"Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a FALLING AWAY FIRST,"2 Thes. 2:3.(Mat 15:6 KJV) Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.I do rightfully want you to teach valid New Testament truths and also not to continue mere human lies as well. Please do also still get it clear you first serve only God, not some mere man or women now as well.All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I really Give... All... all my thoughts, all of my will, all of my goals, inclinations, desires too, and Surrendering all to Jesus, even our wrong ways, our failures is a virtue on our part.. but surrendering to other men or the devil is not a virtue... it is an immoral act still. Simple too.(Eph 3:14 KJV) For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,(James 4:7 KJV) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.(James 4:8 KJV) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.(2 Tim 2:26 KJV) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.(Rom 12:1 KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.(2 Cor 10:5 KJV) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;(Rev 13:10 KJV) He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.(Eph 4:1 KJV) I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."And he (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence."Rather than take the Bible as the word of God and apply it men in the ministry as well tend rather to distort it with false human reasonings, false cultural practises, false traditions while even claiming to uphold the word of God accurately , as being true prophets. For example:
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 14:23)
From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.... He said unto them... 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. (Acts 20:17-28)
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: (Phil. 1:1)
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:(Titus 1:5)
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: (James 5:14)
Clearly "Elders" and "Overseers" are the same persons, and that it is they who are given responsibility to shepherd, or pastor the local church of God. ("Shepherd" is the literal meaning of the word "pastor.")
So while others besides Elders may ALSO exercise a pastoral, shepherding gift for instance, there is no hint at all even in Scripture of anyone claiming to be the main " Pastor" of a local church and anyone assuming a position of oversight apart from and superior to the work of the elders. But in reality this tends not to be so today in churches and why? The Pastor wants wrongfully to insure that they get all of the monies as much as possible for himself?
Clearly as well no where in the New Testament do we read now of a "Senior Pastor," or "Presiding Elder." Such titles, but in reality this tends not to be so today and why?
In fact this does come perilously close to an anti Christ spirit since Christ Himself is spoken of as "the Chief Shepherd" ((1 Pet 5:4 KJV) And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.) (Eph 5:23 KJV) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
"For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd" (Jesus, the Shepherd ("poimen") which means pastor) and Bishop (Overseer) of your souls. (1Peter 2:25)."And when the chief Shepherd (JESUS) shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."
(Eph 4:11 KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
No one can dispute that Christ supposedly is no longer the head of the Church, and no one can equally dispute that the even the apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers are not still gifted to the local church too. yet many do try to do this and why? They want to wrongfully exalt themselves or some mere man or women.. and they serve the devil too..
Third John 1:9-11. I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth [them] out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
(Acts 20:28 KJV) 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. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. 33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. 34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 35 I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
(Gal 2:10 KJV) Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
Still what about even the other Churches and Church titles? One big difference between the early New Testament churches and most of the modern day churches is that none of the churches in the Bible had any names, denominational ones included too, and what about the sad the fact that all the ones today do.
The apostle Peter does confirm that the terms "elders" and "overseers" refer to the same persons, and that their work is that of pastoring the flock:
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: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (1 Peter 5:1-2)
Let us also make it clear that the Holy Spirit assigns you a specific flock to look after.. but the flocks still all belongs to God, is His alone...
The point that also does need to to be fixed clearly in all of our minds from the above scriptures is that, in the New Testament, churches were never, never, never shepherded only by one man, whatever his title or designation, but by a plurality of men, the elders.
Notice that in the Scriptures, Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, or to the church at Ephesians, and so on. Dozens of churches mentioned in the Bible, and it was always to the "saints" at Jerusalem, or to the church of the Thessalonians, or to the brethren at Colossae, etc. Never, was there a name like Independent Bible Church. Never.
In Matt 18:15-20, Jesus states in verse 20, "For where two or three are gathered together IN MY NAME, there am I in the midst of them." Notice that He says "in my name". Whose name? The Pentecostal Name? The Brethren Name? Baptist name? The Independent Fundamental name? The Grace Baptist Church name, or whatever the name of your church is? NO. He said "in MY name. "And IN HIS NAME shall the Gentiles trust" . (Matt 12:21). "But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send IN MY NAME, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you". John 14:26 (He will send the Holy Ghost not in the name of the Pentecostals, but in the name of Jesus.) "And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call ON THE NAME OF THE LORD shall be saved". Acts 2:21 (John 12:32 KJV) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. " In the name of Jesus we are to still to meet. "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together,"1 Cor 5:4. Are we to gather together in a sectarian name, the name of the church, or the denomination? Whose name are we to gather? IN HIS NAME. ""Col 3:17 says, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do) all IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (This is a command of God that whatever we do, we are to do it in the name of Jesus.) ("In His name" means in His authority.) (So, are you serving in His name or are you serving in the your name or in the name of your church and your denomination?)"
Who is in reality the head of the church and owns the church as well? Jesus or any others? So do we run the Church his way or our way? In and by His love too?
1Cor 1:10-13 says, "Now I beseech you, brethren, BY THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; (sects or denominations) but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them [which are of the house] of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? (Denominated) was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul"? We all know that the church at Corinth was very carnal. Paul had to straighten these people out on many things. One problem they had was becoming clickish (divided or denominated). These people were trying to invent the first denominations. Thus, began sectarianism in the church. (the beginning of religious sects or subgroups). Some in the church said "I am of Paul, others "I am of Cephas (Peter)". Some "I am of Apollos", and some were correct by saying, "I am of Christ." But many wanted to identify themselves with men rather than Christ. No doubt the reason for them choosing a man to identify with was that the person was probably saved by that particular man's ministry and probably baptized by him. "Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?" Then he said, "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel:" 1Cor 1:14-17. Notice that Paul seems to be saying that people that he had personally led to the Lord and baptized were denominating or dividing themselves unto him, as did others with whoever ministered to them. Thus, they wanted to become followers of Paul, and could be called "Paulites". Those who favored Apollo could have been called "Apollites", and those of Peter; "Cephites or Cephists" or whatever you want to call them. Silly you say. Well, no sillier than today. Today, people likewise say, "I am of the Baptist", or "I am of the "Methodist", or "I am of the Catholics", etc. (Did you know that each denomination was started by a man?) Baptist could say that "I am of John Smyth"(first to start a Baptist church), or the Brethren, the Pentecostals can say something similar?
"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I [am] of Apollos; are ye not CARNAL? 1Cor. 1:1-4. Notice this time he did not include "I of Christ", as he did in 1Cor 1:12-13. Only those who divide over men, Paul, Apollos, and etc. are carnal.)"
How can you love and serve two masters? The Bible says you can't. Whose name will you serve? In the name of Jesus, or in some man-made denominational name? "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods (denominations?) which your fathers served….BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD." Josh 24:15.
"What about church titles You sure hear many of them in and around the modern day church, such as, Brother, Sister, Elder, Reverend, Doctor, Pastor, etc. But, what does the Scriptures say about this? In Job 32:21-22, it says, "Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; [in so doing] my maker would soon take me away." Jesus also condemned it. Speaking of the Pharisees, Jesus said they "love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, [even] Christ." (Matt 23:7-10). Jesus is saying that they were not to call any man Rabbi, Master, or Father, which were spiritual titles for teachers and authoritative spiritual leaders. Then He added that they were not to allow others to call them by those titles. He said in verse 6 and 7 that the Pharisees loved these flattering titles. After saying this, do you think Jesus would call a minister today, Doctor, Reverend, etc? No, He would not! He said we are not to have religious titles, and we are not to call other men by them. Did you know that most people today would be offended if you did not put "Brother" or "Doctor" or some other title before their name? Certainly most preachers would. They would say that it is a lack of respect. But, in the Bible no one had these titles before their names. It wasn't Doctor Paul, or Reverend Paul or even Brother Paul; it was just Paul. Just Peter, James, and John. Just plain Timothy, Titus, and Philemon." Jesus is the only one who deserves a title, and that is Lord, or Christ, as in Lord Jesus or Lord Jesus Christ.
Some may say that it doesn't matter what the Bible says; we are going to follow tradition. We are still going to give men spiritual titles. "That's the way it's always been done, and everybody today does it that way." The Pharisees would agree with you". The same ones who killed Jesus rather than accept Him and His ways too.
Further more , the clear impression given by the New Testament scriptures is that elders were generally raised up AND EQUIPPED AS WELL by God Himself, from within the local church, not hired and imported EVEN from outside and certainly THEY DID NOT COME mainly from the ranks of the INSTITUTIONAL "clergy". The Apostles clearly disproved any of this.
Where also now in Scripture is there any such thing as a servant of the Lord contracting to receive a stated fixed, regular salary from a church?
The New Testament does clearly sets forth the principle that those who preach the gospel are entitled to "live from the gospel" ((Mat 10:9 KJV) Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
(Mat 10:10 KJV) Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
(1 Cor 9:14 KJV) Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
(1 Tim 5:17 KJV) Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
(1 Tim 5:18 KJV) For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.),
Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.(Gal. 6:6)
Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel... no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. (Phil. 4:10-16)
Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.(Titus 3:13-14)
but there is never any indication that this involves a guaranteed, stated salary, but rather, free will gifts: For they too now have also to live by faith in God to provide for their needs like the rest of us, but sadly mostly do not too.
(Heb 10:38 KJV) Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
(Heb 10:39 KJV) But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
"Neither as being lords over [God's] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock". (1Peter 5: 3)
"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden Candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Rev 2:1-6. (Jesus said "thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.") (These are the "grievous wolves" Paul mentioned in Acts 20, those claiming to be apostles, and trying to draw men after themselves.) Notice, right after this statement of men claiming to be apostles, you find for the first time the word "Nicolaitans." Look at verse 6, and you will find that Jesus complimented the Ephesians for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans. The word Nicolaitans is a compound word, "nikao" which means "to conquer", and "laos" which means "people". Put it together and you have "conqueror of the laity", or "conqueror of the people". This was an attempt to usher in a priestly order or clergy. Sounds familiar doesn't it? We know they later became successful because in Rev. 2:6, the "deeds" of the Nicolaitans later became the "doctrine" of the Nicolaitans in Rev. 3:15 at the church in Pergamos. But, Jesus condemns this modern idea of a clergy which divides an equal brotherhood. Remember, Jesus said in Matt 23:8, "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and ALL YE ARE BRETHREN." So, we are not to have spiritual masters or leaders, because Christ is our spiritual master and leader. He said you can't serve two masters. "
A Distorted Position of the Pastor as a one man ministry like the Kings in the Old Testament does leads many of the pastors to falsely enslave us as well.
"Speaking of Judas, Acts 1:19 says, "For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take". But, look what that passage in Psalms says referring to Judas, "Let his days be few; [and] let another take his office". Psalm 109:8. "Bishoprick" means office of a bishop. So, Judas had an office of a bishop or a bishoprick. (One of twelve offices or "bishopricks"). But, Judas had no church, nor authority, and was not over the other apostles. Jesus called him to a service, a ministry, a work, or an "office", and sent him out with the other disciples to preach the gospel. "
Like Judas it should be obvious even today still that the too many rather hirelings not true shepherds in the he Ministry tend not to live by faith. to live by faith that God, not man will supply all of their personal needs now as well.
But did not Jesus say, "The laborer is worthy of his hire" (Luke 10:7)? True, but the briefest glance at the immediate context, where these laborers are instructed to carry neither purse nor scrip, and to "eat and drink such things as are set before you"-shows that a fixed salary was the last thing our Lord had in view. Yes, the Lord's laborer is worthy of his hire, but who is it that "hires" him? In whose employ is he--the church's or the Lord's? Surely the Lord's, but the system of a salaried pastorate implies otherwise.
I too cannot help but believe that the present-day "Pastor search" process, complete with resumes, salary negotiations, trial sermons, monetary abuses, and the like, is a grievous offence to the Spirit of God.
Again our urgent question must be: where is all this in Scripture?
The only case in Scripture of a "minister" receiving a fixed salary occurs in Judges 17-a situation filled with compromise and idolatry! (Judg 17:5 KJV) And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.
Where also is the notion that the public ministry of the Word is to be confined to one man in a local church, and that it is contingent upon him being "ordained" solely by some human authority? On the contrary, we read:
Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. (1 Cor 14:29-31)
Iis clear that the practice of one man monopolizing the public ministry of the Word was utterly foreign to the New Testament churches.
Confronted with the plain teaching of Scripture, we can not escape the conclusion that the oversight of the local church is to be exercised by mature brethren. elders, raised up by the Holy Spirit from within the church but the public ministry of the Word is open to any brother or sister who has been divinely gifted. called, selected by God for it.
A one-Pastor system:(1) Perpetuates the deplorable false partiality between "clergy" and "laity."
Away also with the idea that Christian work is the province of only a special few for it wrongfully Causes believers to neglect their own responsibility for witnessing to the lost, encouraging the brethren, having their own in-depth Bible study, visiting the sick, etc., out of a false conscious or a false subconscious assumption that these are only "the Pastor's Jobs."
which all leaves little or no room for the exercise of personal individual spiritual gifts of the local church.
And mostly leads to churches being built in the flesh, as mere programs, promotions, and the false godified Pastor's charms, personality replacing the spiritual gifts of the body... all eventually leading anyway to the death of the local church and the dismissal of the same pastor.
All that also tends produces widespread discouragement among the sincerely lost Pastors, who are trying earnestly to fill an unscriptural role.
and it also wrongfully denies a Pastor a personal accountability, and fellowship in the local church that they so desperately need.
and it all does tend to negate the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit in the church. Though the Pastor may earnestly seek the mind of the Spirit, his perception is clouded by his own personality, desires, etc.
(Psa 140:11 KJV) Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth:
(2 Cor 13:1 KJV) This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
It is much better, when formulating plans or making a decision, for the elders as a group, along with other spiritual men, to come before the Lord in prayer until the Holy Spirit speaks and brings them to a consensus, as in
(Acts 13:1 KJV) Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
Sadly as well the one man is given responsibility for the entire ministry of the church-and since no one man has all the gifts- the same Pastor is forced to spend much of their time doing ministry they are not supernaturally gifted to do, and the ministry even goes undone.
It also does creates a situation where one person, the Pastor, can turn a doctrinally sound church into a cult, a heretical church overnight.
The local church having multiple elders, while not providing absolute immunity from doctrinal error, is a powerful check against heretical teaching, but even whole church elders have known to be corrupted.
Where is the rightful faith, emphasis, confidence that the Lord has already supplied the body with the leadership gifts needed? and where are these gifts being encouraged in the local church as well under a mostly still one man ministry?
The proper role of a pastor, elders are not to assume the entire ministry of the church, but to mobilize and equip ALSO THE REST OF THE SAINTS to do the work of the ministry.
The concept of a church led by a SINGLE Pastor-equipped who mobilizes the saints to do the work of the ministry sounds attractive, but the experience of thousands of frustrated Pastors testifies that it simply does not even work.
God not being able to use as well some of the other gifted members of the local church implies that the Holy Spirit is even incompetent in placing the proper leadership gifts within each church.
Is it seminary training that qualifies a man for leadership in the church, or the gifts of the Spirit? Not at all....
"The word "overseer" is singular in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:7 where the qualifications of the overseer are described suggests at least the possibility of "overseer" being a one-man work but It is a most natural use of language to employ the singular when describing the qualifications of a position. For instance, I might say, "A United States Senator (or even, the United States Senator) must be a man of integrity. honor, etc." without in the least implying that there is only one United States Senator, or even one per state! To stress Paul's perfectly explicable use of the singular here, while ignoring the overwhelming evidence of the rest of the New Testament, would be a strange and twisted exegesis. " when two verses earlier Paul had introduced the subject by reminding Titus of his instructions to "appoint elders [plural I in every city"?
Were not the "Pastoral Epistles" addressed to single individuals? This objection is based on the common misconception that Timothy and Titus were clergy sated as being "Pastors" of local churches. This is simply not true, not stated in the Bible now.. It is human interpretations .Even James, the Lord's brother, was an apostle (Gal. 1:19). not a Pastor. Epaphras was an evangelist. The "fellow bond-servant" of Paul who brought the gospel to the Colossians (Col. 1:7). (Strange that if he were "Pastor" of the church at Colossae. he is never seen as present there, but always with Paul elsewhere!. (Col. 4:12; Philem. 23) Epaphroditus is simply described as one of Paul's fellow-workers who was sent by the Philippian church as a minister to his needs. None of this is now any valid evidence for the one-Pastor system?
Acts 14:23 ("So when they had appointed elders in every church...), James 5:14 ("Let him call for the elders of the church"),
Some would lie and say even if it can be proven that the New Testament churches had multiple elders that would not necessarily be normative for the church today. After all, everyone agrees that believers in the Jerusalem church sold their goods and had all things in common, yet who suggests rightfully by the Holy Spirit returning to that pattern today? God does, his New Testament standard does not change.
The passage in question, Acts 2:42-47, does not say that all those who believed sold all their possessions. The use of the imperfect tense in verse 45 implies that from time to time, as necessary, they sold their goods to distribute to brethren in need.
It is a false error to also say that because God graciously blesses someone operating under a certain set of beliefs or practices, that He thereby endorses those beliefs or practices for all, including the pattern set forth by D. L. Moody or all of his view now too. We are to follow after God not men, men are just his mere mouth pieces with their real imperfections too. Praise God, He does not require us to be perfect in our interpretation of Scripture before He will use us. If so, who could hope to be used?
Also, let us not forget that, quite apart from the question of what problems might be solved or created when WE follow the New Testament pattern we need to be led by the Holy Spirit who will not deny the pattern set in God's words in the New Testament now. We still do need conform to the authority of Scripture as a matter of principle for we invariably thus find God's way to be the best way.
In review all Elders are not to lord over God's people, but to be personal examples. They also are not to receive base gain; "not for filthy lucre", and they are not to be the false "Hirelings" but true shepherds, plural, of the sheep. Sadly the church today has tend to has become distorted, being run more like a business requiring an executive businessman, hireling, to run it, a secular approach at the best still.
(1 Cor 11:1 KJV) Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1 John 2:27 "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1Peter 2:5). (1 Chr 16:22 KJV) Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. (Psa 105:15 KJV) Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
2 Tim 4:3-4, it says, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth."
(1 Cor 11:3 KJV) But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
"But Jesus called them [to him], and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all". Mark 10:42-44.
"Not for that we have dominion over your faith , but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand" 2 Cor 1:23.
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth : for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you." John 16:13,14.
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood , to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light". 1Pet 2:5,9.
"…what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And 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 ..." Matt 24:3-5.
"In reality the one-man pastorate, far from having the sanction of Scripture, is essentially a "Protestantized" holdover from the Roman Catholic clerical system? For those of us who claim the Bible, rather than tradition, as our authority, it is time to fervently search the Scriptures to see if these things are so.
(Acts 17:11 KJV) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
(Psa 119:59 KJV) I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. 60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. 61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law. 62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. 63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. 64 The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.
(Isa 57:12 KJV) I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.As I continue to pray about the pastors too often negative behavior God reminds me that they too are to avoid even all appearances of evil and to walk even honestly before God. No such thing as a little bit pregnant even before God.The qualifications of a Church elder is not this..(Isa 56:9 KJV) All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. 12 Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.(Isa 57:1 KJV) The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. 2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
(Isa 57:3 KJV) But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. 4 Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood, 5 Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks? 6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these? 7 Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice. 8 Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it. 9 And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell. 10 Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved. 11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not? 12 I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.
(Isa 57:13 KJV) When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain; 14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people.(Isa 57:15 KJV) For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.(Isa 57:16 KJV) For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. 17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. 18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. 19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.(Isa 57:20 KJV) But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.(Dan 4:35 KJV) And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?(1 John 1:5 KJV) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
(Psa 119:59 KJV) I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. 60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. 61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law. 62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. 63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. 64 The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.
(Col 2:8 KJV) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
(Mark 7:3 KJV) For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. (Mark 7:8 KJV) For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.(2 Th 3:6 KJV) Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.(1 Pet 1:18 KJV) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.It seems that even in the Church something have wrongfully not changed.. pastors, elders, deacons are fighting for positions, recognition, and seem to have forgotten the flock..
(Mat 18:1 KJV) At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! 8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. 10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. 11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
(Mat 23:11 KJV) But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.(Mat 23:12 KJV) And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.(Luke 11:49 KJV) Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:
(Mat 10:2 KJV) Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
(Mat 11:13 KJV) For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.( Note Jesus the Apostle and the other Apostles expanded, clarified next the old testament teachings.. and all of the new testament books were written solely by an Apostle.)
(Mat 23:34 KJV) Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
(Mat 7:15 KJV) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
(Mat 24:24 KJV) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.If in comparison the false prophets and false apostles exist, there must also still exists the genuine ones too..
(Acts 2:42 KJV) And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
(Acts 2:43 KJV) And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
(Acts 4:33 KJV) And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
(Acts 4:35 KJV) And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
(Acts 5:12 KJV) And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
(Acts 8:18 KJV) And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
(Acts 13:1 KJV) Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.(Eph 2:20 KJV) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
(Eph 3:5 KJV) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
(Eph 4:11 KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
I like the scriptures to firstly speak for themselves, on any topic now as well..
For a start we know that in the Church of Christ there were more than just the 12 original apostles.. An Apostle is a calling, who job description is being the senior father of the church, he is generally the, an original church starter, he is the equivalent today of a Missionary, and he or she tends to have all, note all of the gifts of the Holy spirit. Apostle are generally characterized by the much persecutions and sufferings they bear too.. One generally tends to work one way up in the church and the last administrative position is the Apostle.. the job below the apostle are the prophets who are often found in the company of apostles, and generally below the prophets are the pastors -teachers who take the advice from the Prophets.. many pastor teachers deny the existence of apostles, prophets cause they are in sin and falsely refuse to submit to their authorities.. Some pastors today actually function in the role of an Apostle, but do not use the title.. and the elders are made up of the local pastors teachers, prophets, apostles.. there are women apostles.. such as Junia (Rom 16:7 KJV) Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me... and women prophetess (by the way Apostle and prophets can be divorcees.. while pastor teachers cannot..) Evangelists is a separate gifted persons to the church, also one of the elders, generally has a healing or miracles gifts, tend to travel from church to church, city while missionaries tend to be fixed.. Generally in the local Church the apostle is referred to as an elder.. as are the prophets, pastor teachers, evangelists.. Now as to a ruling elder, the church administrator, the Bishop...an apostle, he tends to be responsible for a specific flock of churches in the geographical area.. he is the the most senior original apostle or his gifted appointee. God selects and equips the church leaders, the church confirms it..(Heb 3:1 KJV) Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;(Mat 21:11 KJV) And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.(Luke 24:19 KJV) And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people(John 6:14 KJV) Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.Jesus was a Prophet, but was now also the first Apostle of the church, he was the Apostle, the Prophet too...Examples of the fatherly aspects of an apostle..(Gal 4:19 KJV) My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,(1 John 2:1 KJV) My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:(1 John 3:18 KJV) My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.(Mark 10:14 KJV) But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.Secondly apostle Paul clearly WAS NOT one OF THE original 12 OR the 13th apostle..(1 Cor 1:1 KJV) Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God(1 Cor 9:1 KJV) Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?Have you also noticed that trying to discuss spritual gifts with spiritual fools tends to end up in fights? why?? Can you next really teach a fool who thinks he or she knows it all anyhting? no! (Rom 14:1 KJV) Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. (Prov 9:9 KJV) Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
The New Testament office of an Apostle supposedly also had no parallel for sure in the Old Testament and I would agree that a more valid Biblical definition of an "Apostle is a matured Holy Spirit anointed Christian person who has experienced all the gifts of the Holy Spirit... in other words he the Apostle has also personally had functioned in the role of prophet, pastor, teacher, evangelist, miracle worker, healer, giver, helper.. etc., and that was why they have been given such importance in their roles now too. Mind you that is a general definition, the original 12 Apostles and Apostle Paul do not fully meet this criteria.
EPHESIANS 2:20 still does reminds us that the church of today as well is "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone". Note the inclusion of the New Testament prophets with the apostles as the continual. ongoing foundation of the church. "That these prophets are NT prophets cannot be seriously questioned, especially in the light of Eph. 3:5 where the apostles and prophets again are found together as recipients of the revelation of the mystery that the Spirit has "now" made known." And the gift of prophecy to the church was also to be eagerly sought.(Eph 4:11 KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Because many they have also wrongfully neglected the continual Greek verse tense here in the passage, stating thus God keeps on giving these anointed persons, offices, some persons would wrongfully state that there is clear implications there being only one historic "foundation" and that once a foundation is laid, it does not need to go on being laid thus pointing to a SUPPOSEDLY temporary nature and cessation of the office of Apostle.or Prophet now as well.The Christian Church foundational, original organization plan, while truly first set in Pentecost is actually repeated daily today as well when we now do build any new church work. In any new local church work the apostles, and the NT prophets are continually raised up by still by God for them to serve in the founding, foundations of the new church work. Once this task was, is complete, these offices of apostles and prophet's were still needed even next in the administration and expanding the new church work and even by next also building another one, Now how come some people do not want to see this too? "In Eph. 2:20, apostles and prophets are closely linked. They are both important components of the one foundation. Ephesians would actually indicate that we are dealing with two groups of specifically gifted people. In Eph. 4:11 we are told that Christ "gave some to be apostles, some prophets..." Here both nouns have their own definite article. They are clearly two separate groups. Let’s also STILL note the important position accorded to New Testament prophets. In Eph. 4:11 they are mentioned second only to apostles. Their importance is also seen in Rom. 12:6-8, where the first gift mentioned is prophecy. Similarly, 1 Cor. 12:28 lists "first apostles, second prophets, third..." "(Rev 22:6 KJV) And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.(Rev 22:9 KJV) Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.Like I have said one is not a Christian before one notice the vast difference between fundamental Christians, in particularly between the Pentecostals and the non Pentecostals.. the difference lies also in the aspects, emphasis of the Holy Spirit, Spiritual Gifts, and the gifted Church members, offices too.,, such as even Apostles, Prophets.. and there are differences even on the issue of eternal security.. While both sides claim to believe the Bible is the word of God, they seem to explain it all very differently... the problem to me it seems is that clearly one group is doing it mostly in their own wisdom, not in God's, they are not allowing the Holy Spirit to guide, teach them, but rather the flesh, mere men and the devil.. but next each one says the other group is doing this.. the same professing Christian group that has a low emphasis on the Holy Spirit is the one in error.