The scepter and the staff


Numbers 21:18:  the well that the princes made, that the nobles of the people dug, with the scepter and with their staffs.” And from the wilderness they went on to Mattanah,

How do you dig a well with scepter and staff? It is not possible except the scepter and staff stands for spiritual authority, causing provision to manifest for the people; both physical and spiritual provision, which water symbolises. Those who carry spiritual authority, have the prerogative to make new things happened for the people.

The staff and scepter operate by recognision. When the children of Israel stopped wanting the kind of leadership Samuel provides, and wanted a king (1Samuel 8), God did not have any other option but to give them one, even though he warned them of the dire consequences.

It is the leadership you recognise that benefits you. That is why Paul wrote that we should recognise those who labour over us, who speak the word of God to us. They apply of the words of God to create new realities for the hearers internally and externally.

They hearers have the “water-experience.” If their reality before coming in contact with your ministry was dryness, when they come they experience spiritual refreshing and joy. They experience the presence of God in a new way and the bible says that in the presence of God there is fullness of joy and on his right hand are pleasure forever more (Psalm 16:11). In the operation of your ministry the people should come in contact in a time of refreshing. The bible say that times of refreshing will come from the presence of God (Acts 3:19); and water brings refreshing. They should encounter the presence of God through you, or everything else is a waste of time. The staff and scepter makes water available for your hearers in the wilderness of this world, and they keep coming for more to experience refreshing.

There should be a flow of grace from your lips (Ephesians 4:29). The psalmist says, in an eulogy describing Jesus, said that grace is poured on from his lips (Psalm 42:1-2). That means it flows from his lips as an endless source.  When people hear you in the public execution of your ministerial anointing, they should encounter grace flowing from your lips from the very first second to the very last. As that grace contacts their lives, change become inevitable, the impossible becomes possible.

Paul says that his ministration was not in words of men’s wisdom but the demonstration of the Spirit and power, so that the faith of the people will not be based on the words of men but on the power of God (1Corinthians 2:1-5).

God showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones and asked him (Ezekiel 37:1-14): “Can these bones live? Can such a change occur? Can such radical transformation happen? He answered: you alone know Lord.”

Then God commanded him to prophesy, to declare His word, over the bones, to engineer the needed radical change. The ability of God was released in those words, to cause change to happen over a period of time on the dry bones. The end result was an exceedingly great army.

*The bones came together. That stands for spiritual identity, cessation of confusion/purposelessness.

*Flesh and sinews covered the bones. That stands for spiritual capacity and definition of character.

*Lastly the Spirit of the Lord infused the bodies, and they stood a mighty army. That is restoration of function and operation by the Spirit.

The staff is the symbol of the operation of the shepherd. David wrote: the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, he makes me lie down in green pasture, he restores my soul, and he leads me in the path of righteousness of his name’s sake (Psalm 23). Restoration of the soul, and leading in righteousness are key functions of the shepherd.

The staff is leadership through the step by step actualisation of the will of God in the life of the people. It is line upon line of spiritual instruction, here a little, there a little. It is the bringing of change by installments.

The scepter is another kind of leadership. Jesus is the ultimate shepherd (staff), and also the ultimate king and ruler (scepter) in our lives, which is what he is. He rules in our lives by his scepter. Jesus rules (scepter) with the word of his power and his guides (staff) with the word of grace.

Giving a picture of Jesus, John said that His tongue is like a double-edged sword (Revelation 1:16, Hebrews 4:12). The two edges I believe are named grace and power. Jesus told Paul my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made manifest in weakness (2Corinthians 12:9). Grace sustained, but power cancels out negative qualities, and both are characteristics of the word (there is the word of grace [Acts 20:32] and word of power [Hebrews 1:3, Luke 4:32-36]) which is Jesus. And words come from the mouth, hence the two-edged sword in the mouth of Jesus.

In the book of Psalms Jesus the son of God is described by David as having the rod that he uses to beat the nation into pieces (Psalm 2). That is the rulership dimension of his dominion, his scepter, which happens through the application of power. God told Jesus after his ascension: sit on my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool (Psalm 110), adding that in the “day of your power, your people (you and I) shall be willing” to use the power to bring the enemies of Christ to their knees.

After his resurrection, Jesus told his disciples, all power in heaven and on earth have been given to me; now go preach the gospel, which Paul described as the power of God (Romans 1:16), because it brings opposition to their knees, into the obedience of Christ. The power word deals with opposition.

Also, when we use the name of Jesus in prayer or in declaratory statements; we are using it as a scepter. That is what we do to cast our devils, healed the sick, to cause people to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Mark 16:15-18).

The staff dimension of spiritual leadership however, involves feeding the flock for their growth. It is the caring role, but is balanced by the rod, which has a corrective role.

The rod is to arrest decay while the staff is to encourage growth. We see Jesus using the two in the lives of the disciples. There are times he rebuked them sharply for their lack of faith, for their hardness of heart, and in other places he carefully explains parables to hem, to enhance their understanding. The bible says that the shepherd has the role of feed the people with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15).

Conversely, Paul told Titus that he should used the rod, figuratively speaking, by rebuking the people sharply (Titus 1:13), so that they may be sound in the faith. He should not tolerate laxity among the people. It was the rod of Judgment that Peter by the Holy Spirit applied leading to the death of Ananias and Sapphira when they lied. That was an expression of spiritual authority (Acts 5:1-11).

Paul also used that authority in the church of Corinth, where Paul declared judgment on a man involved in adultery through sleeping with his father’s wife. Though not present with them he declared judgment in the spirit (1Corinthians 5:1-7), asking that the church cut him for so that the devil can have a field day to destroy his flesh so that his spirit will be saved.


David said of his shepherd, the Lord: “your rod and your staff,” they help me, they bring me into rightness. Both rod and scepter are different dimensions of spiritual leadership designed by God to dig well for the people, to cause rivers of living waters to flow, arresting death (the water of God heals [Ezekiel 47:8-10]) and bringing refreshment (enhanced spiritual life [Jeremiah 2:13]) for the people.



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