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The role that the “Clergy” play in the vChurch (visible church) clouds the meaning of the word we use for shepherd in the New Covenant. The actual position if we must rank people, shepherd (poimen) or “Pastor” is at the lowest rung, most humble position according to Jesus in the foot washing teaching He gave His disciples. If you don’t understand that story you won’t until you are humbled by God. If one wants to know their rank in the military or what the mission is we ask the commander. Jesus sez; “the first will be last, the least of these my Brothers and Sisters, Feed my Sheep” the lowest is the greatest”. We do not see any ranks in the order of vChurches until after the 2nd CE when smaller gatherings would seem to be depending on larger groups. “Pastor” is used one time as a word in Ephesians. Read the differing translations before you jump on the conclusion wagon. Read carefully before you have the flag/name tag made with your rank on it. Peter spoke quiet force-ably to the “Fellow Elders” The shepherds/elders he spoke to were warned; Not to do anything for money, personal gain or selfish ambition. The sheep analogy doesn’t work for you if you know little about sheep. Anyone that has owned and cared for sheep knows that people are like sheep, but the sheep are somewhat smarter, they will follow the leader that leads to food, shelter from danger and calm pastures. A shepherd knows you can not drive sheep except thru fear and pain. The Good Shepherd leads from the front. The “Hired Hand” may run in battle, the Warrior God has prepared never has to run. One vicious wolf can kill a flock of 50 sheep in a night. Peter warned of this in these verses (This predates the KJV, Who translated it?) “The elders which are amonge you I exhorte which am also an elder and a witnes of the affliccions of Christ and also a partaker of the glory that shalbe opened: se that ye fede Christes flocke which is amonge you takynge the oversyght of them not as though ye were compelled therto but willyngly: not for the desyre of filthy lucre but of a good mynde. not as though ye were lordes over the parisshes: but that ye be a insample to the flocke. And when the chef shepheerde shall appere ye shall receave an incorruptible croune of glorye. Lykwyse ye yonger submit youre selves vnto the elder. Submit youre selves every man one to another knet youre selves togedder in lowlines of mynde. For God resisteth ye proude and geveth grace to the humble. Submit youre selves therfore vnder the myghty honde of God that he maye exalt you whe the tyme is come. Cast all youre care to him: for he careth for you. Be sober and watch for youre adversary ye devyll as a rorynge lion walketh about sekynge whom he maye devoure: whom resist stedfust in the fayth remebrynge that ye do but fulfill the same affliccios which are apoynted to youre brethren that are in the worlde. The God of all grace which called you vnto his eternall glory by Christ Iesus shall his awne silfe after ye have soffred a lytell affliccio make you perfect: shall settle strenght and stablishe you. To him be glory and dominio for ever and whill the worlde endureth Amen. By Silvanus a faythfull brother vnto you (as I suppose) have I written brefly exhortynge and testifyinge how that this is the true grace of god wherin ye stonde. The companious of youre eleccion yt are at Babilo saluteth you and Marcus my sonne. Grete ye one another with the kysse of love. Peace be with you all which are in Christ Iesus.Amen.” Tyndale Bible Version, predates the King Jimmie version. This link will take you to a fav version https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/poimen.html
Paul warned the elders. Jesus spoke of the “Hired Hand” we should be wary of. The warnings were for the shepherd to watch for wolves from among the flock that would teach false doctrine. We need to know another word to understand the teaching. Our walk is the life we live as we go through the world of time and space. We are in a “Tent” of a physical body. God is Spirit, we must understand the simple fact that God is “High and Lifted up” above everything.
The simple Gospel needs simple answers. Sound Doctrine Titus 2:
We must have a clear conscience before God; 1Pet 3:20-21, If this note from Peter gives you pause of confusion, I don’t laugh at your ignorance. I am sad that the simple Gospel of Jesus has been twisted by the divided denominated daughters of the whore of Babylon into Graceless or works based folly of religion. Please do a careful study of Grace. http://jackcottrell.com/…/saved-by-grace-2-saved-by…/
Does your group practice “Sound Doctrine”? Titus 2:, 1 Timothy 6:3,Ths Gospel is simple for humble people. The one Law (Gal 5:14) we must obey is often overlooked in religions based on rules, rituals, and traditions. The RM has been divided since the first meetings over music, missions and bravo sierra that men made up for control. When elders and followers give up pride and wash feet instead of looking for specks in others’ eyes you may find unity. Grace is not how good we are but how forgiven we are.https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/titus/2.html
When we form community, gather, assemble we disciple and make disciples by our message, the Gospel as defined in 1Cor15 as the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus. The creed we claim to honor with our life is Ephesians 4:1-6. If we claim to be people of the Word we should study to show ourselves approved. If we follow sound doctrine we will disciple our neighbors, strangers we meet and those drawn to us by the life we live. 1 Pet 2 reads ” Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.” Sound Doctrine is taught to the shepherds of the flock via the instructions Paul wrote in the letters to his two young disciples. Your group either follows the instructions or not. How does not following instructions work for the followers of Moses? We are firmly convinced that God is withholding His wrath only so that we can share this message.
We must be unified on “Sound Doctrine” Titus 2:1-10, We must follow one law Gal 5:14, We must be born of the Water and Spirit John 3. The Gospel is far more simple; Caring and loving than men’s doctrine. Sheep and Goats are separated by their deeds/works. We are saved by Grace for good works. The rest is rules and rituals of religion. Take a serious look at the basic course video on commands vs traditions and then listen to Chan in the next video. https://basicchurch.teachable.com/
47 yrs ago a follower of Jesus that preached to the hippies, homeless, lost children , runaways, druggies, gangs, and a few disciples on the mean streets of Atlanta Georgia, Jim Vernon gave me a copy of a New Testament that was written by a Bible College professor in the 1890s. The text is King James English and a side bar of revised standard. That is not what is important or interesting. The ministry is still going with the leadership shepherding as Jim planned serving the “Least of These” http://jesusplace.info/mission/ministries
The interesting points are that as I used the book as a resources for the classes we were learning of the New Testament (no I did not learn Greek), I barely made a d in English one semester. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt.html
The notes in the Johnson commentary of this book explained and made simple a lot of the question one might have. None of the professors or people I was with in those years disagreed with the book’s common sense explanations on the details of the New Covenant. One must realize the lens Barton Johnson was looking through was before our nationalist expansion was quite done, no major wars since the Civil War for America. The Mideast was a different world a Muslim world and Jerusalem had been deserted for years between wars that trampled the city and obliterated any trace of the city of David under rubble. Nations in 1890 looked to Great Britain for the largest Navy, biggest Army, Banking Center and leading government on Earth soon to reckon with it’s own sins of conquest and oppression of ethnic people for the good of England. This world of 1800s for the followers of Christ had no teaching on the “Rapture”, no clue that new cults, sects, denominations, and divisions that would arise over men’s teaching of errors. “Wolves will always be at the flock” The follower of Jesus used a simple Gospel for simple people. Barton Johnson visited the Mid East in the 1860s . The eyewitness reports he gives on the places in the NT that he visited is very good for the student to know how this culture was before later events and progress corrupted or helped it into the 20th Century. Walk through the Acts as the writer takes you to the places Paul traveled. The commentary. Here is a free online site that has the writings of many good people. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt.html You can download a copy here. https://www.ccel.org/ccel/johnson_bw/pnt.pdf
Do your “Shepherds” know the sheep by name, feed them the Bread of life, Drink with them from the Water of Life? In order for your group to have Clergy, reverends, higher than your status priests you must go out side of the writings of the first 100 years after the Resurrection of Jesus. The Gospel of the Apostles doctrine was radical, crazy, foolish to the “wisdom of the world” and based on simple people with no special gift that is not available to everyone in Christ. Read my previous on the Holy Spirit, I have watched people levitate and appear to rise from the dead. Your gathering has shepherds in place if it is in any way organized past the basic discipleship phase of 2 or more, the more being important to numbers people, apparently not to God. Elijah did not mind being the only servant, he just did not want to be alone without God. Always the number of the Ekklesia was more than one, the flock was disciplining, growing, dynamic. What did the evil one do? Divided us! The shepherd knows his sheep, feeds them by his hand and leads them to living water. Clergy follows rules, rituals, and traditions of men. Learn your history, please. The Gospel is far simpler than some would want.
We are either the slave or master of something. We either follow “Sound Doctrine” or not. Our obedience defines our deeds and thereby defines our understanding of grace. Ephesians 2: “for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God;9 not of works, that no man should glory.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.” Where are you walking? Titus 2:1-10 what is sound doctrine? Read Titus for answer.
These links take you to the online reference we use; https://www.biblestudytools.com/1-peter/5-1-compare.html
Abraham, the one that Paul speaks of in Romans 5 is here in the conversation of Jesus with the Jews about the resurrection of the dead. Note the “Deeds” Jesus tell the crowd to do. John 8:39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 “But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. What are the deeds? https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/ergon.html
Acts 3:25 “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.’
Romans 2:6-7 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
1 Cor 15 :8 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord , knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord .
2 Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
Gal 6:4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, niv.
Eph 4: 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Col 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord , to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; Walk is an action word. Used as a metaphor for your life or the way you live. Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Billybob Bojangle Grace is not how good we are at keeping laws but how forgiven we are by obeying Jesus, not by works of the law. Obeying Jesus is an action we take to be right with God. The faith only crowd would tell Abraham to stand, don’t move God will save you anyway. Abraham was made right because he obeyed in faith the Word of God. We are saved by the faith we have not by proxy or doctrine of man’s will. http://jackcottrell.com/…/saved-by-grace-2-saved-by…/