The following is an attempt to knock the ball into left field, an attempt to say something that far too few are saying or hearing. There are men(and women) who don't want to hear this and can't hear it. We've listened as a man, highly esteemed by a very large organization came unglued and threw a fit over this. There are those who would profess to be ministers of the Gospel who have no problem telling you "I don't think it really matters or that we have to do it the way the apostles did." We have also been told by a man who claims to be a minister "I've looked into it and rejected it."
Truth can handle itself. Speech can answer speech. No one should feel threatened by speech unless they are holding the truth in unrightesouness. There is an urgent need for local assembly in the world today. People have no idea what real, New Testament gatherings can really be like due to lack of care and regard for the instructions found in scripture.
The LORD is very specific and particular about patterns He has laid out. All things should be according to pattern. Should we be reckless regarding the pattern of salvation? Why are men so reckless with the pattern for local assembly?
Please let me preface this by saying there is a desparate need for the precious gift of pastoring, but the way it is understood, employed and too often abused today is contrary to the teachings of Christ and the soundness of the apostles' doctrine. It is foreign to the blueprint for autonomous, local assembly that the apostles left and intended for us to follow.
There is no example in scripture of the apostles ordaining one man to be the head of a local assembly. The word pastor, singular, cannot be found in the King James version.
JESUS said "All power in Heaven and in Earth has been given unto me." and warned us "BEWARE of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes and love greetings in the markets, and the higest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts...the same shall receive greater damnation." Luke 20:46-47
Jesus called a little child to him to illustrate rank in the Kingdom.
The early church knew nothing but a plurality of elders.
Almost 2000 years ago, Paul left Titus on an island with a mandate to "Set in order the things that are wanting" and ordain elders(plural) in every city(singular). Titus 1:5; Acts 14:23 Almost 2000 years later, things are still wanting. Who will attempt to set them in order?
There is no more Levitical priesthood, no such words or concepts as "clergy" or "laity" in the New Testament, but the entire body is to be one. JESUS prayed a beautiful prayer to His Father in Heaven and said "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
Disapproval is made explicity clear in Scripture regarding the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitans. Nikos meaning "to rule" laitan "the people" Prayerfully consider Revelation Chapter 2
We see the bad example of Diotrophes who "loved the preeminence." Besides Diotrophes, the apostles named other men who were being corrupted and corrupting such as Demas, Phygelus, Hymenaes, Alexander, Philetus and Hermongenes. Men were trying to make disciples to themselves and not to CHRIST early on.
Jude warns us of men that crept in unawares.
The beloved Paul, apostle of CHRIST, warned the elders of the early church "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of GOD, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among YOU, not sparing the flock. Also of your OWN SELVES shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after *them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. Acts 20:28-31
Three years of tears while the apostle warned our brothers, sisters, elders and deacons(the church's first martyr was a deacon and some would scoff at the idea that we need them today) day and night that "of your own selves" shall men arise and to take heed and watch. Why are so many utterly failing to apply even more needed vigilance today?
A common error is the teaching that Moses was a type of solo pastor. A recent search on YouTube turned up at least 2 videos stating that William Branham was the prophet like unto Moses. William Branham wasn't even sound in the basic principles of the doctrine of Christ. But this is where this type of error can lead if allowed to grow unchecked. It is nothing less than antichrist and this is why. JESUS is the head of the body and everyone else are members of the body. Anything that is inserted between the head and the body is as much violence as one can do to Christ since the cross.
Moses was not a type of solo pastor or priest. Moses was a type of CHRIST. CHRIST is the prophet like unto Moses.
Unless and until JESUS is restored to His rightful place of honor as head of the body, not in Name only but invited to function as such, one could chase their tail regarding issues until He returns. The things that are wanting must be set in order before the Kingdom of GOD can produce the kind of fruit and harvest of souls it is intended to.
The ingathering of the harvest where the fields are white and ready but the laborers few, depends on men taking heed and continuing stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine which entails "setting in order the things that are wanting." Titus 1:5 Until a local assembly has ordained elders and deacons who see themselves as and want to be a part of the "family" and a part of the one body, there cannot be the harvest GOD intends as the current structure can't handle it, nor can it handle as well the mounting persecution.
Please don't take anyone's word for it. Study the apostles' doctrine and pattern of church oversight for yourself. Start by searching "elders" versus ""pastor"" in the New Testament, keeping in mind that the term bishop was chosen by the 47 KJV translators who were all members of the same, state sponsored "church" and that "bishop" is used interchangeably with the word elder.
A few precautions are that everyone seems to have a different idea of what they call eldership. Many say they do have elders but oftentimes what they mean is that they have some older men who assist(and too often are simply yes men to) the solo pastor. While we desperately need the wisdom of elder men who are in the faith, elders who labor in the word and in doctrine are the scriptural model as opposed to the business model of a solo pastor.
Elders are not in subjection to a far away council unknown to the local assembly or any other unsound form of church structure for the local assembly is to be autonomous. There is no true accountability when men live hundreds of miles apart and rarely even see one another. The local assembly of saints with face to face, communication and real, local relationships is vital for all who are commanded not to forsake the assembling of ourselves, so much the more as we see the day approaching.
Regarding the unsound use of titles for and exaltation of men inside what is to be a body of brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers -family, not so long ago, even some of the most well known and respected preachers in holiness circles went by brother, even if it was still a sort of title. But now, even the title pastor is being taken up a notch with the use of bishop. One preacher of the Apostolic denomination went so far as to say Acts 2:38 preachers are the "cardinals" of the Apostolic church. What a reproach to the NAME of CHRIST. "Let no man deceive you."
Should a solo pastor and his wife kneel down in front of an outgoing solo pastor and his wife in an ordination ceremony? This is just another example of the dangerous errors that unsound doctrine produces which are contrary to the good fruit of the teachings of the apostles of JESUS CHRIST. The apostle Peter refused men assuming positions in front of him, lifting them up saying "Stand up; I also am a man." Angels refused men assuming positions in front of them, redirecting worship to God.
There are ministers and their wives living in altered states of reality that could cost them their salvation. JESUS said if possible the very elect would be deceived. The END is not near. It's HERE. We must watch and pray and care enough to wake up anyone under the deception that JESUS is pleased with levels or hierarchy of any sort in His body that HE prayed would be ONE. At the same time we cannot waste time on those who are blinded and not willing to listen when there are people who will. Leave them alone. They be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, they both shall fall into the ditch.
A closing thought is that we have so many wonderful things to discover in scripture as well as safeguards to practice. Until the doctrine of the rightful headship of JESUS is established and scripturally qualified elders ordained, wheels will spin and souls will be lost. The following portions of scripture allow a glimpse into some of what we might be missing out on in not doing things God's way: I Corinithians 14:29-31 or I Corinithians 14:36 Sirs, we would see Jesus.
A final warning -the apostles' doctrine is for the protection and good of all. When we follow the pattern in scripture, it will only work for the betterment of the body as a whole. There is safety in the LORD and walking in His ways. JESUS answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall Deceive Many...if it were possible, to deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Matthew 24:4-5,24; Revelation 12:9 Satan deceives the WHOLE WORLD. Watch and pray. Let no man deceive you. "And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." Mark 13:37
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42 If the book of Acts is what you hunger for, it is up to you to help make it a reality. Unfortunately most solo pastors(and certainly most priests) , the institutional church, cannot hear this and so the LORD calls "Come out of her *my people."
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. I Corinthians 14:26
CONTACT EMAIL: OneFaithofJESUS (at) PROTONMail (dot) com#missedinformation