Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.
After the destruction of Jerusalem, two academies were formed in Israel; in Jerusalem that of the followers of the Rabi from Nazareth, and in Yavneh the school of Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zacchai. These two academies lived in mutual respect and acceptance. They had learned from the sectarian wars that became the downfall of Jerusalem.
The first thing these two academies did was to establish leadership for their respective communities of disciples. They followed the instruction of Moses found in Deuteronomy 16:28 to appoint judges in all cities to be final authorities over disputes and matters of religious observance. This decision was essential to the preservation of their respective remnants. The chosen judges would be required to be honest and upright people from among the congregants. We can see from this that no-one ever believed that the Body of Messiah should be a disjointed federation of independent individuals but rather a synchronized cohesive group working under authority. Clerical leadership was actually the Father's idea because fathers know that kids don't do well without leadership. He also knows it is better for them to have bad leadership than no leadership at all! I consider one of the most pathetic verses in the whole Bible, In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6).
Yeshua appointed His disciples as judges over Israel. They were to become the new Sanhedrin (Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30). This is why Peter felt he did not have to answer to the old Sanhedrin: he was himself part of the Master's appointed Sanhedrin. It was not because he thought that human leadership was now obsolete (Acts 5:29)! That is also why Paul, who was very high in the old Sanhedrin, came to the disciples to check that he was on the right track in his mission (Galatians 2:2). Both Peter and Paul give us instructions on how to choose congregational leaders (Acts 6:3; 1 Timothy 3:1-13). The matter of clergy is very touchy for Americans. Other cultures are more willing to submit themselves to the Torah command to establish leadership.
In the absence of appointed leaders though, we should be able to submit ourselves to the authority of the ones we know: Peter, James, and John who were apostles to the Jewish community of believers; and Paul, the apostle for the Gentile believers (2 Timothy 1:11). Their writings contain much relevant instructions concerning judicial and religious observance. One day the Master will return and He will help us to again observe this commandment to establish judges in all our cities.
Many only want to listen to God, but how will one submit to God when he can't even submit to one made in the image of God? Even so, the Master came to us in the appearance of a man. He knows that just like sheep who cannot follow a man because he is not one of their own, we cannot follow God who is spirit. But like sheep who can follow the bell-weather (the big sheep with the bell who follows the shepherd everywhere he goes) we can follow Yeshua, our 'Bell-Weather'. The Son of man follows God, and we follow the Son of Man, who teaches us to appoint judges over ourselves.