On Church Governance, the Kingdom of God is a monarchy and Christ is King of the coming Kingdom. True Christianity lays no claim to temporal power rather religion when mixed with state power has proven itself the greatest persecutor of the Faith of JESUS. Satan is the god of this world and JESUS said His kingdom is not of this world. He didn't even come to "make the world a better place" though that is a natural side effect of following Him. He came that the world, through Him might be saved.

JESUS is head of His body, the church. Any man or manmade system that strives to compete with or replace the Lord's rightful headship is antichrist, not "the" antiChrist but in direct opposition to or trying to take the place of Christ. Manmade hierarchy severs the only true and rightful head, Jesus Christ from His body. Though shocking to many, once considered, it should make perfect sense that there is no scriptual basis for adopting such a system of church structure. The early church continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine. We do not find the apostles appointing a solo pastor/priest over a congregation but rather ordaining elders(plural) to serve the body of Christ via one local church per city. Titus 1:5 The Lord does all things well and with the good of people in mind. Any local man whose life meets the requirements in the New Testament as witnessed by believers who know him personally can be an elder. It's not a profession but a duty.

Any deviation from JESUS functioning as the head leaves the safe path of the apostles' doctrine and a dangerous gate wide open to wolves and hirelings, endangering the flock. The glorious beauty of this truth is the way it exalts JESUS to His rightful place of authority, not in word only but in deed as head of His body, free to function as the only good and true Shepherd and Guardian of our souls.

And here lies one of the greatest problems with translation, particularly, the King James translation: From Bible Gateway "In January 1604, King James VI ...convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as "detected" by the Puritans. James gave the translators instructions intended to "guarantee" that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained "clergy." The translation was done by 47 scholars, "all" of whom were members of the Church of England."

Thus, the King James version literally hides and hinders believers from detecting the error of the false doctrine of a "clergy" class within the One, body of Christ. The apostles never established classes or levels in the body and any such doctrines are to be entirely and utterly refuted and rejected as the LORD commends those who hate the doctrines and deeds of the Nicolaitans. Nikao -"to conquer": Laos - "people" The body of Christ recognizes no group or clique to be "more equal" than others. JESUS prayed to the Father that we would be ONE, as He and the Father are one.

The church at Ephesus was praised for hating this doctrine. There is one rightful head of the body -the LORD JESUS CHRIST and we are all brethren. Any insertion of an "extra" middle man when the only middle man is the LORD JESUS, is a most violent act against Christ, severing the head from the body.

Note: The King James translators under the instruction of the King, caused confusion using the terms elder and bishop interchangeably. Neither are a title nor rank but a function and post of duty. Please, if someone can show that the use of the word Bishop is a complete error, would you be so kind as to share your research via email? email: onefaith at gmail dot com

How many times is the word "pastor"(singular) found in the New Testament, KJV? It is not found. The word pastors(plural) can be found once. Yet everyone and their grandma seems to be vying for the (non)position of pastor these days. No offense to godly grandmothers -we need them desperately, as faithful Lois, to instill the living faith in the Timothys of today and tomorrow. The point is that all we hear is "pastor" when the New Testament, KJV, does not reference the singular version once.

What we do see in the New Testament are elders -a plurality of scripturally qualified men, working together to oversee the flock in each city, with Jesus alone being head of the church:

Acts 4:8

Then peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of israel...(Israel had elders and the Bible teaches us to ask for the old paths. (Jeremiah 6:16) Moses, who was a type of Christ, was instructed of the Lord to select elders.

Acts 11:30

...which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 14:23

And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the LORD, on whom they believed.

Acts 15:2

When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Acts 15:4

And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

Acts 15:6

And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

Acts 15:22

Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren

Acts 15:23

And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.

Acts 16:4

And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

Acts 20:17

And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

Acts 21:18

And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.

1 Timothy 5:1

Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;

1 Timothy 5:17

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

Titus 1:5

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

James 5:14

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the LORD:

1 Peter 5:1

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.

Again, the King James version of the Holy Bible uses the words bishop and elder interchangeably. Bishop and elder are the same with elder, I believe, conveying the true spirit of what was never intended to be a title but a desire to serve the body of Christ. A man who has a Biblical understanding of and love for the apostles' doctrine would not wield power over others or be separated into another class from the one body of Christ by the use of titles such as bishop or reverend. Anyone participating in this is not continuing stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine. Remember Paul's warnings for three years in tears.