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.
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?
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!
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
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;
- Jesus our Lord God, King of Kings is head of the Ekklesia of God, Romans 16:5, Eph 5:23
- 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?
- 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.
- 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
- 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!
- 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!
- 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
- 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!
- 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.
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|
|Elder or presbyter||Presbureros||An older man a senior||Experience|
|Overseer or bishop||Episcopos||A guardian or superintendent||Oversight|
|Shepherd or pastor||Poimen||Metaphoric term (tending flocks)||Protection|
|Steward||Oikonomo||Metaphoric term (treasurer)||Trustworthy|
|Eldership||Presbuterion||Group of older men/elders||Plurality & equality|
- 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.
- 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”
- 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 Word||True translation||Meaningless “gobbledy goop” words that have no use outside of religion.|
B. Proof that all terms refer to same office because of their interchangeable usage:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Elder indicates an older man with wisdom that can only come from age and experience.
- 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
- 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.
- 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:
- Minister indicates one who serves as a servant.
- Evangelist indicates one who spreads the good new of the seed of the Gospel everywhere.
- Preacher indicates one who proclaims the message of God.
II. Unscriptural terms used by denominations: Titus 2:1
|Elder or Presbyter (Presbureros)||Overseer or bishop (Episcopos)||Shepherd or pastor (Poimen)||Steward (Oikonomo)|
|1 Pe 5:1,2|
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-bishopArchpriest||His All HolinessHis EminenceHis BeatitudeHis GraceVery ReverendRight ReverendReverend FatherReverendFather|
C: Various terms used by denominations today. Each of the four sets of terms refer to the same greek word.
- Overseer: Bishop, Episcopate, Bishopric, Diocese
- Elder: Presbyter, Presbyterate
- Shepherd: Pastor
- Servant: Deacon, Diaconate
III. Scriptural terms misused by denominations: Titus 2:1
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- These qualifications are what all Christian’s should strive to meet.
- Most churches today will set human standards that ignore Bible directives
B. Six qualifications that many modern day pastors/shepherds don’t meet:
- Elders must be men.
- Elders must be married.
- Elders must have children who are old enough to be believing Christians
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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”
- Full time preachers in the New Testament were not always elders.
- 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.
- 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
- “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”
- “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
- ” 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.
- “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
- ” 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
- “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
- ” 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
- “”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
- “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.
- “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
- “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
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:
- 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.”
- 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”
- 1 Pet 5:1 “I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow-elder”
- Peter was an elder but he was not higher in rank that any other elder.
- 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:
- One bishop/elder is never over other bishop/elders in rank: all are equal.
- One bishop/elder is never over more than one local church churches
- 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:
- “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)
- “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)
- 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:
- 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.”
- 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:
- 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)
- EPHESUS: Acts 20:17,28 Paul “called to him the ELDERS OF THE CHURCH.”
- JUDEA: Acts 11:29,30 “sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul TO THE ELDERS”
D. Let us look at various other references:
- Jas 5:14 “Is anyone sick? Let him call the ELDERS OF THE CHURCH.”
- 1 Pe 5:1-3 “Therefore, I exhort the ELDERS among you
- 1 Ti 4:14 “the laying on of hands of the PRESBYTERY.” (assembly of aged men)
- 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 Ti 3:1,2 “If any man aspires to the OFFICE OF OVERSEER
- Tit 1:7 “for the OVERSEER must be above reproach”
- 1 Ti 5:19 “Do not receive an accusation against an ELDER except…”
- 2 Jn 1 “The ELDER to the chosen lady and her children”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- a church without elders because no one qualified: Acts 14:1-3,6,8,21-23
- 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
- They all refer to the same thing
- They are used interchangeably
- The terms are not titles but teach us about the role, function and work
- 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
- Each church is self governing and autonomous
- 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
- Churches can scripturally exist either with or without elders
- “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)
- “as also the high priest and all the Council [Presbuterion] of the elders can testify.” (Acts 22:5)
- “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
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