Old Wine in New Bottles, Why?

Worship is? All on us? or All on someone else to provide? Do we participate as the early “Church” was taught to “Each have a song, a word or a prayer” ? Key word “Each” , All in order and with respect of course. Not with ritual piety as no rote ritual will honor the King with pure worship in the Spirit and the Truth. Worship, adoration, devotion, sacrifice as a dog licks the hand of the master in total obedience is the understanding of Worship in the New Covenant. No proxy or sacrifice of our wealth will meet His Worship standards if our heart is missing. We, happy few, in the precious Name may enter with boldness the Holy Throne of God, anytime to be held as a child crying “Abba” Father! Heb 4:14-16. Our Mediator, our High Priest is with us as we “Abide” Our Worship as 2 or more gathered in His Name is precious to Him in any form that honors Him. Reference; Romans 14 toleration of others, reasoning, teaching, admonishing in Spirit and Truth of the mercy and grace Jesus showed the poor in Spirit, the unwanted, the leprous beggar. We all extend the leper’s hand/ When I suspect that my sins are not a stinking mess that yours obliviously are I have immediately failed to love you as Jesus taught. To ignore our sins as we walk together would cause us both to fail the test of a true brother and sister in the King’s service. If I be in error of the great command and you fail to warn me and come to me in humble teaching, woe be unto us! Please point out my errors!

Reference to Col 3 “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Many scriptures teach us to speak to one another, teaching each the other. His message is one and the same. Love one another! the rest is what we make of our lives based on this command.

When the “Church” restores the position and power of the Holy Spirit in the Worship of the assembly, the unity Jesus prayed for will be possible and evident in our midst. The children, immature followers that play with the toys and boast of their experience should not hinder or put us off pursuing His Spirit deeply in our worship public and private. All can be done decently and in order. Never for fame or gain!

We have a “Wonderful Counselor”, We have the written Word in it’s many translations and versions. In all these divisions and differences the message is the same. Our commandment is the same as in the beginning. Our power is the Resurrection, the power of His Name above all names. Our command to be obeyed is to love our Bros &Sis. 1 John 3 reads “in deed and truth” is our Worship to be served to the Master.

The sheep of Matt 25 were easy for the Chief Shepherd to sort from the Goats. Based on their actions, deeds, and care for the “least of these” . Many we have observed act as if on them reside all knowledge and little delivery of good fruit. peace!

Proskuneo is the Word

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. Matt 28

And they have Fellowship one with another, Koinonia https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/koinonia.html

The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon for Worship in NT

Strong’s Number: 4352
Origin proskuneo from (4314) and a probable derivative of (2965) (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand)Transliterated WordTDNT EntryProskuneo6:758,948Phonetic SpellingParts of Speechpros-koo-neh’-o VerbDefinitionto kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication. Note; Angels and apostles rejected human worship directed toward their person. Jesus never did, only telling demons to be quiet.
More examples of early followers teaching from the Apostles and Letters

Eph 5:19: speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, I sound like a frog croaking. however, my heart musick is all for Him. not you!

Only when the outsider, unbeliever, seeker sees the love for each other, for them and their needs will they believe and ask to know Your God. See 1 Corinthians 14:

Heb 12:28: Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, Note: Where do leaders find the idea people are to follow them? hint, not here.


In our new covenant the plan was for each to teach the neighbor and learn together. The early disciples did not return to the “Rabbis” the ruling temple teachers of the old covenant. The “synagogue” tossed them out and stoned them. The simple “Apostles’ doctrine” or teachings of the Apostles is modeled and recorded in the Acts record, in the letters we see the half of many conversations for the “Assemblies”, Ekklesia is the word. For us this is what we use for a guide or doctrine.


We must separate the fans and find the followers in prayer and fasting for the body in the highways and byways, not whining cause temple taxes are down and the hired hands are complaining. Find Him in the shelters, food pantries, soup kitchens, the homeless camps, the sidewalk, caring for the sick, and sharing meals “Breaking Bread” in homes of the faithful. WE have one rule to follow as a “Must Do!” 1 John 3:23, the rest is a religion to be measured by that one law. Gal 5:14, One way, and one faith Eph 4:1-6, We teach “Sound Doctrine” Titus 2:1-10, Cheers!

There is Truth and there is right, be kind, be gentle and firm as Jesus is in dealing with us and our sins.

We all know by now the world will (or has since I first wrote this last year) change the way we worship. Why not restore the first works of Love your neighbors, care for one another, be the Body and wear the Name above all names? What defined the few that waited for the promise of the Father Acts 1:4-5? Was the road to Emma-us the only encounter among the 500+? Was the forgiveness and love in action on the beach of John 21 that gave them courage to wait out the storm clouds of a nation at war with itself + the most powerful nation the world would very soon destroy the nation of Israel as God wiped the plate clean. What turned them from cowards, deserting their King and Messiah because He did not fit the picture of a King to them? What do you want God to fix today? Your food, your health? your life? We pray he breaks the heart of all that love Him and the repentance of their heartfelt tears will flow like the River of Life as we learn to Abide John 15:4

We have one law we must obey to please our God, 1 John 3:23, Gal 5:14, Go down to the river to pray, confess Jesus is King of Kings, Repent, Bury the dead man, Wash away your sins, Acts 5:32 Obey, Enjoy the Spirit as you Abide, disciple others, enjoy God’s Gifts, Come to the Table, leave the dead altars behind. The rest is religions, In matters of Faith unity, in matters of opinion liberty. We are called to be one body. Col 3 Reads:

Beyond all these things put on love, which is 1athe perfect bond of bunity.

 15 Let athe peace of Christ 1rule in your hearts, to which 2indeed you were called in bone body; and 3be thankful.

 16 Let athe word of 1Christ richly dwell within you, 2with all wisdom bteaching and admonishing 3one another cwith psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, dsinging 4with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

 17 aWhatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, bgiving thanks through Him to God the Father., end.

No longer Reformed, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Interesting take on “Calvinism” and related cult isims, https://jackcottrell.com/?p=2506

The resurrection of Jesus is the turning point of all history. If He has not conquered death romans 8:37 then nothing matters, nothing! Our lives are “Leaves of grass” Mankind has no hope in any other religion or practice. The fact that no one other than the promised Messiah, the Lamb of God; has ever in all of history claimed to have survived a full course Roman Crucifixion is easy to prove because many have failed to destroy the evidence. Why would all the evil in the world try and remove the evidence or cover it with religious junk if he were just another good dead man? Read the gospel’s accounts, read Acts, Pray for God to open your heart. Would you or friends give up all and devote everything to telling everyone He is Risen!; if he was not? God is who He sez He is or it is all a cruel joke. The idea that Jesus is only a good man, a holy person who did good things is a blasphemy on the “Mighty God, Wonderful Counselor, Rock of Ages. Isaiah 9. Jesus is God Romans 9:5 Believe and live in His pleasure. Acts 2 accept the invite, Come down to the river to pray, wash away your sins, bury the old man of your evil ways and rise to walk in the New Life of the Kingdom of God in Christ. If we die the death of Jesus we live with him forever. Romans 6:17 Acts 5:32, Cheers! The early followers “Knew” Jesus as you know your intimate friends and family. These followers are not hearsay reporters, but eye witnesses who touched the risen savior after a sure and confirmed death on the cross of Rome at the word of the Jews.

Going back to the dry bones, the entertainment, Why would we? We did a zoom call with elders across the world. That prayer meeting was wonderful Click on highlighted text for more info. http://www.wearechurch.com/church-intensive

When did this beautiful remembrance become a station break between the entertainment and the sage on the stage. Acts 2:42 , We have observed many years of privileged worship without harassment from anyone. This will change as we move from this season of sickness to a season of war? or ? Why is there a guard watching the door or is that Judas leaving?

Reading “Down to the River to Pray” and we are in awe at the truths presented here, the same truths we heard for 50 years and repeated without really understanding because we followed the model of our tradition in thinking “They must be right they are in charge” If you would see the “Breaking of Bread” in new light please prayerfully measure these books and compare to God’s Word and not tradition of men. The transforming regeneration of immersion is placed as the centerpiece of the Gospel moving the Cross to the proper place as the Altar God used to sacrifice His only begotten Son on. Our personal altar is on our knees in prayer of repentance, confessing Jesus as King our propitiation for evermore

We have one law we must obey to please our God, 1 John 3:23, Gal 5:14, Go down to the river to pray, confess Jesus is King of Kings, Repent, Bury the dead man, Wash away your sins, Acts 5:32 Obey, disciple others, enjoy God’s Gifts, Come to the Table, leave the dead altars behind. The rest is religions, In matters of Faith unity, in matters of opinion liberty.

Fellowship is more than…… what you think https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/koinonia.html


The lady in the gift shop had asked me what church do you go to ? In our conversation that began somewhere but ended up on God. I was wearing a t-shirt that said ” Jesus is my Savior not Religion”. The lady persisted and after we talked she invited us to her “Church”. We had told her we are followers of Jesus and followed no man made doctrine, creed or religion or divided denominated daughter of the church of Babylon. She had then said something like “We are all followers of Jesus” and she was very correct. We who place our faith in Jesus Christ of the prophecy of Isaiah 9 are all His children. The Jesus of Grace and Truth who said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” is the Savior of all who are redeemed by the blood of God’s only Chosen Lamb ( a sacrifice a shepherd would have intimate knowledge of in those days.) before the foundation of the world, a one off, first born of creation, precious Lamb. He is for us the Word became flesh and the Word was/is God. The Logos that is Divine. When you see the message of Jesus for all mankind as this amazing love, freedom in Christ, that Paul writes commentary on in his letters to the ekklesias, the trappings of rules and ritual fall away in His presence . When we humans decide to divide up and denominate around men, albeit good men we fall into the trap of the Corinthian Ekklesia following after Apollos, Paul or Peter. Who is the high priest of our congregation? Who are the priests? What are the offices or special appointments to be selected by scripture in the verified letters of Paul and Peter, James, John, Jude, the Apostles by Word of the Spirit of Christ? How can religious people excuse, ignore clear commands and make inferences a model to twist clear commands in the original languages on the oldest documents. We crucify Jesus afresh just as David used the throne to do evil, took the one lamb from Uriah and sinned. Like King David are those that allow the easy money, the power of control over others to capture their heart in obedience to Satan. These are the grievous wolves of warning to the elders of the early Ekklesia Is this word familiar to you? Click here for the Greek and 111 times it is used in the New Testament of your translation,

We are not the only followers of Jesus that claim to know Him and claim His ownership by bearing the label “Christian” or simple humble titles as the “a follower of the Way” We feel the divided denominational labels mark us for divided fellowship or somehow remove the need for fellowship with “Them” or those that fly different flags. We find those that love the Lord our King Jesus in many tribes under many sectarian flags. We know them by their humble Spirits that love God first in all things, yet have been blinded by denominational warfare over doctrine to control the flock. Many good shepherds do the best they can each day to care for the flock that they have looking to them for food that lasts, they get the scraps left over or do they meet Jesus on the beach anytime anywhere, God without limit. We feel no need for many traditions, rules rituals people use in their tribe to get closer to God, we see many examples of culture clash and bias in the fellowship of these tribes. Most are content to create their “Church” and let it evolve and reform as time goes by. After all the same churchmen/clergy class that burned people at the stake for saying the earth was round, also wanted the bible to say what they said not what God had said in the older documents. When the empires visible “Church” or vchurch as it was defined by theologians, developed theology to solve state political problems ST Augustine; who hated women and sex, was able to use the sprinkling of infants as the mode of a replacement for believer’s immersion, the vchurch was able to use the records of the vchurch to control the masses of sheep in Europe by superstition substitution and out right fraud in mixing the covenants, to give the kings and popes feudal control to tax and make war in the name of their gods.

The word was used to define a location after Luther translated the German word to mean a location. Early communities of faith always built or used a structure to serve the needs of the people. These structures were used as community schools, storehouses, hideouts and more. Never the grand buildings we see now. (early records around 250AD on) Never did the early followers think that Ekklesia was a place to go. No where is evidence of the excessive spending, the widespread use of pagan temples and pagan priesthood until after 300AD. Constantine flipped the pagan world upside down and incorporated many practices in his new model of religion. The history of how he propagandized what influence he had, during that time is well documented and an easy google search . If you are an agnostic or atheist because of this historical fact, please reconsider, Jesus lives! Use the word “Church” how you like but know what you are saying. Here is a technical description of the translated word Kirk, Kirche, church and how it got in the bible as Church instead of the word Ekklesia which means something totally different.

We must separate the fans and find the followers in prayer and fasting for the body in the highways and byways, not whining cause temple taxes are down and the hired hands are complaining. Find Him in the shelters, food pantries, soup kitchens, the homeless camps, the sidewalk, caring for the sick, and sharing meals “Breaking Bread” in homes of the faithful. WE have one rule to follow as a “Must Do!” 1 John 3:23, the rest is a religion to be measured by that one law. Gal 5:14, One way, and one faith Eph 4:1-6, We teach “Sound Doctrine” Titus 2:1-10, Cheers!


How much was the coin in the fish Peter caught? Why did he not open a fishing store and sell that lure? When did we pay to learn how to “Church”? Did not Simon ask to grow his church? What did Peter tell Simon? Can you buy the Holy Spirit who is the only Spirit that seals and adds to the Ekklesia? When you grow man’s church you must deal with man’s wisdom and effort. Acts 8. Acts 2:36-v41-42 Gal 1:16 Acts 5:32 The Gospel is free, there are apps for free, resources are free. 1 John 3:23

Find out for yourself what the early followers said and did in the everyday life of the first century. http://www.wearechurch.com/structure-1

Rapture, Too many want to know when? so they can buy “Fire insurance” or fix their life, Someday soon, They rest assured He can’t return until? before? False Prophets abound! We may see Jesus when the next heartbeat fails or not for many years, but we will see Him soon nonetheless. Hebrews 9 assures after death comes the Judgement. No one taught the rapture nonsense with much effort until Hal Lindsey and then Hollywierd found $$ in it. Hired hands and wolves use it to scare/control/fleece lost sheep.

 “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” Jude half brother of Jesus. This would be the One Faith of Ephesians 4, God likes the number one


We are to celebrate the resurrection of our King. To teach children to watch for a supernatural being that is able “to see you when you are sleeping, knows when you are bad or good, assigns just rewards based on deeds” is to assign the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the big ones only God has fully in all Power. The serious warnings here that 98% of Americans do not heed. Matt 12:22-32 Hebrews 6, These big gifts of a Holy Mighty God, not our Holy gifts he gives us every day can not be delivered to a myth of a legend that consumerism America has made into a little god celebrated by Wall Street and encouraged by divided churches everywhere as a way to please kids and parents are drawn in with kids. Our gifts are not under some tree or in a garment hung for the yule log to singe. We are to celebrate the indwelling Holy Spirit as in Abide, John 15, not just on a special holiday the empire decreed. Do as Paul told the Corinthians this holiday, Share, care for one another, love one another, obey the Holy Spirit in all things cover with Love 1 John 3:23, If we are wrong Job 6:24-25 Amen! Come Lord King Jesus!

Is the “Sinners Prayer” in the bible? Yes but not how they use it today.

Do you take Romans 10 and do away with Romans 6? Why not share the full gospel of Acts 1:4-5wait for the Promise of the Father, Acts 2 promise delivered, the invitation is given by Peter, Salvation Gifts and Sign Gifts, Acts 5:32, Why not be like those pagans in Corinth? Acts 18:8. Wash away your sins Acts 22:16, Eph 4:1-6 one not several. Sound doctrine, not church doctrine Titus 2:1-10. Real Grace in the Work of God not cheap grace sought by the rich young ruler who prayed in the belief that Jesus could save him in spite of his sins. Do you have Faith in the “Operation of God” Col 2:12, Do you have a clear “Conscience” 1 Peter 3:20-21 before God or just man? Are you all equal in Christ? If Faith has come are you still under the “Schoolmaster”? or the new covenant Faith of Gal 3:22-29. Some thoughts we had after watching the video Brandon posted. As we said; the prayer of repentance is a good place to start. Confessing with the Lord of your life is good as Rom 10 sez and many examples show. The first changes in the practices of the early Apostles’ teaching occurred slowly in the first 100 yrs of the birth of the new covenant. If one studies theology or doctrines from our age back to the age of the apostles One’s view can be distorted by the many divisions of men’s creation in their quest for riches and power. However if one studies the history from the Age of Apostles one can see the rise of the empire of Babylon, the changes St Augustine brought to the unholy altar, later what her evil daughters did to each other and the faithful followers of Jesus, as they fought and scrambled the scriptures to gain the power and control of the sheep. History can be verified. Cheers!


A compendium of quotations culled from the ten volume Ante-Nicene Fathers and arranged by subject for quick reference. The quotes include comments on 700 theological, moral, and historical topics from prominent figures such as Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Clement of Rome, and Hippolytus.

This book is an eye opener. Mr. Bercot has used a lawyer and scribes’ mind to summarize and collect the writings of the early church before the corruption of Constantine. If you would like a copy give me a call or pm https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MBGNG66/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0h

That is pretty! But I want to know what the first copy said, not the last ones. The Holy Spirit is promised to bring us into all truth. We are blessed with God’s wisdom on tap for a sincere prayer of Faith to the obedient servant. When can we see God? When can we walk with him? When we love Him more than we do our life. We have one word to obey. Galatians 5:14, We have one law to obey, the “Perfect Law of Liberty”
We have a model for this. Is it from the original record or the Renaissance period? If we look at the model can we find the practice in the New Agreement? Do you follow this model or the one in the Corinthian Ekklesia from the First Century?


New Wine http://www.wearechurch.com/structure-1


Of course Jesus used this metaphor, the common use of wine skins made of animal hides and other parts. These would work for the life of the vintage inside if consumed in a few weeks and then if allowed to dry out would burst if refilled. Totally biodegradable but the practice kept tanners busy making wine skins. I am sure the common people did not treat these containers with any more regard than we do a recyclable water bottle after they burst, no one tried to repair them, just catch another goat. Here is the record in Mark 2, Click on the words for the Greek meaning  , Mark 2:15 And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there weremany of them, and they were following Him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And hearing this, Jesuss aid to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 18John’sdisciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and they came and said to Him, “Why* do John’sdisciples and the disciples of the Phariseesfast, but Your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesussaid to them, “While* the bridegroom is with them, the attendants of the bridegroomcannotfast, can they? Solong as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot*fast20 “But the days will comewhen thebridegroom is takenaway from them, and then they will fast in that day21“Noonesews a patch ofunshrunkcloth on an oldgarmentotherwise the patchpullsaway from it, the new from the old, and aworsetearresults22“No oneputsnewwine into oldwineskinsotherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”

The wine skins have burst. The Ekklesia of Jesus is not a new covenant made up of old parts. Nor is the New Covenant a list of rules, rituals and regulations requiring lawyers and scribes or high Priests in costumes or temples with holy shrines to whois and whatfor? The Ekklesia of Jesus begins with 2 or more. The Ekklesia never ends with just 2. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit will never inhabit a temple made with hands or bless the idol worship of the “building” or useless things over the maker. Everything physical is a tool to be used or discarded for the Glory of God and our Lord Jesus who proved His word with the resurrection from the dead after a full course Roman Crucifixion.

The teaching of the wine skin is that the new agreement is final until God makes a new one. Humans broke the promise/covenant every time. God did not break His side of any agreement. Broken covenants are never reused. We are in the new agreement/covenant. To go back and drag something that did not work to save us or give us Grace is to insult Jesus as saying His sacrifice was not enough to satisfy the wrath of God’s justice. No gentile was required to read, understand or know about the Torah or Moses. Read with earnest prayer 2 Corinthians 3 and welcome Jesus the Author and finisher of your Faith https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/2-corinthians/3.html

The Hebrew Passover lasted 7-8 days and involved feasts and meals with family, relatives and friends. Our “Love Feasts” should be as joyful and festive in celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus in the New Covenant. Abba Father!

I first saw the renaissance paintings when I was a kid and now know they teach tales and myths for the most part and poor theology if half way correct. I was also disappointed when I found out Charlton Heston was not Moses.

Love to hear about your Ekklesia wherever it is. In a traditional model or not, wherever you are gathered in His Name. https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/hupakoe.html

Check out Francis Chan explaining the end times on youtube



In a recent discussion

Here is why “church people” can kill or practice genocide on another race or people they feel are “heretic”

Here is a good article on Augustine’s theory of persecution. https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/freethought-freedom-augustines-case-righteous-persecution

Luther wrote:
“That seditious articles of doctrine should be punished by the sword needed no further proof. For the rest, the Anabaptists hold tenets relating to infant baptism, original sin, and inspiration, which have no connection with the Word of God, and are indeed opposed to it . . . Secular authorities are also bound to restrain and punish avowedly false doctrine . . . For think what disaster would ensue if children were not baptized? . . . Besides this the Anabaptists separate themselves from the churches . . . and they set up a ministry and congregation of their own, which is also contrary to the command of God. From all this it becomes clear that the secular authorities are bound . . . to inflict corporal punishment on the offenders . . . Also when it is a case of only upholding some spiritual tenet, such as infant baptism, original sin, and unnecessary separation, then . . . we conclude that . . . the stubborn sectaries must be put to death.” (ref. pamphlet of 1536; in Johannes Janssen, History of the German People From the Close of the Middle Ages, 16 volumes, translated by A.M. Christie, St. Louis: B. Herder, 1910 [orig. 1891]; Vol. X, 222-223)

Calvin’s work: “Defense of the Orthodox Faith in the Sacred Trinity” which makes killing heretics centrally essential to Calvinism should thus be considered more important than his Institutes for understanding applied Calvinism. Theodore Beza also expanded on Calvin and wrote “On the Punishment of Heretics by the Civil Magistrate” in 1554 to further promote the Calvinist totalitarian state position .

In other words, these are all extremely well known by those who have sided with their victims, primarily Anabaptists. What is scary is that some Anabaptists want to overlook the evils that are a defining centerpiece of the Reformation. No, the Radical Reformation and the Restoration movement(s) and CoC should not seek an alliance with the Chemosh-like religions of the Reformation.” Allen Hobbs from JMH blog click for link.

Shepherds? Sheep are smelly….and you do wash their feet don’t you?

Our thoughts on Shepherds = humble men and women selected to care for and shepherd the sheep of God’s pasture. We have used the model of Pricilla and Aquila as “what can we do to worship our king?” the rest follows. 

We enjoy these videos and downloads Here is a recent one we posted on fb.           https://youtu.be/G_OlRWGLdnw
 Website: www.thebibleproject.com Explore our videos: https://thebibleproject.com/explore/ Download resources: https://thebibleproject.com/other-resources/

How do you select shepherds for the flock that God has placed you in today? Do you allow the “man with vision”, the “pastor” to see who would be best for the service? or do we pray, fast, waiting on the Lord to reveal His plans for His flock you are located in or do we form an human minded search committee that never can look inside the secret things of the Heart, only the Holy Spirit can do that. Why not allow Him to select the shepherds? Is God too weak to manage your building up of the body? Does he know what we need or does the council decide? We build on the Apostles Doctrine we have no authority to dispose it. As the first congregations did in Acts, prayed that God would raise up shepherds, servants, foot washers in deed! from His Flock that knows His voice? Many of the problems we have seen in our service since 1974 in all sorts of groups has been caused by poor leaders, men of power and greed for control, inefficient shepherds, misguided pastors, “hired hands” that should have stayed in biz and support evangelists with $$. and Too Many! really good shepherds that get burned out trying to feed all the spiritual orphans (no one mentors them or continues discipleship with them after hooking them) in the flock. It is a full time job for one or few to keep the goats from wrecking the fellowship, pray with the faithful, care for the flock when few help, almost none disciple others, (Do you fail to train or motivate?) Few “teachers” apply themselves to the Word, rely instead on “best sellers” or others sermons, to teach or just classes on morals and culture issues. Few pray, few rely on the Wonderful Counselor having been taught the perfect has come & we don’t need all that babble and rabble in our modern service or order. His great and Holy Power of the Gospel is unused for fear we can’t control it, demons will fill the buildings or worse!! Many vChurch goers are just there taking up the time of the dedicated servant who dies spiritually and mentally, sometimes for real, because of overwork his vChurch “bosses” or “works”the vChurch expects out of staff or volunteers! After all we hired him to fix us, do our work and entertain our ride to glory”, say the Goats. When we mature past the toys of the Holy spirit and become mature in King Jesus we can share a power that is beyond the experience of some. Shepherds are to follow the Chief Shepherd not the latest best seller or mega pastor even if they are gifted they are not the Light! How the Spirit acts is not for us to decide or fake. Properly fed and watered with the pure water of life, rivers will flow from your flock, your Chief Shepherd will lead the sheep & shepherds to peace in chaos, still water to drink and share with your neighbors. Why drink the muddy water from the dead streams of thousands of years of men fighting over what they think God told them? When we see the Gospel Of Power in the Lord’s Supper, our Love Feast as a fellowship meal we will have His promised power in our midst to draw all to the table to celebrate the resurrection! Our feeble religious posturing has not worked. Restore the first works not reform or revive. Those efforts are confusing people when they teach doctrines of Men and man’s wisdom.

What happens when you do man’s plan? In 50 yrs we have been in the center of vChurch, aka “visible churches, splits over race, divorces, lust among members, shepherds, the worship of pastor/preacher, $$$$, even the color of the carpet exposed many feuds in a small rural vChurch that had simmered for years in family closets. Stupid human ego problems allowed the deciever to drive away along with the Spirit of fellowship many good humble followers while the powerful controllers (wolves that look like sheep but are wolves or worse as supported by do nothing head butters, goats) These false ministers of light rule the “vChurch” they created. In each case the humble shepherds are out voted, out shouted by powerful men appointed in congregational votes that are led by the wisdom & elegance of men and not by the Spirit of unity. The value of humble shepherds selected by the local congregation in prayer and fasting can not be skipped. The selection of humble Elders is one of the imperatives of Acts and the Letters. God’s Holy plan and will is for His body, His Temple of living stones, His flock to have these family men that have proven a relationship with our King. It is His plan and His will we obey this model not pop culture in modern church style. Without the humble New Covenant shepherds, the flock is scattered.

We are powered for ministry to build up the Body. It took the Apostles many years to settle all of the New Covenant foundations, not to have two flocks, no temples needed, a simple Gospel with one law 1 John 3;23, one Love Feast, Breaking Bread House to house, Worship celebration meal and water immersion to unify . Those early incomplete as they seemed at times messages for different tribes and cultures was final, complete, the Apostles Doctrine is our guide awaiting the perfection we will see soon. The foundation these simple fishermen and disciples laid on the Rock of Ages, the Chief Cornerstone of the new temple built without hands of living stones, a royal priesthood of all believers who accept the invite to serve in the kingdom. Acts 2. Jude 1:23, Once and for All! To think or teach that God wanted His children in confusion until the “vChurch”, new era theologians, Roman elite, kings, divided warring denominations to decide policy is absurd and evil. Our God gives his children gifts not stones. If King Jesus’ message is not getting through, and you are confused, the fault is not God, you are listening to all the voices. stop be still, listen, God whispers when we cry to Him. Come together to pray, fast, pray that God selects humble men with faithful families to support him in the ministry God calls him to. To fit the body together as a master builder. Eph 4, One Faith with “Sound Doctrine” Titus 2:1-10, FYI: To fast means to give what you don’t want to give up to see if you are addicted. It is how you stay “clean” and not develop body or soul harming habits, Food is only one thing to fast on and is not for medical reasons best for all. God is not looking to trip us up or harm us body or soul in anyway, men do that! In his plans. Our worship is constant comm, Abiding it is called. Enjoy!

Do we look for the “world Wise, Eloquent speaker, educated visionary to guide us in the darkness like only he can see? Does the Holy Spirit respect persons? Do we appoint him/her “pastor”, Latin for Shepherd/pasture feeder, when we don’t know what that word means any more than we do “Worship” in practice? click here for definition you may not believe, Could a dog teach you something?

No you can’t do anything for the Kingdom or to save yourself. You may own the world and not know the awesome power of the Grace

Do we hire an outsider to revive us one more time? Do we expect his/her eloquence wisdom, ideas to fill the pews, pay the bills, fix our problems, take care of the (see list in Mt 25 and Titus 2) Eph 4 too! The body is built on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets. Why do expect God to bless our efforts when we go off campus for talent? Ok! He or she can teach? Can anyone in the flock be filled with the Spirit today to be gifted to share God’s word? Is God’s arm to short? Can anyone Lead prayers, sing songs, deliver testimony, prayer for all and with all? The authority of Jesus is in the local Congregation cared for by humble shepherds building on the foundation of the Apostles, not the Bible as written now. 1 Tim 3:15,(Click on underline for what reformed hate and Romans love.) When we get back to the Apostles Doctrine we will discover the “Perfect Law of Liberty that covers all our thoughts and actions in word and deed. Rev 2:5 “Repent and do the first works” what could those be? 1 John 3;23 Read the facts below before you delete or comment!

Acts 2, the new Covenant congregations took over the full duties of ‘Herod’s Temple” soon as they started, after a short while they were kicked out of the temple and harassed till today. The “Judaizers” were hateful and despised the neglect of the Torah and Temple. Acts 5;32

Hiring by supporting an “Evangelist like those in Acts, is good if your sheep need redirecting back to the Light, having gone astray for lack of humble shepherds. To restore the first works, the teaching of Sound doctrine that is good, to lead the flock to the Water of Life, teach them the simple Gospel in full, to teach, to immerse, and continue teaching. When the group grows in God’s seasons home grown shepherds will rise to the mature cream level of the group, as growth should be rising never static in God’s plan. The congregation should be growing in numbers dividing like amoeba into many missions local & far, ministries that benefit the community first before overhead, never self absorbed to fort up or become a club like an institution with membership rules/rituals Jesus did not authorize in place, Jesus loves groups, home style groups. Where everyone is in the family relationship. This gets problematic when numbers exceed space in limited areas. Overcome this issue by dividing and taking advantage of the already available free owned campus and structures everyone can use where they are in their neighborhood. The concept of a pew sitter, taught each week for 20-40 years, is still on milk is absurd as many never have shared the Gospel or influenced anyone. Why? They have not been taught to. We all have a ministry of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5, If you have no one to reconcile then pray your pride is reduced to that level too! Our forgiveness is dependent on our forgiving others and being forgiven by our Brothers and Sisters. God forgives without measure but hears not the prayers of sinners. 1 John 5:, As we extend the beggar’s hand we must realize it is a nasty lepers hand and we need to be “Clean” to enter His presence. We can’t do that without the Blood of the Lamb, 1 John 1:7, If you or your brother/sister has any fault, slight against you, or you have ought against your brother, leave your sacrifice/prayer at the altar, (our altar is on our knees, all other altars are dead) run to be reconciled to your brother and be forgiven by all. Example if you are angry don’t sleep on it, forgive, if your spouse is upset with your unforgiveness attitude your prayers may not leave the house until resolved.

What do we look for in shepherds if we don’t use the only directions and practice of the “Apostles Doctrine”? Acts gives a situation of Apollos being a man mighty in the scriptures, as the the followers of John who both had some knowledge of the Torah, yet were not yet in on the Resurrection of the King, the Promise of the Father had not been poured out until Acts 2 when poured out on all, the rejected messiah now rules as Lord, King of Kings, and Most High God, the New Covenant by the Gift of the Spirit Acts 5:32, Acts 8-9-10 are not confusing when one looks at the overall picture, the Promise of the Father realized in the oneness of the people of God, Sheep of his pasture one flock! Here is another view from my friend and bro; https://www.christian-history.org/bishops-elders-deacons.html

Sheep are an excellent metaphor for humans and our “groups” we call churches, the New covenant calls the “Ekklesia” or Assembly of God, God’s people. By any name other than those in the “Apostles Doctrine” we use can be seen as tribal, nationalistic, religious, divisive, seldom uniting unless it is to make war (actual or just in thoughts, unloving deeds) on another tribe. Hebrews 12;15 warns us about our back stabbing, bickering ways. Are “christians” to be under all those slogans and creeds, men devise? or do we study for ourselves.

Read below a more textual accurate explanation that I have found of late I do not know. Please read to understand the facts of the new testament record and actual history of the Shepherd Elder Bishop etc controversy. We feel very strongly the problem with most groups is the lack of this important local leadership. We feel if the Apostles Doctrine were in full effect in every group, soon the “hired hands” would move on, or repent and mature, the flock would support as needed any humble shepherds that served worth double honor in any way needed to make the flock/shepherds blessed. The dedicated “pastors”(latin for pasture care of sheep, same in Greek as shepherd teacher) shepherds and teachers would be cared for as would all members sharing and caring the “one anothers”. In the deep relationships of the congregation there are no strangers or non family. You should not have to “commune” with people you don’t know in a few mins of station break between the sage on the stage and the entertainment. We deserve more, the goats don’t like the time or the messy service of family with different tastes yet common Faith. Why do we try and train Goats not to be Goats? “Fans vs Followers” When we present the pure simple Gospel the goats will wander off just as crowds of “seekers” believed a little and stayed for a while, abandoned Jesus because He refused to please them in the religion styles they want. Jesus is clear on who is His family., who listens to His Voice alone. Are we? There is power in the “Love Feast” and the water, not magic like a good luck charm, or religious ritual, but evidence of faith in the submission to our King for all to see. Acts 2;37-38, is our “Ebenezer” but not a line in the sand to divide over. Romans 6:17, not some new deal. The disciple is immersed by the teacher that discipled them, the shepherds are equals, as are all Saints! No clergy required for the “sacrament to be valid” That is a tradition in history, not in Acts. You share the Gospel with a neighbor, The Lord draws, they heard, believe the message as the first believers did, Acts 2; 5:32, former pagans in Acts 18:8 did and submit to obey the Gospel. Like the Centurion we pray in faith, believing there is a God, He will arrange the meet with the Spirit on His timeline! He only fills what we empty of self, ego, pride. The Gospel is the power not our eloquence or physical things we use to hook fans on game day. All we do to draw is foolish if not based on the simple gospel plan in the new covenant of the Apostles Doctrine. If you as a follower are not equipped to disciple by now after all these years of preaching and teaching exposure? When will you know how? or are you taught that is not for you? You are not trained? You are not gifted? This is why when we want to find the real followers we go to prayer meetings, food pantries, homeless shelters, see who is washing dishes, giving from a open heart not tight tithe, balancing God and Family as much as humans can, shining lights, not waiting on the sage on the stage or the polished offices of rank to be our witness. “Homestyle,the kind Jesus visits” Here is one good example we know of personally. http://www.wearechurch.com/church-intensive Good people of God walking in the light. Chan and Lisa is just a man & wife team, human of flesh, like you,me, Elijah.

Peter writes to “Fellow Shepherds” Click here for link to the Word; https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/1-peter/5.html

Excellent history lesson by Paul Pavo. https://www.christian-history.org/bishops-elders-pastors.html

Click for reference in the Word; https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/poimaino.html

What is the organization of the local congregation? We have a Chief Shepherd in Jesus our God and King. What do we need or must have past the 2 or more in his name? Why did Paul make such a point in acts to set apart shepherds?

The gathering of individuals in Acts are first called Christians at Antioch. Acts 11:20-21, 26. Peter reminds us of our Chief Shepherd and himself as our equal shepherd of the flock God has called us to shepherd. 1 Peter 5: The word for shepherd is used Click here for greek lexicon. John 10:12-14 has good examples of the proper use.

The simple Gospel of the Kingdom replaced the priesthood and the temple of herod as the source of care for the poor, the place of prayer, and the source of God’s will and plan all found in His Ekklesia, His fellowship, His One Flock. The local assemblies are cared for by humble servants that meet the qualifications of the scriptures quoted in this essay. We see the direct instructions as imperative to the health of the Body, we see the inferences, and practices outlined in the letters and Acts as a model or guide of what the early followers did in their culture to meet the one law we must follow; 1 John 3:23, Mark 13:34 are you a doorkeeper?

In 50 yrs of service we have been in the center of splits over race, divorce, lust among members, $$, the color of the carpet exposed many feuds in a country church. Stupid human ego problems allowed to drive away with the Spirit many good followers while the powerful controllers rule the “church” they created. In each case the humble shepherds are out voted, out shouted by powerful men appointed in congregational votes that are led by men and not by the Spirit of unity. The value of humble shepherds selected by the local congregation in prayer and fasting can not be skipped. It is His plan and His will we obey not pop culture in modern church style. Without the shepherds, the flock is scattered.

Authors we respect and know:

What does worship mean to you? A word study of where it is used in the Greek. https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/proskuneo.html

Worship is ‘like a dog licking the master’s hand in submission, 4352 ‑ προσκυνέω (pros‑koo‑neh’‑o); The day, time and place are up to the local shepherds and congregations as in all matters of inference and worship practice models in the RM drawn only from the actions, of the Apostles and the Apostles Doctrine. We should reject pagan influence, world culture norms, but to turn away people on one issue? Is that love in action or a tribal attitude that they must be “circumcised” or not light a fire on the “holy day”? We are seperate people of God on His Grace and our love, not works. To make “religious” man taught rituals or rules a salvation issue is negative evangelism IMHO and as doorkeepers, we become judges instead of disciple-makers in the model of Jesus. There must be balance without compromise on the main thing to disciple with repentance doing the first works. Rev 2:5 What are they? No dancing with instruments, no singing with instruments, no worship with musical instruments. Or could the first works be those deeds of the sheep in Mt 25? Or the 50 or so love one anothers? If we filter every thought and action through the one perfect law of liberty will the result be the same? 1 John 3:23, Grace is not how good we are but how forgiven we are. We need a return to the covenant meal of the Acts 2 actions, we need the fellowship, relationship of the “Love Feast” meal. What we have in most is a rigid, solemn dead altar ceremony that is the same in many divided groups. most of the pattern is as far from a “Love Feast” celebration of the resurrection example as men can get for fast, eloquent, common sense, efficient service in order. The Saints in Corinth had few rules, Share, care, respect, love, don’t over eat or drink. be nice to! They were former pagans not knowing the Jewish celebrations, only pagan temples. 1 Cor 14, Come to the table break bread with your neighbors, strangers and the lost to your home for a meal, build the relationship. Restricting the Holy Spirit to a set time and place to show up for our convenience is a business practice, not worship. Acts 5;32, My mentors taught “it is all about relationships”

We refer to the patterns we see in the NT as “Eldership” as they were alway plural. The use of the Words; church, pastor, tithe, priest, religion, worship, and elder have become ambiguous in our conversations today. We have to have a guide book of terms in each divided denomination and cult. To return and restore the first century practices without the traditions of over 1900 years on doctrine of men will be a chore of constant teaching. When we speak of the visible church of divided denominations or built on the pagan bones of a lost empires, or scraped together from the gone with the roman wind temple, we will use this AKA vChurch. retaining the respect of a capital letter but with the add of it is physical. John 6 teaches this condition of the things we must have as humans and what is important in the Kingdom. Our Ekklesia is never speaking of a edifice or geocentric location as in Church, but the gathering of the Body in a place or space in time anywhere He is.

A few clear understandings before we continue;

  1. Jesus our Lord God, King of Kings is head of the Ekklesia of God, Romans 16:5, Eph 5:23
  2. The New Covenant as revealed in the Bible is our creed, we base all on the resurrection from the dead of our Savior messiah King Jesus. John 20:31,1 Corinthians 15: 14, the whole chapter is a lesson in the Gospel by definition, death burial and rez being of most importance. Without this why bother with a Faith that gets you stoned, drowned, burned?
  3. Each local Assembly, Ekklesia, Congregation, “Church” is autonomous and self-governing. No outside interference from others needed if the “Apostles Doctrine” is followed. Acts 2:42, teaching “Sound Doctrine” Titus 2, the instructions in the letters is sufficient for “Sound Doctrine”, The “Sermon on the Mt” is summed up in 1 John 3:23, Gl 5:14, The teachings of Jesus fullied the old covenant and gave us a new agreement. To go back and drag forward a left over command is divisive at best and destructive in the long run of the body. These problems have been argued ad nauseum since John the Apostles passed. Read the results of the early teachings. You may be surprised to not find your group in those first centuries, Gnostics are alive and well today. Saying you must have this or that training, secret, or pay for teaching.
  4. The early followers were of “like mind” reasoning together over issues that divide us today. We don’t need a “Denomination” to unite over we need to restore the “first Works” Rev 2:5
  5. The Local Congregation is the “Pillar and Ground of Truth” 1 Timothy 3:15, When the Body is fitted together as a “Wise Master Builder” we have selected humble shepherds that are apt to teach, wash feet, lead the sheep to walk in the light. They must be ready to give up their life for the flock, John 10 is not suggestions for a mega vChurch. We must care for the Body. We have disciples that disciple other disciples on their own. We have the “Wonderful Counselor and our Abba gives wonderful Gifts to build up the Body as He wants it. Philippians 2:13, What more do we need? When the Body reflects the image of God that Jesus gives we will be one in King Jesus. John 13:1-16 We often forget how God views man’s ideas and eloquence. His “Church” is One body made of many “Living Stones” in many “Temples of the Holy Spirit” Eph 4:1-16. We will have our differences, our traditions, our relics of religion inherited or adopted. When we make these differences a Salvation issue we are divisive. The Corinthians had this problem, people are messy. Romans 14 sez tolerate, with respect, but no compromise on the Gospel of the risen King Jesus!
  6. The Bible uses Elder, Presbyter, Overseer, Bishop, Shepherd, Pastor (one time from Latin, not Greek) interchangeably and they all refer to parts of the Body in use, some are interchangeable. all are abused when they divide one Saint from another. Peter sez we are a “Royal Priesthood”, Former pagans /gentiles are Saints Acts 5:32, Acts 18:8. When we add ranks, titles, reverends, etc we are using a “caste” system. We don’t see this in Jesus’ teaching. Mt 23:9, We see the opposite. The least are first!
  7. Local congregations of disciples have the authority and the power to pray and fast, guided by the Holy Spirit encourage and select humble qualified men from among the faithful in the selection of Shepherds and servants for any part of the body. Of elders using 1 Timothy 3, and Titus 1 as guidelines for the qualifications. Sadly the practice of selecting a man on human measures and human ability gets more votes than God’s. If your local group is not discipling you may have to pay big $$ to get hired hands if you don’t grow your own. Pray for the work of Evangelist to teach the Gospel and pray for the harvester. If you don’t have the model of the New Covenant who are you pleasing? We don’t have or need a physical temple, we don’t need clergy if we rely on the Holy Spirit to teach us, we don’t need another mediator or go between for us only our “Family of God” 1 Tim 3:1
  8. Elders have charge only over the disciples of the local congregation they have a living relationship with, not to neglect or shun those from outside congregations. New seekers are not treated different from fellow bros&sisters but are loved more as they are discipled by others of the flock. The response should be on meeting and visiting your meeting “oh how they love one another” not they sure are strict, or they are way too ______for me I just want the easy feel good stuff!
  9. We walk in the Light, some can not see the light, we must not shadow those that see dimly with our pride. We all extend the ‘Beggar’s Hand” to be clean.
Peter the man is just like us, nothing special on his writing would give any indication of “elite status”or Rank, we see no rise of popes until after 2nd cent and not before 400ad were they established and fighting for control. Thanks to the Bible Project for cool visuals and more! https://bibleproject.com/other-resources/

What is “Worship”? Does a dog know what it means to worship their master? Our pride is killing us in our flesh. Come out of the darkness and into the Light. Know what the Word sez in the orginal words, not in the commentary of men. especially those that believed the world was flat, bloodletting was good for the sick, surgeons did not wash hands and people were burned for teaching the Sun was going around the center of the flat earth. Many of these Greek Roman myths of philosophy are here today and they affected the theology of religion. Worship pure and undefiled is what God wants, what does that mean to you? https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/proskuneo.html

What are those “First Works”? Rev 2;5. Could they be simple instructions Jesus gave? Or must we wait on professors, doctors, reverends to explain the deep secrets of God? Or should we examine the “Reformation”?, looking at those fights still raging today, over doctrines, ideas, theology they invented. We must scoff as we wait for a “winner” among the divided denominated daughters of the whore of Babylon. No! Could the first works be something the wise among men miss? Could these deeds be the deeds of the Sheep in Mt 25? Could it be the most important law in the universe? 1 John 3:23, Gal 5:14., Could John 14:13 be the way to unity?

We can study the word use in all 158 verses Click to link; https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/ergon.html

Without humble shepherds to guard the flock every wind of doctrine scatters the sheep. Pray for your shepherds!

My brother Paul Pavao writes on the use of Shepherds in light of the “5 Fold” ministry of Ephesians 4:11; click here https://ancient-faith.com/2012/09/18/the-five-fold-ministry/comment-page-1/#comment-5484 Click links for History of early Shepherds, bishops elders; https://www.christian-history.org/bishops-elders-pastors.htmlhttps://www.christian-history.org/bishops-elders-pastors.html

Homestyle, the kind Jesus likes to visit” is the new paradigm for many of the followers that are not conditioned to the geocentric location. The disruption of all of man’s activities worldwide has pushed us onto the “Roman Roads” of the internet, an evil world ruled by powers of the deceiver. Nowadays, We have worship with neighbors, family, friends without regard to the surroundings or day or time. We invite all to the “Pure Table” we provide for the stranger at the gate and the neighbor next door where ever we are. We have followed this model as we have the RM and consider these our brothers and sisters. Come to the table, leave the dead altars behind. We know the “meal” in Corinth was messy, but we reject the “Sip & chip” attitude of many groups as an insult to God. We pray for a return to the simple Gospel of the first cent. before all the theologians began fighting for control and power. Would you rather have a John 21, or how about a meal on the road to Emmaus “Break Bread” with our King experience? or sit on a pew between the entertainment and the sage on the stage? We celebrate today with followers around the world! A good model if the humble shepherds listen to the Chief Shepherd only! http://www.wearechurch.com/church-intensive one of many good models walking in the Light of the Kingdom.

//////////////////////////////////////// Five Terms That Describe an Elder, Shepherd, bishop, presbyter //////////////////////// begin shepherd study;

A. There are four main terms used to describe this position of authority: (elder, overseer, shepherd, steward)

Five terms describing the office of an elder
TermGreek wordDefinition:Emphasis
Elder or presbyterPresburerosAn older man a seniorExperience
Overseer or bishopEpiscoposA guardian or superintendentOversight
Shepherd or pastorPoimenMetaphoric term (tending flocks)Protection
StewardOikonomoMetaphoric term (treasurer)Trustworthy
EldershipPresbuterionGroup of older men/eldersPlurality & equality
Borrowed from; https://www.bible.ca/ntx-elders-pastors-bishops.htm
  1. Each term gives us a little more information about the function of the servant shepherd: Christians are described as: priests, saints, children, citizens, soldiers, etc. In the same way we have different descriptive terms for the eldership; “pastor” from the Latin to separate out the clergy, reverend, father, etc. All extra added to New Covenant guides.
  2. These terms are not honorary titles but descriptions of work to be done: a. It would be wrong to call someone “Elder Smith”, or “Pastor Brown”
  3. In the table below, you will notice four individual terms (elder, overseer, shepherd, steward) and one collective term (eldership: which is simply the plural of term elder).

C. Why do people confuse the one minstry, for many distinct offices:

Greek WordTrue translationMeaningless “gobbledy goop” words that have no use outside of religion.
Borrowed from; https://www.bible.ca/ntx-elders-pastors-bishops.htm

B. Proof that all terms refer to same office because of their interchangeable usage:

  1. People are taught false doctrine from their denominations, that the “office of Bishop” is a different office than the “office of Pastor” and the “office of Elder” and the “office of Steward”. They are falsely taught that these are three distinct offices, rather than three descriptive terms that describe the same ONE office.
  2. A failure to be shown that in scripture, these terms are used interchangeably, as seen in the chart above. The fact remains, that if these four terms all refer to the same office, then most denominational organizations make mush of the inspired pattern and are utterly false and to be rejected.
  3. A failure to recognize that the English terms “Elder and Presbyter come from the same Greek word “Presbureros”. That the English terms “Overseer and Bishop come from the same Greek word “Episcopos”. And that the English terms “Shepherd and Pastor come from the same Greek word “Poimen”. Part of the confusion is that one Bible translation will consistently translation the Greek word “Presbureros” as “Elder, while another translation will render the same Greek word “Presbureros” as Presbyter. We are find no fault with these translations, but people simply do not look closely enough to notice what is really going on between translations.
  4. Each of the three Greek words are translated into two English words, where one of these English word is a true translation and the other is a meaningless man-made ecclesiastical, church term invented by various churches. To prove the point, when in everyday language do we ever use the words, Presbyter or Bishop or Pastor. They have no use or meaning outside of religion and their meaning is obscure. However meaning the words, Elder or Overseer or Shepherd are understood by all and are used in all areas of life. Another example of this is the word “Baptism”, which comes from the Greek word “Baptizo” and is translated “immersion”. If Bible translations only used the true translations of all these words, it would greatly reduce confusion as well as immediately prove that “Baptism” is immersion, not sprinkling.

D. Why did God use four different terms to describe the one humble shepherd? Simple! Each term gives us a distinct view of the various functions of that one office. If God had used only one word, it would not be nearly as clear as it is with the four terms.

https://www.christian-history.org/bishops-elders-pastors.html History can be verified

  1. Elder indicates an older man with wisdom that can only come from age and experience.
  2. Overseer indicates a position of top authority, one who is the “leader’ not to use an exalted term for exalted power that is not NT. Prayerfully guides the flock to the will of the wonderful counselor for final decisions for the local congregation. One of the shepherds as an equal of the Saints. Gal 3:24-27
  3. Shepherd is a metaphoric term that indicates the men are to show love, care, dedication and self sacrifice for the members as sheep. The men are not literally Shepherding sheep, but are doing so in a metaphoric sense that everyone immediately understands.
  4. Steward indicates a man who can be trusted with great treasures. Of course the greatest of these treasures, are the souls of the local church members, over whom he is in charge. But it also indicates the fact that the men are also in charge of the churches financial assets, including church buildings and the weekly collection of money from the church on the first day of every week through freewill offerings. These are shepherds and servants, lots of debate on “deacons” All of us are the slaves of God, poor servants waiting at His pleasure, to be poured out in his service.

E. Although a different Gift of service, God did the same thing with “preacher” terms by using three distinct Greek words to describe that one office, never used “reverend” or “father” in any form:

  1. Minister indicates one who serves as a servant.
  2. Evangelist indicates one who spreads the good new of the seed of the Gospel everywhere.
  3. Preacher indicates one who proclaims the message of God.

II. Unscriptural terms used by denominations: Titus 2:1

single office
 Elder or Presbyter (Presbureros)Overseer or bishop (Episcopos)Shepherd or pastor (Poimen)Steward (Oikonomo)
Acts 20:17,28Click to ViewClick to ViewClick to View 
Tit 1:5,7Click to ViewClick to View Click to View
1 Pe 5:1,2Click to View Click to View 

A. Paul told us to “speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” Tit 2:1 This means that we must use Bible terms to describe Bible things. Many denominations use terms that are not found in the Bible.

B. Unscriptural manmade terms, many of which are titles only God Himself would wear! In fact most of these terms are outright blasphemous for a man to wear!

PopeUniversal BishopEcumenical PatriarchPatriarchMetropolitan or ArchbishopProtopresbyterCardinalArch-bishopArchpriestHis All HolinessHis EminenceHis BeatitudeHis GraceVery ReverendRight ReverendReverend FatherReverendFather
Borrowed from; https://www.bible.ca/ntx-elders-pastors-bishops.htm

C: Various terms used by denominations today. Each of the four sets of terms refer to the same greek word.

  1. Overseer: Bishop, Episcopate, Bishopric, Diocese
  2. Elder: Presbyter, Presbyterate
  3. Shepherd: Pastor
  4. Servant: Deacon, Diaconate

III. Scriptural terms misused by denominations: Titus 2:1

  1. Applying “pastor” as a synonym for the senor or pulpit preacher. All pastors/shepherd one who feeds, are preachers, but not all preachers are pastors. Some are teachers, evangelist.
  2. Applying “pastor” “Elder” or “Bishop” to any women. Women are forbidden to be such: 1 Tim 2:12, While true this is the family model of God’s plan, women have a service greater in the New Body than found in most temples and tribes. Woman ar eable to teach Sound doctrine Titus 2:1-6, the restrictions of man are debatable and divisive. We ask for reason!
  3. Applying “pastor” to any young man, any single man, or a married man who has no children, or a married man whose family is a spiritual trainwreck. The elder may have lived thru few trainwrecks or floods! That is why they are still here. God has a purpose it is the young’s shame that they listen to their peers, not the wise in years.
  4. Applying “evangelist” exclusively to pastors, preachers who preach in different churches every Sunday, while refusing to call a “located preacher” an “evangelist” because he preaches in the same vChurch every Sunday. The terms, evangelist, preacher and minister are interchangeable terms and the Bible makes no distinction as to whether the minister is located or moving around from week to week.
  5. Applying “elder” to any young man, as Mormon missionaries insist they be called as they go door to door. Such a term applied to a young man is a violation of common sense.

IV. Bible Qualifications For Pastors:

A. There are two passages that list qualifications: 1 Tim 3:1-7 & Tit 1:5-9

  1. These qualifications are what all Christian’s should strive to meet.
  2. Most churches today will set human standards that ignore Bible directives

B. Six qualifications that many modern day pastors/shepherds don’t meet:

  1. Elders must be men.
  2. Elders must be married.
  3. Elders must have children who are old enough to be believing Christians
  4. Elders must have PROVEN that they can keep their children under control WITHOUT REBELLION. [the big test is with teenagers], How does even the best judge this line item? Many battles are fought to win the victory!
  5. Must be what “elder” implies: an older man of experience. Men under 40 years old are never called elderly. When 18 year old Mormon missionaries demand that a 70 year old man address them as “elder” when they knock on his door, it is as illogical as it is insulting! Calling anyone under 30 years of age and “elder” is a clear violation of what the word elder means!
  6. Must have enough Bible knowledge to be able to refute false doctrine. Must be in the Spirit and Truth of God’s service as much as possible transforming each day to be like Him in all ways.

C. An evangelist/preacher/minister is different from an elder/teacher/overseer, but can flex as we do in our families we grow in time and Spirit. I have been a shepherd, a teacher, a preacher, an evangelist, and unworthy servant, prodigal son, lost sheep.

  1. Elders in the New Testament were not always full time preachers: 1 Ti 5:17 “Let the ELDERS who rule (word is “tend” Care for) well be considered worthy of double honor especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.” Tent makers are mobile with God’s Skill set in their war chest. God gifted the hands of craftsmen with his Holy Spirit building the tabernacle with precision to His plan. How can we now pray for this power? The “Service Gift”
  2. Full time preachers in the New Testament were not always elders.
  3. Apostle Paul was not an elder: no where in the Bible is Paul referred to as an elder. Paul wasn’t married: 1 Cor 7:7, therefore was not even qualified: 1 Ti 3:2,4,5.
  4. Peter on the other hand, was both a full time preacher and an shepherd. 1 Peter 5:1 “I [Peter] … your “FELLOW elder” There is no evidence he was anything more than our equal fellow saint. See Paul Pavao’s excellent work on the history of the early Roman empire and the development of the vChurch of today.

D. The Bible pattern for elders is absolutely foreign to most denominations as they rely heavily upon human creeds to set standards. How did these develop over the years?

V. The office of the paid Overseer/Elder/Shepherd:

A. Some believers go beyond the organization God provided for in the New Testament by making it more complex than it is. This is seen in the organization of the Roman Catholics and many protestant churches. What would happen if we only did what God said? Here is what one group has decided to do setting out in 2013 they have thrived in the chaos, they are praying, worshiping, and selecting humble shepherds to care for their flock as they spread in growth of “homestyle the kind Jesus visits” groups around the world now meeting on Zoom where distance interferes.

B. Some believers reject that there is a formal office of overseer. They view him as being on the same authority level as the rest of the Christians in the local church. This is debated often. Many will allow policy and vision to come to one person and this is “cultish” in action. Nowhere is this allowing the Holy Spirit to speak freely in the congregation. “Waco” is a good example, David Koresh convinced average vchurch burnouts and malcontents to believe he was messiah, he could quote more scripture than Joe Smith could write. He was no worse at twisting scripture to justify mixing up covenants than those in reformed and protestant vchurch systems today. Dave was more extreme and evil in his purposes. We in our reform, Running from the Roman systems the good people ran into state controlled war fighting groups of sincere people who wind up at war, in the 14-century up, still divided and fighting today. The reformation of the roman system of works and submission to man’s authority has been a bust and a train wreck that now no one inside can fix. The man’s wisdom band aid type patches, the famous book selling reverend doctors can’t fix it, the high paid celebrity pastors can’t fix it, Oprah won’t fix it. We the sheep of his pasture must fix it.

C. “Overseer”: The Bible not only calls them “overseers” The word is still “Shepherd” in meaning at the base. Here is the greek:

The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon

Strong’s Number: 1984Browse LexiconOriginal WordWord Originepiskopefrom (1980)Transliterated WordTDNT EntryEpiskope2:606,244Phonetic SpellingParts of Speechep-is-kop-ay’ Noun FeminineDefinitioninvestigation, inspection, visitationthat act by which God looks into and searches out the ways, deeds character, of men, in order to adjudge them their lot accordingly, whether joyous or sadoversightoverseership, office, charge, the office of an elder the overseer or presiding officers of a Christian churchNAS Word Usage – Total: 4office 1, office of overseer 1, visitation 2
NAS Verse CountLuke1Acts11 Timothy11 Peter1
  1. “It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.” 1 Timothy 3:1 The word is “task”
  2. “Be on guard for yourselves and for ALL THE FLOCK, AMONG WHICH the Holy Spirit has made you OVERSEERS, to SHEPHERD the church of God which he purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28
  3. ” The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”” 1 Timothy 5:17-18, Is this the iron hand of the man of the world who rules in government, military and corporations of power? or the humble foot washer who wants to wash the feet, teach the “Sound Doctrine” as directed in Titus 2;1-10?

D. “overseers” must be obeyed by the other members! as far as the understanding of God’s will and plan goes, We work out your own salvation, the shepherd is to disciple ,correct and guide as a good shepherd, not bruisin the reed that is broken or putting the least flame or smoke. Scared sheep run to any voice in the darkness of the world until the spirit dies of exhaustion. good shepherds calm the sheep, by leading with example, onward, walking in the light.

  1. “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17, our ego must be locked away for the kingdom, pride made into doormat and our self lost in the dying of the flesh day by day as our sin has been washed away forever. Acts 22:16
  2. ” But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,” 1 Thessalonians 5:12
  3. “Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints), that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.” 1 Corinthians 16:15-16
  1. ” The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”” 1 Timothy 5:17-18
  2. “”Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house.” Luke 10:7
  3. “So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:14 This support can be in kind, in needs, sharing. not tithe supported but love support by commitment to the person not the office. Placing ads, needing educational degrees is above the requirements for shepherd. those are added by those that do not trust the Holy Spirit to provide as he has and will in His plans. All those do is attract “hired Hands” same with building a mega vChurh that requires multiple offices and ranks of pay and pomp.
  4. “Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:6-14
  5. “Nevertheless, you have done well to share with mein my affliction. You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:14-19

VI. The Limit of the Elder’s Authority

For a fuller treatment of women see https://johnmarkhicks.com/2020/09/22/women-assemblies-and-churches-of-christ/ his latest book on Women in our ministry is out on Amz. Another view from another brother; https://authentictheology.com/2018/06/06/13-church-of-christ-cenis-authorizing-women-to-speak-in-the-worship-assembly-commands-examples-necessary-inferences/

When God poured out the Holy Spirit on Pentecost it was not so you could speak in tongues or impress the ignorant. Confuse the “Sign Gift” with the “Salvation” or “Service” or “Truth Gift” and you will forever be confused. Watch the video from a Greek Professor we Trust; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxsgmDdoDQ0&t=1509s

A. Elders authority in the Bible was limited to within one local congregation:

  1. Acts 20:28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for ALL THE FLOCK, AMONG WHICH the Holy Spirit has made you OVERSEERS, to SHEPHERD the church of God which he purchased with His own blood.”
  2. 1 Pet 5:1-3 “Therefore, I exhort the elders AMONG YOU … shepherd the FLOCK OF GOD AMONG YOU … proving to be examples to the flock”
  3. 1 Pet 5:1 “I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow-elder”
  4. Peter was an elder but he was not higher in rank that any other elder.
  5. All elders in the eldership are of equal authority. See for more on this;https://www.christian-history.org/bishops-elders-pastors. htmlhttps://www.christian-history.org/bishops-elders-pastors.html

B. Many churches today do not follow the Bible pattern for an elder’s authority:

  1. One bishop/elder is never over other bishop/elders in rank: all are equal.
  2. One bishop/elder is never over more than one local church churches
  3. The pyramid type organization is contrary to the Bible pattern and did not come to full development until 606 AD when pope Boniface III claimed to be the one man who ruled every local church world wide. This was 600 years too late to be the Bible pattern and represents a serious apostasy in organization.

C. The Baptist church, for example, admits in their official creed book (The Hiscox Standard Baptist Manual), that new offices not found in scripture have been added long after the Bible was written:

  1. “CHURCH OFFICERS: In the New Testament we find that in apostolic times, and for many years after, pastors and deacons only were known as permanent church officers. Others have been added at later times, for a variety of reasons.” (The Hiscox Standard Baptist Manual)
  2. “THE WIDER FELLOWSHIP OF BAPTISTS: Because churches are the only Christian organizations provided for in the New Testament, it may be said that they are the only ones really essential to the accomplishment of the purposes of Christ. Experience, however, has demonstrated that churches in fellowship with one another are able to fulfill the work of the gospel more effectively than churches alone.” (The Hiscox Standard Baptist Manual)
  3. What we observe in these two quotes from the Hiscox Standard Baptist Manual, is the following: First, they admit that new offices were added to the church many years after the Bible was completed. Second, they admit that local churches with no organizational tie between them, was the Bible pattern, but because of human wisdom, an organization was invented to tie local churches together on a global basis.

VII. The Plurality Of Elders

A. There is a pattern in the Bible where two or more men serve as elders. Never do you find a church with only one elder appointed.

B. The divine directive:

  1. Tit 1:5 “For this reason, I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and APPOINT ELDERS IN EVERY CITY as I directed you.”
  2. Acts 14:23 “And when they had APPOINTED ELDERS IN EVERY CHURCH, having prayed and fasted, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”

C. Let’s examine the Bible pattern of plurality within specific local congregations:

  1. JERUSALEM: Acts 15:4 “when they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the ELDERS” (Acts 15:2; 15:6; 15:22: 15:23; 16:4; 21:18)
  2. EPHESUS: Acts 20:17,28 Paul “called to him the ELDERS OF THE CHURCH.”
  3. JUDEA: Acts 11:29,30 “sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul TO THE ELDERS”

D. Let us look at various other references:

  1. Jas 5:14 “Is anyone sick? Let him call the ELDERS OF THE CHURCH.”
  2. 1 Pe 5:1-3 “Therefore, I exhort the ELDERS among you
  3. 1 Ti 4:14 “the laying on of hands of the PRESBYTERY.” (assembly of aged men)
  4. 1 Ti 5:17 “Let the ELDERS who rule well be considered worthy of double honor

E. Singular usage here refers to each individual elder:

  1. 1 Ti 3:1,2 “If any man aspires to the OFFICE OF OVERSEER
  2. Tit 1:7 “for the OVERSEER must be above reproach”
  3. 1 Ti 5:19 “Do not receive an accusation against an ELDER except…”
  4. 2 Jn 1 “The ELDER to the chosen lady and her children”
  5. 3 Jn 1 “The ELDER to the beloved Gaius whom I love in truth”

F. Presbytery: Plural use of “elder” [Gr. Presbureros, singlular] in the New Testament: “Presbuterion” [plural of Presbureros]. Three passages in total. The first two, refer to the leading group of Jewish elders. The last one refers to an eldership within a single local church.

VIII. Four Organizational Possibilities for Local Churches

A. Unscripturally organized:

E. “overseers” can be paid, just like evangelists: And the equal weight goes to the “tentmakers” that do the low jobs in quiet places. Many “Aquila and Priscilla” teams are gone out into the world, many Phillip the Evangelists with his wonderful daughters, many, like Apollos, eloquent in the scriptures are being taught the New Covenant, This model worked then to disciple, do we in our arrogance think the Holy Spirit is finished with these messages of power? Will he not direct an Ananias to a praying seeker? Will Cornelius have to join the vChurch and become a _____to be saved? or just listen to the Wonderful Counselor and the Apostles doctrine in acts? Will he stop sending Phillips to dirt roads to meet lost people? The good man had problems, he was reading the bible as he knew it, he was lost in the word, he listens to the evangelist to explain in light of the new deal. You can’t find the new covenant in the old one, just the shadow and promise to be delivered. When we see the kingdom outside the building, in those places where relationships are made, the public places, in the home at the family table we will see the power of the Gospel in the Bread and Cup. The meal that heals the world.

  1. Pastor system (one man over church) We will see “Apostles” latter day gurus, and self styled “pastors” with out flocks looking to lead with out regard for the proper order.
  2. Unqualified men (Position worse than having no elders at all) See this alot, ignorance of the congregation who depend on their denomination to be right.
  3. any organization larger than local church (world headquarters etc.)

B. Unscripturally unorganized: church has qualified men who are not elders

C. Scripturally organized: a church which has a qualified eldership

D. Scripturally unorganized: The man or woman is in charge, the Holy Spirit is in their box of theology or absent.

  1. a church without elders because no one qualified: Acts 14:1-3,6,8,21-23
  2. a church with no elders, when qualified men could be appointed, “lacks”: Tit 1:5

Conclusion: Be sure to understand that we can find no basis for “latter day Apostles “, Yes, we see messengers, today ministers yes we know there are prophets and healers and teachers. If your position in the kingdom and the flock is not prominent enough to humbly use the word Evangelist for one who goes with the Gospel. If you have to claim a title of Reverend, Bishop, Apostle of any stripe we will question the authority, watch and discern the Truth in pray and fasting, inspect fruit, and source root. We have the Apostles Doctrine as did the first followers, to need more foundation is foolish, to use less is to deny the King did what he did. Adding our traditions,our rituals, our opinions is stupid and divisive. This marvelous simple plan was “once and for all delivered to the Saints” Jude said that! We got questions for Jude? Tell us about your brother and His Dad is a good one.

A. There are four terms: elder, overseer, shepherd & steward

  1. They all refer to the same thing
  2. They are used interchangeably
  3. The terms are not titles but teach us about the role, function and work
  4. 4. It is wrong to view pastors elders and bishops as three different offices

B. The Bible gives clear qualifications for the office which most churches ignore. The modern day “pastor system” as employed by most denominations, where one man is over the church rather than a group of men is unscriptural.

C. An elder can only oversee one local congregation

  1. Each church is self governing and autonomous
  2. A bishop from one church can not oversee another church

D. Churches in the Bible began with no elders but in time elders were appointed

  1. Churches can scripturally exist either with or without elders

 Further study:

  1. “When it was day, the Council [Presbuterion] of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber” (Luke 22:66)
  2. “as also the high priest and all the Council [Presbuterion] of the elders can testify.” (Acts 22:5)
  3. “Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery [Presbuterion]. ” (1 Timothy 4:14)

more later….below line is not finished above line is up for edit

We see unity in any heart that loves the Lord. We see few open hearts for God, we pray for broken hearts open for God.

What doe s the ‘Lord’s Supper ‘ mean to you?

Here is a very good study of the Lord’s Supper” http://www.zianet.com/maxey/reflx114.htm?fbclid=IwAR3WFMpqYMlP5_8QZEsWQyadyZ5roBZ-B8BLlAtVsa7ejLI5_sAbGcKJAwYhttp://www.zianet.com/maxey/reflx114.htm?fbclid=IwAR3WFMpqYMlP5_8QZEsWQyadyZ5roBZ-B8BLlAtVsa7ejLI5_sAbGcKJAwY

Click to ViewGraphical Mouse Rollover of gradual change of organization over time
Click to View4 Competing views of organization
Click to ViewOutline: 30-150 AD
Click to ViewOutline: 150-250 AD
Click to ViewOutline: 250-451 AD
Click to ViewOutline: 451-588 AD
Click to ViewOutline: 588-606 AD
Click to ViewOutline: 606 AD-Today
Click to ViewCatholic organization today
Click to ViewOrthodox organization today
Much of the above is borrowed from the CoC doctrine. we find the written scripture they use to be accurate and factual. As they see it, we often agree. We love the strict adherence to the original Greek interpretation and lack of latter day influences. we do disagree with the dogmatic attitude that seems to turn off many who refuse to look past the strict interpretations and see the facts of the truth.

the theology behind the resurrection of Christ

any understanding of the Resurrection has to be understandable at a very low level how are good father has to give his good children clear understanding or he’s not a good father

Note on Ravi Z How do we pour love on this a move on? These prophets and false prophets come and go,only the weak and ignorant expect them to be more than us, We are equals to Elijah. We can overcome these failures of men like us. When we see the sins of others as more smelly, nastier than our stench of sin, we fail to love the sinner as Jesus does. We all extend the begging leper’s hand to be “clean” before God. That is our prayer. Jude 1:22-23