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 Re:

And, Adisciple, I just want to add (even though KJV says "over") that the preponderance of NT Scripture and the indwelling Holy Spirit tells us that no one is over us except the Lord Jesus.

Man, has taken God's Word and made his own putrid religion which has enslaved millions. Man creates doctrines on one verse of scripture and that is terrible hermeneutics. It fails the test of "two or three witness", meaning other scriptures backing it up.

Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

 2010/11/12 17:12
davidc
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Joined: 2010/8/15
Posts: 272
France

 Re:

Pilgrim777 you rightly say
"the preponderance of NT Scripture and the indwelling Holy Spirit tells us that no one is over us except the Lord Jesus."

We are all individually members of Christ and as His body, we hold the head, and receive all grace and blessing from Him. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in the church, to make us, who are individually temples of the Holy Spirit into one temple, the House of God.

The Holy Spirit also builds us up and edifies us by the operations of the gifts of the Spirit. These gifts are seen in 1 Cor 12 and Eph 4. The Ephesians passage speaks of pastors being a gift of Christ to the church. This in no way makes a pastor any higher than any other member of the body, it is just a gift that Christ has given him to pastor or keep an eye on the church. He should exercise his gift according to the grace of God given to him, as should all others with various gifts to buid up the body of Christ.

When it comes to elders and leaders, all the new testament teaches is that Paul as an apostle appointed them in various churches. They were not elected or appointed by the church itself nor from an outside body. Paul appointed them. Where is Paul now, and does anyone have the apostolic authority today to appoint elders or leaders? I believe not.

But the Christ has provided the answer in scripture. We read:

“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves,” 1 Thess 5. 12,13

At the same time, the apostle distinctly sets forth the common responsibility of all the saints. “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men,” 1 Thess 5. 14,15.

Also:

“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation,” Heb. 13v7, and

“I beseech you, brethren (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints), that ye submit yourselves unto such, and to everyone that helpeth with us, and laboureth,” 1 Cor 16. 15,16

This puts the onus back onto us, the individual members of the body, to willingly in love submit ourselves to those whom we consider meet these descriptions.

In Him
David


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david

 2010/11/12 19:21Profile
cryinthenite
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Joined: 2010/9/22
Posts: 71


 Re: Shepherdship errors as they stand today!!

I am so glad to see this talked about.I hope and pray the Lord will open our eyes to the deceit of sheperdship as we see that day approaching!

 2010/11/12 23:32Profile
jimp
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Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


 Re:

hi, does the bible word submit mean anything to us.do you see Jesus leaving His home in heaven and submiting to the laws of rome and speaking not a word at the hands of the hangmen..watch Him wash the feet of His followers.we being equal in all ways to all men must humble ourselves and become servants in order to be used of God. we also being citizens of a heavenly kingdom must submit to the governmental authority "over"us...we are told to submit ouselves to each other and to those that are overseers...what is submit? it is to get under and lift up the mission of another...if you or i cannot submit to man in love than how do we submit to God...we certainly are a proud and haughty group. His word says that if my people who are called by My name shall humble themselves...no sense going any further until we meet this goal first.jimp

 2010/11/13 4:17Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2039
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

@jimp,
The Pharisees hated Jesus because He did not submit to their traditions which made God's Word of no effect in the peoples' lives. He was constantly challenging their ways of doing things. He was viewed as a rebel who rejected the religious "authority" of His day, and ultimately He was crucified because of that, from man's viewpoint.

There are many Christians who are beginning to the see the hinderance of the traditions of men with their so called religious authority over God's people. They are seeing the hinderance of having a "one man show" every Sunday and submitting to "lords" in the place of Christ. They are seeing the crippling effect which that has had on the Body and Bride of Christ.

And they, like their Master, are beginning to "rebel" and reject unbiblical traditions and authority. Many of us are not just "rebels" for the sake of being rebels. We truly mourn and grieve and cry out to the Lord for deliverance from the hindering ways of man. We want to see a glorious Bride. We want to see the purity and power which the first century church clearly had.

And we know that that will not be seen until we are set free from the false ways of man which bind us up and hinder us from obeying Christ in all things. And the "all things" includes rethinking many of our traditions and church practices which are nowhere to be found within the pages of the New Testament. These "traditions" and church practices really are a huge hinderance brother, and I hope and pray you will one day realize that. Blessings,
Oracio


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Oracio

 2010/11/13 11:30Profile
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
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Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Jimp, calling for a return to the Biblical pattern of leadership doesn't mean people are advocating that the church is to be a place where it's sort of every man for himself, and nobody submits to anybody.

There is to be true authority in the church. The early apostles had authority. Great authority. Paul warned the Corinthians he had the ability to come to them with a rod if necessary. John warned the same kind of thing.

But men in whom God has vested this kind of authority must recognize at a very deep level that the sheep of God's pasture are just exactly that: they are HIS heritage, they are HIS flock, and not their own.

I once heard a wise man say that David the king was the shepherd of Israel because he taught the people to say, "The LORD is my shepherd."

Of course there is submission in the body of Christ. But THAT is what a genuine shepherd does, and teaches. He teaches the people to submit to their God. He teaches them to come to know His Voice for themselves, and obey Him.

More or less, as they say, his job is to work himself out of a job.


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Allan Halton

 2010/11/13 12:20Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2039
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

ADisciple, good points. One question I've pondered is, "Do pastors/elders have the same level of authority which the Apostles had? In other words, is that kind of Apostolic authority given to any leaders today, or was that kind of spiritual authority only for the first century at the founding of the Church? Its clear that the elder/pastors of the first century were under the guidance of the Apostles and had less spiritual authority than them.

Another good question is, are there apostles today? I believe there are apostles with a lower case "a", which are the pioneering missionaries or church planters of today. And again, the question I ponder is, do these "apostles" have the same level of spiritual authority which the Apostles had? Paul says that he showed the Corinthians the "signs" of an Apostle, meaning signs and wonders and powerful Apostolic preaching of the gospel. But where do we see that today? Not in America for sure.

Even if there is a certain level of spiritual authority given today to certain leaders, it is clear that it is to be displayed vastly different than what we see in mainline Christianity. The Apostles planted churches and taught "all" the believers how to function without their presence on a regular basis. They encouaged much mutual submission and participation by all, which is not seen in mainline Chistianity today.

They did not teach or encourage the elders/pastors to lord over the flock of God, or take over and make all the decisions in the churches, leaving out the rest of the members. There was much "consensual" decision making encouraged, and the New Testament is filled with that kind of example. This is also clearly seen in the fact that the vast majority of the epistles to the churches do not even mention the elders/pastors.

My point is that the New Testament model of spiritual authority looks almost like nothing we see today in mainline churches.

p.s. I did not take the time to look up all the biblical references for my points due to lack of time at the moment, but I would be glad to share those references at a later time if you ask.


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Oracio

 2010/11/13 12:46Profile
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Oracio, also good post.

Quote:
One question I've pondered is, "Do pastors/elders have the same level of authority which the Apostles had? In other words, is that kind of Apostolic authority given to any leaders today, or was that kind of spiritual authority only for the first century at the founding of the Church? Its clear that the elder/pastors of the first century were under the guidance of the Apostles and had less spiritual authority than them.



No, I wouldn't say pastors/elders have the same measure of authority the Apostles had. I don't think they had the same measure of authority the apostles had in the early church, and obviously they don't today either.

As to that kind of authority being limited to the time of the founding of the church... I'm not prepared to confine it to that time. Certainly we don't see it in our day, but we don't know what is yet around the corner, and what God may yet do-- or need to do-- in order to bring the church to the fulness He intends.

Quote:
Another good question is, are there apostles today? I believe there are apostles with a lower case "a", which are the pioneering missionaries or church planters of today. And again, the question I ponder is, do these "apostles" have the same level of spiritual authority which the Apostles had? Paul says that he showed the Corinthians the "signs" of an Apostle, meaning signs and wonders and powerful Apostolic preaching of the gospel. But where do we see that today? Not in America for sure.



I agree that there are apostles today, but I don't limit them to just "pioneering missionaries or church planters." If your average missionary and church planter is an apostle, well, not to disparage that, but it's not what comes to mind when I think of the word "apostle." I believe, actually, that there are apostles who lay foundations of truth in the church, truths that have been lost over the centuries, but which God has promised He will raise up in the last day (Jn. 6.39).

And I believe we will see more of these. Those who teach there are no more apostles after the first 12 are mistaken, of course. For Paul in Ephesians says it is the ascended Christ-- the ascended Christ-- who gives the gifts of men to the church: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Eph. 4.11). And so before His ascension Christ chose 12 to be apostles. But also AFTER His ascension: "...When He ascended on High, He led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men." And He gave to the church "apostles, prophets, etc."

And the apostle Paul himself was an example of one of these.

We may expect, then, that as He sees the need according to His purposes, the Lord Jesus Christ will give these men.

As to their having the same authority as the early Apostles, once again, I would not be prepared to say unequivocally, No. Who are we to judge what God might yet do?

Quote:
Even if there is a certain level of spiritual authority given today to certain leaders, it is clear that it is to be displayed vastly different than what we see in mainline Christianity. The Apostles planted churches and taught "all" the believers how to function without their presence on a regular basis. They encouaged much mutual submission and participation by all, which is not seen in mainline Chistianity today.



I agree. And I'm encouraged to see that more and more people are recognizing the order that Paul laid out in Ephesians, which is that the ascended Christ gives these ministries unto the church to equip the church unto THEIR work of ministry (Eph. 4.11-13). It is the body of Christ-- each and every member functioning vitally-- that is to bring the body of Christ "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."

There's that beautiful little word "till" in that passage: that God gives these ministries to equip the church "TILL we all come unto the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect Man..."

In other words, there comes a time when the Glory of God fills the House of God, and the priests are no longer able to stand to minister: their work is accomplished. And the true ministers are filled with joy when that happens.

Quote:
They did not teach or encourage the elders/pastors to lord over the flock of God, or take over and make all the decisions in the churches, leaving out the rest of the members. There was much "consensual" decision making encouraged, and the New Testament is filled with that kind of example.



Yes, I agree fully.

Quote:
My point is that the New Testament model of spiritual authority looks almost like nothing we see today in mainline churches.



Yes, it's an evil thing and bitter that His fear is not in us, as Jeremiah said. And that's why the churches generally speaking are so weak.

But we have the encouraging hope that if we will turn to our Lord again, He will return to us and His authority will be manifested in and through us again.

So, these are awesome days.


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Allan Halton

 2010/11/13 13:58Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2039
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Quote:
I agree that there are apostles today, but I don't limit them to just "pioneering missionaries or church planters." If your average missionary and church planter is an apostle, well, not to disparage that, but it's not what comes to mind when I think of the word "apostle." I believe, actually, that there are apostles who lay foundations of truth in the church, truths that have been lost over the centuries, but which God has promised He will raise up in the last day (Jn. 6.39).



Yes, I agree that the average "missionary" or "church planter" would probably not fit the decription of an apostle. But I do believe that some of the pioneering missionaries of the past, such as David Brainerd, Hudson Taylor and C.T. Studd have fit that description. These are men that forsake and risk all for the cause of Christ.

I also agree that apostles do not necessarily have to be missionaries or church planters, but ones whom God uses to bring back certain lost vital truths. I believe some of these "apostles" are men whom God has used to awaken us throughout history and whom we did not realize were actually apostles; men like the reformers, the puritan non-comformists, men like George Whitefield, John Wesley, William Booth, Leonard Ravenhill, etc.


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Oracio

 2010/11/13 14:45Profile
davidc
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Joined: 2010/8/15
Posts: 272
France

 Re:

Oracio, you write:
"Do pastors/elders have the same level of authority which the Apostles had?"

I do agree with you and Adisciple with the answer to this question. But we must agree that Paul especially was chosen as the apostle to the Gentiles and had and mission and authority from Christ which was unique. He was also along with the other writers inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the precious word of God which we have now.

I would like to raise one point however; does not the bible specifically distinguish between pastors and elders? (as in you question)

Pastors are include in the Ephesian list of gifts of men (as adisciple says)
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Eph 4:11 (KJV)

These are men given by Christ in love to his church and they are wholly answerable to Christ, not to any man, for the exercising of their gifts. These gifts as well as those mentioned in 1 Cor 12. are for the edification of the body of Christ. Not necessarily just at a local church, but for the whole body of Christ (that is the context of the Ephesian and 1 Cor passages) world wide, wherever God choses to use them.

Elders and leaders as I said in my post yesterday were appointed by Paul or in some cases he delegated this authority to another - Titus. They were appointed as elders of a local church, unlike pastors. My question is still that if there are no apostles now (or none known), how can elders be appointed in our churches today?

David


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david

 2010/11/13 18:17Profile





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