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.
...which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
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.
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.
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.
And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
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
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.
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.
And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
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.
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:
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.
Manmade hierarchy severs the only true and rightful head, The LORD Jesus Christ from His body. Though initially shocking, 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 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 who loves and studies the scriptures and 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.
While the textus receptus, used by the King James translators is rightfully the most trusted source for Bible translations, and while we have been loyal to the King James version for decades, the LORD has allowed us to see that the king had an agenda that masks, disguises, hides, conceals and just makes understanding local church structure very difficult. All 47 scholars were members of the king's church, the church of England. The king saught to guarantee the new version conform to his church's belief in an ordained "clergy" a word found nowhere in scripture and a concept entirely foreign to the church that JESUS is building -the New Testament church. Thankfully the LORD showed us the truth even before we learned this history but it sure seemed to be the long way around the barn! Perhaps for a reason...
The king's version of the Holy Bible uses the words bishop and elder interchangeably when it could have been consistent and simply used the word elder or overseer. The word bishop being associated with hierarchy goes against everything JESUS taught in word and deed about serving others. The term elder conveys the true spirit of what was never intended to be a title but an act of love and service to the body of CHRIST. JESUS and His apostles' doctrine forbids wielding power over others or separating oneself into a class distinct from the "general" body as there is no such thing in the New Testament church. The use of terms such as reverend are blasphemous. Anyone participating in this is not continuing stedfastly in the entirety of the teachings of JESUS and His apostles. We must all take heed to what Spirit we are of and always remember Paul's warnings for three years in tears.#missedinformation