I thought it might be helpful to explain some of the reasons why Believers are tired of church using his own words as an example.
1. Believers are tired of leaders who exalt themselves to the place of Christ.
“There should be no greater voice in your life than that of the one who’s covering you profess to be under.” (Demetrius Sinegal)
This statement would be true if Sinegal were saying that there should be no greater voice in your life than God’s. But that is not what he is saying.
He is saying that there should be no greater voice in your life than his which amounts to idolatry because he is exalting himself to the place of Christ. This goes directly against Scripture which teaches that there should be no greater voice in our life than God’s. See Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 13:4, John 10:27, and Hebrews 3:7-8.
If there is no greater voice in your life than Sinegal’s, then he has successfully usurped the voice of the Lord Jesus in your life which is Antichrist.
The term “Antichrist” not only means an adversary of Christ or an enemy of Christ. It also means “in the place of Christ,” as in someone or something that exalts itself to the place of Christ as a false messiah.
In a church-setting, the spirit of Antichrist masquerades as someone or something very holy, and insinuates itself to a place in your heart that only Jesus should have.
While it is true that we should listen to Biblically qualified elders (Ephesians 4:11-12), their voice is not greater than God’s. Nor is their voice greater than any other Believer’s including your own, because we are all equal as children of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26-28).
To say that “There should be no greater voice in your life than that of” Sinegal’s contradicts the word of God and goes far beyond the Biblical role and authority of elders.
Some of us are practicing a version of Churchianity that is based on the Old Covenant where God primarily spoke to the children of Israel through prophets (Hebrews 1:1-2). It is time to come out of the old and into the new. In the New Covenant, God has filled us with the Holy Spirit and given us the ability and the privilege of hearing Him directly and obeying His voice.
If there is no greater voice in your life than Sinegal’s, not only have you allowed him to become your “personal jesus,” but you have shortchanged yourself of the New Covenant blessing of personally hearing from God.
“As it is written in the Scriptures, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.” (John 6:45)
“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26)
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the assembly.” (Revelations 2:29)
If you are a leader and you are interested in running off Believers — teach people that there should be no greater voice in their life than yours.
2. Believers are tired of leaders playing God and smothering them with “spiritual covering” dogma.
Throughout Sinegal’s statement, he referred to “covering.” But he wasn’t referring to the covering of God’s Spirit. He was referring to the “spiritual covering” dogma which exalts a man to the place of God as your “covering.”
Nowhere in Scripture does it directly state or remotely imply that spiritual leaders function as a “spiritual covering” over God’s flock. But instead, the Scriptures teach that God is our covering:
“I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert [covering] of thy wings. Selah.” (Psalm 61:4)
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:4)
“O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.” (Psalm 140:7)
“And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert [covering] from storm and from rain.” (Isaiah 4:5-6)
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)
“When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 16:8)
“I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk.” (Ezekiel 16:10)
“And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.” (Deuteronomy 33:12)
Spiritual leaders can do many wonderful things such as teach, preach, counsel, prophesy, reprove, warn, watch and pray. But they cannot cover your soul.
In order for a person to cover your soul, they must be omnipotent (all-powerful), ever-present (everywhere that you are), and omniscient (all-knowing). Spiritual leaders do not possess these qualities, only God does.
God is the only one who has the ability to cover your soul everywhere that you go, protect you from unseen spiritual forces of darkness, and guide you through every situation because He knows the past, present, and future. Spiritual leaders simply do not have the power and knowledge to cover your soul.
If you believe that Sinegal is your “spiritual covering,” then who was covering you before you met him? Who was covering you when you first got saved? Wasn’t it God?
If God was covering you before you met Sinegal and when you first got saved, then why do you need Sinegal to “cover” you now?
Who convinced you that you need somebody new to cover you? It couldn’t have been God, because His word says that He is our spiritual covering. It had to be a man who convinced you that you “need” him to “cover” you. Oh, and also send him 10% of your income.
God was Adam and Eve’s covering.
God was Abraham’s covering.
God was Isaac’s covering.
God was Jacob’s covering.
God was Joseph’s covering.
God was Moses’ and Aaron’s covering.
God was the prophets’ covering.
God was John the Baptizer’s covering.
God was the apostles’ covering.
Yet modern-day leaders teach Believers that they are our “spiritual covering” and that if we say God is our covering we are in “rebellion.” Well, here is what God has to say about that:
“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin:” (Isaiah 30:1)
God said “woe” unto those who cover with a covering that is not of His Spirit. He called it a sin, because trusting in the flesh for covering is idolatry.
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9)
“This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:5)
The “spiritual covering” dogma cannot be found in Scripture nor the writings of early Believers. It came from the Discipleship/Shepherding Movement of the 1970’s and 1980’s which tried to make Believers “accountable,” but resulted in cases of spiritual abuse.
While spiritual leaders do serve an indispensable role in the body of Christ, their role is not to function as the “spiritual covering” of God’s flock. That role belongs to the Spirit of God alone.
Many Believers find it offensive and off-putting when we come together to fellowship and worship God and find ourselves dealing with a leader who tries to insert themselves over us as a “spiritual covering.” As if to imply that we were “uncovered” and exposed to the attacks of the enemy before we attended their church.
Who was covering us before we walked through the door? And how on earth can a mere human being cover an entire congregation? Can they project some sort of magical forcefield over everyone and cover our souls everywhere we go? The very idea is mystical, pagan, and unbiblical.
If your goal is to repel Believers, then teach man-made doctrines that aren’t in Scripture like, “You can’t be under one’s covering, and be consecrated/affirmed by another.”
3. Believers are tired of greedy leaders trying to control what we do with our own money.
“You can’t be a member of one church yet tithe to another.” (Demetrius Sinegal)
One of the biggest “church repellents” are leaders who contradict what the Scriptures teach about tithing and giving, and dictate how much money Believers “must” give, and where we are and aren’t “allowed” to give our own money.
The false doctrine of “tithing your income” is unbiblical and contradicts the tithing laws in Scripture. It is a mutation of Biblical tithing and violates the New Covenant doctrine of cheerful giving:
“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
There is no tithe or 10% in the New Covenant. We each decide how much to give.
And when we give, we give voluntarily and gladly of our own free will — not because we felt pressured to give.
We give in proportion to our income, which means that those who have more are expected to give more and those who have less are expected to give less, so that no one will be burdened while others have it easier. This brings equality in the body.
“Give in proportion to what you have. Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.” (2 Corinthians 8:11-14)
Notice that in both passages, the saints were not commanded to give a tithe or 10%. No set percentage was given. Instead, they gave in response to their sense of unity and shared life in Christ and in response to the preaching of the Gospel.
The apostles did not tell the saints to “tithe” and tell them that they were “robbing God” and “cursed with a curse” if they failed to do so. They testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is superior to the tithe, the Old Covenant system of Law, the Levitical Priesthood, and Melchizedek. He is greater than the tithe and He produces more spiritual growth and more fruit than the tithe.
When leaders reach back to the tithe, they are going back to something that is inferior to Jesus in order to provide for their organizations, agendas, and lifestyles. Just because a certain method brings in money doesn’t mean that it is the best method, the most effective method, a Scriptural method, or acceptable to God.
Many organizations bring in money, but their methods are not Biblical, do not build up the faith and character of the saints, and do not please and honor God.
Preaching the Good News motivates a higher level of giving than the tithe, because the tithe binds people to 10%, whereas the Good News sets people free to give everything they have for the Kingdom. Leaders will never successfully emulate what happened in Acts 2 and 4 by teaching the false doctrine of “tithing your income.”
Spiritual leaders have authority to teach what the Scriptures teach about giving. They have authority to encourage Believers to give generously and be rich in good works.
They have authority to instruct Believers to provide materially for evangelistic efforts (the local and global preaching of the Gospel), widows and orphans, the sick and shut-in, the elderly, the persecuted and imprisoned, the homeless, and saints who are in need.
They have authority to instruct Believers to provide materially for their own households, pay off their debts, be good stewards of their finances, and leave an inheritance for their children.
Spiritual leaders do not, however, have authority to dictate how much Believers must give. They do not have authority to bind Believers to 10% or any other amount in the name of God. They do not have authority to forbid Believers from giving to another church.
If a Believer regularly fellowships with one church and decides to give money to another church, that is their right to do so. Forbidding them from giving money to another church is divisive, sectarian, greedy, and Satanic.
Nowhere in Scripture does it directly state or remotely imply that if you regularly fellowship with one church, you are not allowed to provide materially for another church. We are all one body in Christ, with one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism. So when we give to a Church, it benefits the same body of Christ that we are all a part of and brings glory to God just the same.
Sinegal sounds like he is attempting to hoard his supporters’ money all to himself by forbidding them from helping other churches. This is a divisive religious mentality and Paul the apostle spoke against it in his first letter to the Church at Corinth.
“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
The apostles encouraged the saints to give generously to different Churches in need. Sinegal does the opposite. He reminds me of a man named “Diotrephes” in 3rd John. Diotrephes forbid the saints in his fellowship from helping Believers outside of their group.
Fortunately, God is using social media to connect Believers around the world and across the nation, and bringing the truth to light through Biblical discussions about tithing, giving, and financial accountability in the church.
From what I am hearing, many Believers are burnt out and fed up with false teachings about “tithing their income,” “sowing a seed,” “firstfruits offerings,” and man-made prohibitions like “You can’t be a member of one church yet tithe to another.”
Leaders who persist in promoting such nonsense at the expense of sacrificing truth and integrity do so to their own detriment and create more Believers who are ‘tired of church.’
If you would like to study about the history of tithing in Scripture and New Covenant giving, click here.
If you would like to discuss tithing and giving, I invite you to join the following Facebook group by clicking here.
4. Believers are tired of leaders using “submission” to control them.
“Submit where you are submitted.” (Demetrius Sinegal)
I believe in Biblical submission, which is first rendered unto God, and secondly unto man (e.g., your spouse, fellow Believers including elders, and civil authorities).
Scripture teaches that submission in the body of Christ is mutual and conditional.
Mutual means that our submission is reciprocated. It goes both ways. The attitude that “you have to submit to me, but I don’t have to submit to you” is carnal, worldly, prideful, and contrary to the teaching of Christ. In the body of Christ, we walk in humility and submit to one another.
Conditional means that our submission is based on conditions, certain requirements being met, or certain terms. The conditions or requirements being that we are submitting to the word of God and the will of God.
Our submission to man is conditional, because man is capable of evil, sin, abuse, error, deceit, wandering astray, and rebellion.
If we submit to someone who is in error, we will end up in error with them. If we submit to someone who is a blind guide, both of us will end up in a ditch. If we submit to someone who is in rebellion to God, they will lead us into rebellion. If we submit to someone who teaches false doctrine, we will become a participant in their evil deeds and God will hold us accountable.
If submitting to a person puts us in disobedience to God, we do not submit to that person. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)
Submission comes with consequences and God will hold us accountable for who or what we submit to. For this reason, it is critical that we use discernment in our submission and do not blindly submit to anyone just because they are a leader.
The problem is not with Biblical submission. The problem is when the words “submit” and “submission” are intermingled with false teachings and used to control Believers.
The words “submit” and “submission” are trigger words in the minds of many professing Believers. These words are used to provoke or initiate a desired course of action — the action being a slave-like, docile, passive, servile, subservient position of blind unthinking unquestioning obedience to leadership.
As Believers, we must keep our thinking caps on and use discernment at all times. Do not assume that a teaching is Scriptural just because it is sprinkled with the words “submit” and “submission.” If/When a teaching has error in it, do not submit to it. And do not submit to leaders such as Sinegal who promote false teachings and desire to be the greatest voice in your life.
5. Believers are tired of “spiritual father” wizardry.
“Apostolic covering, sonship, and/or relationship does not mean daily conversation, it means daily covering. Something done in the heavens, manifested in the earth.” (Demetrius Sinegal)
I already addressed the subject of “covering.” Man does not possess the ability or authority to cover someone’s soul. Only God does. Putting the word “apostolic” in front of the word “covering” doesn’t magically make it Scriptural. There is no such thing as “apostolic covering” and the original apostles would detest the very idea because it exalts man to the place of God.
Now to address this hocus pocus called “apostolic sonship”. . .
The false apostles of our time promote a bastardized heresy called “apostolic sonship” wherein they elevate themselves as “spiritual fathers” and subjugate their supporters as “spiritual sons” and “spiritual daughters.”
They normally promote this heresy by ripping Scriptures out-of-context from Paul’s letters and mashing them together with Old Testament Scriptures.
The Scriptures overwhelmingly emphasize the Fatherhood of God and our sonship to Him. This is important because one of the reasons why Jesus sacrificed His life was to reconcile us back into peaceful fellowship with God the Father as sons and daughters. Not “apostolic sons and daughters” — but sons and daughters of God.
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become sons of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” (John 1:12-13)
“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:14-17)
“And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)
“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7)
Also see 1 John 3:1-2.
Once again, the Scriptures overwhelmingly emphasize the Fatherhood of God and our sonship to Him. Yet the false apostles of our time overwhelmingly emphasize “apostleship fatherhood” and “apostolic sonship.”
They elevate themselves as intermediaries or “middle-men” through whom we receive our Divine inheritance, anointing, and ministry. This contradicts the Scriptures which teach that there is only one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus, and it is through Him that we receive our Divine inheritance, anointing, and ministry.
This sinful tendency of man to elevate himself above others as an intermediary between God and man through the use of honorific titles such as “apostolic father” is precisely why Jesus rebuked and warned against such behavior:
“They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’ “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal 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 ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant.” (Matthew 23:7-11)
For the most part, the concepts of “apostolic sonship” “apostolic fathers” and “apostolic covering” reinforce an unbiblical caste-system in the church, infantilize Believers, and ‘birth’ illegitimate
They try to justify their doctrine of “apostolic sonship” by paralleling themselves with Paul the apostle and his relationship with Timothy, yet they do not preach the same Gospel that the apostles preached, they are not training anyone to be disciples of Jesus like the original apostles did (they train people to be disciples of themselves), they do not take care of the poor like the original apostles did (they talk more about people taking care of them), they preach themselves not Christ and Him crucified, and they do not risk their lives to bring the Gospel where it has never been heard before and raise up new Churches.
sinistry ‘ministry’ websites are full of self-promotional advertisements, glamour shots of themselves, quips, quotes, cliches, and man-made doctrines, NOT the unadulterated doctrine of Christ. They are NOTHING like the original apostles. Nothing.
In the body of Christ, we are all brothers and sisters and sons of God the Father. Our sonship is in Christ Jesus, not in any man or woman with a superiority-complex claiming to be an “apostolic covering, father, or mother.”
6. Believers are tired of bondage created by unbiblical covenants.
“True covenant relationship means you treat those you are in COVENANT with equal to or better than a “big name” you honor or are impressed by. It means KNOWING the value of those you’re in relationship with” (Demetrius Sinegal)
The phrase “covenant relationship” is another trigger word.
This phrase brings to mind an agreement or partnership that is entered into with various commitments and obligations spelled out.
Many leaders use this phrase to bind people to themselves and their organizations, and obligate people to financial commitments and other man-made requirements, rules, and regulations.
In many cases, these “covenant relationships” are used as tools to control what people think, believe, feel, say, do, where they are ‘allowed’ to fellowship, what they are and aren’t ‘allowed’ to listen to/watch/or read, what they wear, where they live/work/attend school/and socialize, who they marry, what they are or aren’t ‘allowed’ to do in their marriage, how they run their own households, whether they are ‘allowed’ to leave or stay in a certain church, and how they spend their money.
In my experience, research, and observation — “covenant relationships’ are legalistic and facilitate the abuse and micromanagement of Believers. Nonbiblical covenants unto leaders and organizations have a tendency to supplant the role of the Holy Spirit and infringe on the blood-bought freedom of the saints.
When leaders speak of “covenant relationship,” use discernment and ask yourself if they are talking about the New Covenant or a marriage covenant, because these are the only 2 covenants spoken of in the New Testament.
The New Covenant was instituted by the shedding of Jesus’ blood. We entered into this Covenant by faith in the Son of God and His redemptive work on the Cross. A marriage covenant is instituted by God and unites a man and woman in holy matrimony.
The New Testament says nothing about entering into “covenant relationships” with leaders and organizations. This is an unbiblical concept.
Our covenant is with God through the shed blood of Jesus. And if you are married, you are in a marriage covenant with your spouse. There are no other Divine covenants instituted and acknowledged by God in the New Testament.
Mr. Sinegal seems to be more concerned about being treated “equal to or better than” the popular pulpiteers of our day. This is not the mentality of a real servant of God and a real apostle, but the mentality of a high maintenance Narcissus.
The fact that he thinks he’s being “mistreated” by people giving THEIR OWN money to someone other than him shows that he has NO IDEA what it means to suffer for Christ.
While true men and women of God suffer persecution overseas, false apostles in America are more concerned about whether their supporters treat them equal to or better than T.D. Jakes.
I leave you with the words of our Senior Pastor and Chief Apostle — no. . . not Demetrius Sinegal — the Lord Jesus Christ.
“But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)
“. . . whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)