Does it shock my brothers and sisters to learn that Jesus completely and utterly banned the very idea of a Priest, Rabbi, Pastor, Dr. of Theology, Professor, and all points south?

Just the other night there was a knock on my door.  I opened it and there they were, two young men petitioning me to visit their "church," and seems to me that it was the "Mother of the Holy Something or Other."  I used to engage in friendly conversations with other people about how they came to be lost in the jungles of "cult-world" who call themselves "Christians."  However, I am not 67, and only God knows how much time I have left here.  I will share here what I told them.  I live in Redding, CA where there are more cults than Goodyear has tires.  I keep a UBS Greek New Testment right there by my door, and when they naively tried to "lamp fish" me, I just picked it up.

Brothers and Sisters, I have been reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in Greek for over 40 years, every day, sentence by sentence, word by word.  However, I missed something.  I cannot find it.  I need your help.  Where in any of the Gospels of Christ did Jesus say that you may " .... not, never, ever, no way, no time, in any form, do that?"  Where is it?!  Where?!  Let's splice hairs, and then splice them again.  

Jesus' conversations on divorce, good arguement:  Yet, I ask Jesus himself this question.  He can read this, "Is saying that I lead someone to sin" exactly the same thing as saying
"never, ever, under any circumstances, do X, Y, or Z."   To Jesus himself, I offer that his "warning" is strong, but it is not as powerful as his "utter ban."

So, dear brothers and sisters of the world, all of you, please help me find the place in the four Gospels that in the Koine Greek, not in the anemic translations, that is a stronger, more direct order from God, to never, ever do something, that is stronger than Jesus' utter ban in Matthew 23 on any Christian calling him or herself, " ... priest, rabbi, pastor, doctor, minister, father, or religious-big-kahuna."   Take another look at Matthew 23:8-12.  The professional clergy do not want you to really look at that too closely.

One of these above pirataes once said boldly to me, "Oh, but Jesus was talking about Pharases."  Wrong, and that is a bald faced lie.  Read Matthew 23:1, "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, ... "  Sorry friend, but Matthew 23:1 says that Jesus was speaking to the crowd.   Zip over to Matthew 21:18-19.  Have you ever heard that Matthew wrote his Gospel for Jews?  Does that ring in anybodys ears?  Well, his name was Rabbi Hillel, and he lived from around 110 BC to 10 BC.  Rabbi Hillel drafted 7 rules for reading the Old Testament.  Rule two, Geverah Savah, requires the reader to perform a very specific action.  If the reader comes across a word where the meaning is "unclear," then the reader is forced by mandate to source the way the word is used throughout the Torah, the Law.  That mandate must begin with the first use of that word.  Consequently, if read as a first century Jew, where is the author of Matthew 21:18-19 literally forcing his reader to first go? Answer: Genesis 3:7, "Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves."   In other words, the fruit tree was covered only in leaves, but bore no fruit.  It isn't about how we prefer to understand Matthews "fig leaves"; it is about the rules of how Matthew 21 must be approached as according to Matthew's rules.  

After Matthew 21 where Jesus is saying for all eternity that "the clothing, vestments, collars, silver, gold, and all and any trappings are completely worthless," Jesus next in Matthew 23 utterly bans, forbids, and throws into the trash mound of history, all titles of any kind of religious office or title of "knowledge leader."  According to Matthew 23, brother and sister is it, end of script.  

It has only been within the last few years that the Vatican has made Textus Receptus openly available for scholars to read it.  Two of the reasons why are Matthew 9:13, Matthew 16:18, Matthew 24:27, and Matthew 21, and that is just for starters.  

The thing that is so stunning is that Matthew 23 is so clear, precise, and absolute.  First Jesus says in Matthew 21 that all they are, are fancy clothing and absolutely nothing else.  Then he takes the final leg out from under them in Matthew 23 and utterly bans then entire "calling."  In Matthew 23, Matthew used every word available to him to ban the very concept of "priest/minister/pastor/doctor of theology/professor," and you can bet they don't translate it as if they were reading 1st century Koine Greek, and they all weasel their dispicable way out of it by "American cheezing" their anemic translations.  

That is right.  The word "church" has been twisted, but you need a "church" because you need a place to put "The Chair."  And you need a "Chair" because you need to put someone in it who speaks for "The King."   

In Greek, Jesus' warning about divorce is stern.  However, notice that he doesn't say "I command you that you are never, ever, to do that."  

Brothers and Sisters, would somebody show me the other place in the Gospels where Jesus gives me a direct order to never, ever, ever do "that," that is a stronger direct order in Greek than the order given in Matthew 23?  

I have looked for it for 40 years and I cannot find it ...




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Comments (7)
    • Matthew 23:8-12,

      8 ὑμεῖς δὲ μὴ κληθῆτε· Ῥαββί, εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ διδάσκαλος, πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε· 9 καὶ πατέρα μὴ καλέσητε ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ πατὴρ ὁ οὐράνιος· 10 μηδὲ κληθῆτε καθηγηταί, ὅτι καθηγητὴς ὑμῶν ἐστιν εἷς ὁ χριστός· 11 ὁ δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος. 12 ὅστις δὲ ὑψώσει ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται, καὶ ὅστις ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται.  

      1) διδάσκαλος, didaskalos, teacher, lecturer, instructor, master
      2) πατέρα, patera, father, father-priest
      3) καθηγηταί, katheigeitai, sr. professors, sr. lecturer, professors, doctors of knowledge, pastor, minister, etc
      4) ἀδελφοί, (The word contains the idea of sister too, if there was one woman in the room, the room was still address in the masculine form, ἀδελφοί, adelphoi, brother and sister, and totally, and socially structured horizontally and egalitarian)

      They know the ban is there in Greek, so they just add new words to cover Christ's teaching with smoke.  "Brother/sister" is the only role that Christ ordained, period.  I know, but wait a minute, Jesus had apostles, right?Okay, - look up the word "apostle" and find the number of times Jesus used the word.  It is a very short list.  In fact, - there is no list.  Jesus never used it, and it doesn't appear until Acts 1.  Moreover, historically, the professional suthsaying priesthood/clergy has translated this word "apostle" to mean "general of Christ."  That is absolutely incorrect.  An "apostolos" was a messanger, period.  General, or better for our language, military advisor, is stategos, the stratician.  Hellenistic Koine had absolutely no concept of "command general," and that is why when Alexander the Great died in 323 BC, then entire Hellenistic World was thrown into utter chaos because there was no sense of "general," let alone a "command general." No such idea in Hellenistic Koine, and that was why when Alexander died his successors immediately went to war. Jesus never once used the word desciple, and according to Matthew 23, anything other than "brother and/or sister" was thrown into the trashcan of history.

      Ever notice that so many churches have their members chant that "Jesus died for my sins" but then they stop? It is a chant. Yes, Jesus died for our sins. Bingo! But he also died to make "church" a gathering and you your own "priest." Anything higher than that is the Man from Galilee.

      Mark, Chapter 1:1, "Ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Xριστοῦ."

      1) Ἀρχὴ, archei, begins, beginning, first
      2) εὐαγγελίου, euangeliou, from euangelios, gen., good+message,
      3) Ἰησοῦ Xριστοῦ, Jesus Christ, of/from Jesus Christ

      I dare you. Go over to Revelations 2:6, " Yet this is to your credit: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. "

      Over the course of the last 1,900 years "the church" and done all sorts of textual yoga to try to teach that the "Nicolaitans" were a wild *** cult. Here is the news. There is absolutely no historican reference by any author of antiquity for such a group, club, cult, or Malibu *** party. Zero.

      On the other hand, Greek was not written like this. It was written:

      LIKETHISANDIFYOUWANTEDTOKNOWWHATWASWRITTENYOUHADTOTAKEITAPARTANDFIGUREOUTWHATWORDGOESWITHWHATANDNOCOMAPERIODORPARAGRAPHORSENTENCEOREVENAPAGE. Even notice how many times the word "and" shows up in the New Testament?

      Remember the eunuch in the chariot? He wasn't saying exactly what is translated that he said, not exactly.

      So, it isn't just that "Nicolaitan" was two words that somebody once thought should go together.  ALL words were put together or separated as they thought the Greek meant them to be divided.   The problem is they didn't read or think that way.   Accordingly, "Nicolaitan" could just as easily be transcribed as "Niko Laitan."

      Nike = winner, master, champion, over-lord
      Laitan = the people, the body, all the believers
      Works = the rituals, the church-hoki-poki, the light-the-candel-here-then-light-the-candel-there-turn-around-swing-the-smoke-throw-it-in-their-hair.

      τὰ ἔργα, erga, "the works" is tough for modern minds because people have often been taught in Protestant circles that "works" in the New Testament means "deeds." That is only part of the canvas. τὰ ἔργα here references the "religious kabuki" play that follows a temple-religious script, a correct temple "dance" that those in charge of it imply was given to them from God. Back to Matthew 23 and we can see that Jesus burnt this as rubble by completely illiminating the heads of those in charge of all these rituals. "Sabbath" doesn't mean just the "day." Sabbath means the whole ritual. "Dinner" doesn't just mean the table, but it means the event, the food, the service, and the table where all that happens. Like that, the word "sabbath" references the whole ritualistic patternistic observance. And that is why in Matthew 12:8 we learn who is the "Lord of The Sabbath."

      Next time you walk out of a church on Sunday look up.  Notice where the Sun is.  You are being herded into the sunlight at a very specific time so that Apollo can clearly see that you went temple and paid for your "works."  Well, where is the Sun at 12:00 PM, and why do we call it "Sun Day"?  Look into the year 321 AD.

      Mark 1:1, the Good News of Jesus is that he is the Lord of the Sabbath, so you are free to worship God right where you are standing, and you don't have to pay for it.  The Good News of Jesus is that your home is your gathering, and where there are two, there is three.  That is an "Ekkleisia," a "church."  See Philemon 1.  The Good News of Jesus is that you have one teacher, one pastor, one minister, one priest, one father, and he lives out of town.  

      America is dying because the American people have turned their backs on God, yet when they turn back to God, they go right back to the Byzantium temples that God completely and utterly crushed in the first place.  Behold the 7 Lamps of the Fellowships of Asia, for God promised to remove them from their lamp stands.  Look up each city and see what happened to each and every one of them.

      Don't worry about it.  Don't worry if your fellowship has two people.  Don't worry about it.  Ever heard of a chap named Socrates?  Have you heard about that part where he was accused of "corrupting" the young men of Athens?  Anybody heard of that?  Part of that is true, but only part of it.

      Socrates was hauled into court over two major issues, not one. On the charge of "corrupting the youth of Athens," he was completely acquited of that. What they "nailed" him on was he refusal to do his city's officially approved ritual-sacrifice-pray-services, called in Greek, Eusibia, and so his official charge was "Aeusidia."

      Jesus took all that garbage to the cross.  You can meet in your home for fellowship, but you can meet anywhere for fellowship, that is as according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Jesus did just "leave it out."  Flip through it, and you will find that Jesus took his own teachings very seriously.  Up until 321 AD, folks were pulling their hair out because they couldn't find what day they were supposed to practice the Sabbath.  So, in 321 AD, ... they added it, skipping over Matthew 12:8.

      μηδὲ κληθῆτε καθηγηταί:  μηδὲ is two negatives right next to each other, no+butnot, I would prefer, "... no, you may not and shall not lable yourself ... " and just fill in all the honorific titles for religous big kahuna that people need to lust after.  For once they get the title, then you have to go when and where they say so.

      Jesus threw it all in the trash....

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      • Brother Timothy, I thank you for your awesome exposition of truth that you have found in the gospel of Matthew in the 23rd chapter. It is mind blowing how we have this truth in front of us in the written text and we miss it. I thank you Holy Spirit of God for your revelation of the truth and I no longer feel alone in my convictions and beliefs. 

        One quick question if I may ask? Can you please give your thoughts and convictions on 

        Ephesian 4:11-13

        11 And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for works of ministry and to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.

        Because of this scripture passage, the Church leadership has defended their stance on Positions of leadership. It would be wonderful to have your insight on this.

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        • Brother, Sir:

          I feel most at home in Christ when other brothers are throwing fast balls, and they are throwing them hard.  To me, "fight a good fight" is a passage that I take within the context of the Pragmatics.  FirstL

          I apologize.  I have been fighting a good fight with my heart.  I am older now, and I do not know how much time on Earth God has in mind for me.  I have been recovering from quadriple bypass, and now just getting on my feet.  Also, my job.  I am not normal in that I chose 50 years ago not to live in this world.  Rather than pursue a career, I chose to pursue one and one thing only.  That thing has been studying something called "Hellenistic Koine Greek."  And no, I do not mean getting big degrees, and going for doctor this, that, or doctor other thing.  While I have been to 6 universities, I did so only to learn Greek.  It means that I make my living do very odd jobs.  They are odd, lol!  At night, however, I have been studying the language of the New Testament, and its linguistic and Pragmatical context, for over 50 years.  I bought my first Greek grammar book in 1973.  It is on my book shelf.  I am getting old and weak.  I apologize for not getting back to you.  

          Are you ready for a "Good fight?"

          ------------------------

          Here is what I think. We base our "dogma" on faith, prayer, study, Fellowship, our walk with Jesus, and scripture. Scripture, we base our understanding on Scripture on what the hand of the author actually wrote, and is the name at the top of that plate, the actual person who that person claimed he was, or, who "tradition" asserts? In other words, we must base our scripture on "scripture." That is our starting point.

          If you made it that far, then I am fully confident that Paul would agree you are ready to put on that cestus.    

          Let's define what a "Bible Scholar" is.  A Bible Scholar is someone who can read Hellenistic Koine directly from an extent manuscript.  No, not the modern Greek alphabet that they print the Greek New Testament in today.  When we read Homeric, Classical, or Hellenistic Koine, or post-Hellenistic Koine, it looks something like this:

          "There once was a Greek from Crete"
          He farmed mostly wheat ...
          But when he got to Rome, they just sent him home
          Because he just never washed his feet.

          If you picked up a manuscript written before 500 AD, and even later, it is going to look like this:

          THEREONCEWASAGREEKFRO
          MCRETEHEFARMEDMOSTLYW
          HEATBUTWHENHEGOTTOROM
          THEYJUSTSENTHIMHOMEBEC
          AUSEHEJUSTNEVERWASHEDH
          ISFEET

          Now, turn that upside down. Rip it into 20 pieces, and find this

          .....UTWHENHEGO .....
          TOROMETHEY .....
          SENTHIMHOMEBEC
          AUSEHEJUSTNEVER
          EET

          There are about 550 extant Greek books that have been received from the ancient world.  A "Bible Scholar" can look at the above second version and tell you what page of, let's say, Marcus Aureleaus that that chopped up piece of papyri that is the size of a stamp came from.  He has read all of them, and all of them several times.  There are under 100 of these chaps in the entire world.  Most of us specialize in a handful of books.  Read one for 10 years and you almost have it.  We call these types "Critical Textual Scholars."  The dialects are very, very different, and the vocabulary of each author is often totally unque.  There were no dictionaries in Paul's world that we know of.  So spelling too, is tough.  You might find one writer use this, "ICOULDHAVEGONE" where another writer writes "IWOULDHAVEGONE," and the word is only used once by the author.

          Ready?

          99.9% of every critical textual scholar I have ever met, talk with, or read with, and I have met 4 at Oxford, agree that Paul's Philemon was in truth actually written by him. It is the real deal,Paul's authentic voice. His culture, his language, his grammar, his vocabulary, and his "tone." I have never met another Critical Text expert that would dispute that the historical Paul of Tarsus wrote Romans and Phileon. They spoke Greek in Tarsus.

          I am very, very sorry, but 99.9% of those same people adamently do not accept that Titus was written by the historical Paul of Tarsus.  Oh, yes, you will meet many professional "pastors" who can read some Greek who will assert Titus was actually written by Paul.  However, no "museum level" library in the world lists Titus has having been produced in the 1st century.  None.  I believe the guy who runs the "New Testament Manuscript" group in Texas still lists Titus as 1st century.  However, he is a professional "pastor" who makes a living based off of it, and he has written zip on any Greek OTHER than the New Testament.  That disqualifies him.  You cannot be a witness in court for your own dad.  The court will not accept you as a "dispassionate witness," and he has no world class qualifications within the realm of Greek dialects.  Zero.  

          Sir, your question centers on one of the hottest topics in "New Testament Textual Criticism."
          So, before we talk about your quest, take a breath. If you place the world's best and most fluent readers of Ancient Greek into a room, and I have read with Greek priests who just didn't have a clue, and asked them to stand on one side of the other, not every one of them will stand on the side of Ephesians having been penned in the 1st century. Romans? No problem. Phileon and 1 Cor, no problem, but Ephesians ... Ephesians is about 50/50. There are reasons, real reasons for that, but to see them, you have to be able to read post-Hellenistic Koine as well as your native language, and even better.

          To put this in modern context, modern day art forgers study the brushes of the work they are copying. They learn to mix the paint the same way, and they use the same materials to make brushes and paint. They will even steal another painting because they want the canvas. Canvas has pollen in it.

          I am convenced for myself with Ephesians, but I have only studied it for two years from the manuscripts. 1 Tim and Titus, I have studied for over 20 years, studying only those two books, but within the Pragmatics or the language from 300 BC to 415 AD. I have written a book on it and a copy of it has been added to the main library at Oxford University. Oxford houses the largest library of Greek manuscripts in the world. My book on 1 Tim and Titus is in the private libraries of four Greek professors (Tutors) who are full time lecturers on Greek at Oxford.

          For now, I will say only this about Ephesians, I hope it helps open some ideas.

          Look at the word "pastor" in Ephesians 4:11.

          Think about that word in "English." What is that? Make a list of things that you would "semantically associate" with the English word, "Pastor."

          Now, brother, put on a pair of sandals.  Put on this cloth called a "hymation."  It isn't a toga, it is a gentleman's wrap, and we will give you a cloak over that.  

          I'll take you to the library of Alexandria in exactly 60 AD, and you are going to go through the shelves with me looking for that word and how is it used.  Are you game?

          Here is that sentence in Greek.  Don't feak!

          καὶ αὐτὸς ἔδωκεν τοὺς μὲν ἀποστόλους, τοὺς δὲ προφήτας, τοὺς δὲ εὐαγγελιστάς, τοὺς δὲ ποιμένας καὶ διδασκάλους

          Here is the word you are looking for in all those scrolls, ποιμένας.  That is masculine, plural, in the accusative for basically "poimenikos," a Hellenistic shephard.  However, because we have a manuscript called "The Didache" we know how they organized their Fellowships, and that 1st century Christians did not have a class of "shephards."  Remember at the end of Roman's 16:1.  The women is clearly an established head of the Fellowship, but Paul does not call her a "Goat Herder."  He calls her "THE" deacon, the very, very word he uses to describe himself when talking with Peter in Acts.  The exact same word.  When speaking with Peter he doesn't not call himself a "Goat Herder" for the Gentiles.  The word "deacon" in 1st century is closer to "nurse," or attendant, someone who gets your water for you from the river and fills your cistern, someone who takes your "potty pot" outside.  A "deaconios" puts a towel over your forehead when you are sick with fever.  This is Paul's word for himself when talking to Peter about his work among the Gentiles.  It is the same word his uses to introduce a woman in Romans 16:1.  Paul doesn't call her "Behold, the Goat Herder of Cencheae."  It is a very, very small detail.  Here:

          Romans 16:1, NRSV, "I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon[a] of the church at Cenchreae, "

          First, let's get rid of the "C."  That is conventional 19th century English.  It isn't correct, sorry.  The name of the city is "Κεγχρεα."  It is more like "Kegchrea."  It was south of Athens.  It is a fishing villlage.  

          Brother, this is a very, very fine detail.  See this, "a deacon of the church."  That is incorrect.  There is no indirect article in Hellenistic Koine Greek.  There is a "the," 36 of them actually, but no "a" anywhere in Koine.  It isn't in Homeric or Classical Greek either.  As an example, the translators of the NRSV arbitrarily added the "a" deacon.  There is no "The Deacon."

          It should be translated like this, "Behold, to men and God, I present to you our sister Phoebe, deacon of the Fellowship in the fishing village of Kegchrea."  The verb for "behold" or "commend" is actually extremely old.  It is more Mycenaean than reflective of the Hellenistic Age.

          If I had awarded you a 10th degree black belt in Japan for Japanese fencing, and the Emperor of Japan were at the ceremony, I would in Japanese Introduce you to God first, and in front of all the other "Grand Masters."  That is exactly what Paul is doing with this woman.

          It is not "A Deacon."  She is "Phoebe, Deacon of the Fellowship at Kegchra, the small fishing village south of Athens."  

          Why do they add "A"? Well, that is the very same word that Paul uses in Acts to lable himself before Peter.

          Now, notice Paul addresses her as "Sister."  That, sir, is her title.  Compare that with Matthew 23:8-12.  This is who Christians addressed each other in the 1st century.  Get a copy of the Dichache.  It is the only 1st century "Fellowship Handbook" that we have.  It was found behind a wall in Constantinople in the late 19th century.  

          Here is another one, and we can look at that in English.

          ".... unity in the faith."  In 60 AD, this "faith" was understood to mean "Trust."  I can share several examples in the literature of the period where someone says, "This is my slave.  I will sent him with you.  He is my most TRUSTED."  Another one is, "This is my maid.  Take her with you with this money.  She is my most trusted servant."

          Sir, in post-Hellenistic Koine Greek, the concept of "faith" as a "Religion" does not evolve until the early Byzantine era. Faith in Romans means "trust." Take a look at John 2 at the wedding at Cana. The dicipiles didn't have "trust" in Jesus until AFTER they saw the water change to wine. Sir, John does not record that Jesus' diciples "found a mutual religion" when they saw Jesus change water into wine. They found "trust" in him. That, sir, is 1st century "pistis," trust, and that is 1st century Koine. Writing around 150 AD in Koine Greek, the same language, Emperor Marcus Aureleus wrote (Refering to Christians), "Those who use only 'trust' as their process for their search for truth are foolish."

          Doesn't Paul say in Romans, "Through reading of the word we find faith"?    In American English we could read that as "Through reading of the Word we come to Trust Jesus."  Sir, that is 1st century Greek.  There is no "blind faith" in 1st century Hellenistic Koine Greek.  The word meant "trust," and it didn't come to mean a "Religion" until hundreds of years later.  

          Sir, just two words, in Ephesians, why are we using 4th century post-Hellenistic Koine litergical Greek back in the late 1st century?

          Sir, I appeal to you, I think it is an honest question.  

          There is solid stuff in Ephesians, but it is also filled with early 3rd - 4th century AD litergical Greek.
          907-519-9838. Don't be shy.

          You servant,

          Timothy   

















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        • What is the latest development, We Are the Church? Did you find peaceful resolution or was that not possible at the moment? 

          I did not want to see this thread remain "hanging". Here are a few thoughts I'll share.

          Elders are no big deal, say some... Yet, churches without official elders were considered incomplete without them. Titus 1:5: For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting and appoint elders in every city as I gave thee charge.

          In the grand scheme of redemption, after Christ sat down at the right hand of God, he did supply shepherds to his church. These pastor-teachers are considered to be great gifts to the world. Ephesians 4:8-13: This is why it says: "When he ascended on high ,he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

          Two of the longest lists in the entire Bible explain the required qualifications of elders or shepherds. Also referred to as bishops or overseers. Therefore, if two long lists of qualifications describe legitimate leaders - surely this is significant.

          Elders were appointed to be shepherds of Gods flock. The sheep are not exhorted to be mere self-feeders. But rather to honor their shepherds: 1 Thessalonians 5:12,14. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.

          1  Peter 5:1-4: 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; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

          Official shepherding or oversight is called a "good work". 1 Timothy 3:1. A task personally appointed by Jesus for the benefit of his church. Those who engage in it ultimately will be held accountable to Him. And will be rewarded according to their faithfulness. 

          Finally, to maintain via an argument from the suppossed silence that "few NT letters were written to the leadership" is certainly erroneous. It would have opened the door to many private forgeries as well.

          When the recorded letters arrived at the churches, addressed to the saints, the leadership would have naturally been included as the officers were a part of the saints, regardless of whether they are specifically addressed or not. The same conclusion applies to all the "one anothers" - these apply to everyone regardless of whether they are leaders or not. 

          We must quickly add that some churches will not have qualified elders or deacons. God knows and understands. These will come in time, we hope. In the same way that a family without children is still a real family. 

          Another detail often overlooked is that, in Scripture, local churches are city-churches or regional churches. Which brings up the question: Were the city churches the place of plural elders or was it the individual churches? Interesting, huh?

          If someone sincerely desires in obedience to Christ and without regard to covetousness to humbly be a shepherd or pastor or life-coach or friend in the church of Christ - why would a person not desire such a relationship? I for one have benefitted countless times from formal and informal shepherding.

          So, what or who is the origin of this over-reaction to faithful servant-leaders? For one thing, Americans love "individualism and freedom". Several modern writers in the organic church movement materially dismiss official leadership and point to the many "one another's" as if this covers everything. Apparently it does not cover everything. Which is why Jesus repeated himself over and over: Peter, do you love me? FEED MY LAMBS. John 21.

          Therefore, leadership is not insignificant at all. True, too many church leaders have betrayed their office and their Master. But pretending their role is insignificant or non-existent is also a mistake.

          Don't forget - there is no magic formula for guaranteed blessings with regard to church. God can bless in spite of church structures which may be lacking on this point or that. 

          Yet, for the task ahead, we should seek to follow the most scriptural and simplest arrangment. As we follow the Lamb. The Lamb who looks upon the heart. 

          May his blessings overtake YOU.

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          • Dear Brothers and Sisters: 


             I have been studying the language of the New Testament and its linguistic Pragmatics for over 50 years.  I am as confident about my salvation as I am in what I am going to say to you on this subject.    

            1 Timothy and Titus are the products of an insidious, surreptitious, ruthless, purely Machiavellian  forger.   There is no scribe helping Paul here.   This is one part:

            1 Timothy 6:11,

            Σὺ δέ, ὦ ἄνθρωπε [a]θεοῦ, ταῦτα φεῦγε· δίωκε δὲ δικαιοσύνην, εὐσέβειαν, πίστιν, ἀγάπην, ὑπομονήν, [b]πραϋπαθίαν.

             Look what this servant of the d….. sandwiches between “Righteousness” and “faith,” δικαιοσύνην, εὐσέβειαν, πίστιν, and then he finishes his clause with “endurance” and finally, with “gentleness.”  Who would argue with "righteousness" or “gentleness”?  Never mind what has been slipped in the middle.


             The human brain hears the first word in a sentence LOUDER than words in the middle, and the word at the end is the word the brain hears last and the LOUDEST.

             

            Have you every had a teen-aged son?  Ever hear something like this?

             “Dad, mom asked me to go to the store for her to get some milk, cheese, butter, and bread, so can I have the keys to the car?”  

            We need milk and bread, right?

            Watch this:

             

            “Dad, mom asked me to go to the store for her to get some milk, cheese, and butter.   I have to stop at my girlfriend’s house for mom for just a second, but her house is next to the bakery.  We are out of bread.  Can I have the keys to the car?”

             It is still really all about “milk and bread,” right?  Or, did we add something slippery in the middle?


             Look what this snake added between “righteousness” and “faith,” or δικαιοσύνην, εὐσέβειαν, πίστιν.

             

              The author slipped in the word εὐσέβειa, or eusebia, between righteousness and faith, two great things if you are a Christian.   Sir, he hid it, and masterfully disguised something that he was taken from paganism.  

             Eusebia in the Greco-Roman world was city-state sponsored, city-state priest controlled, passed on from their ancestors, ritual-prayer-animal sacrifices.  It was the “ritual hoky-poky” of the Greco-Roman temples, and these rituals were law, and attending them was law.  

            Do you want the bulls to grow strong?  Well, you have to get the right guy, on the right day, in the right temple, with the right incense, to the right god, with the right cut of the right knife, with the moon just right, and the right stars, to get the bulls next year to grow strong.  Eusebia was the metaphysics of the ancient world.  

            Do you want the wheat to grow?  Well, there was a correct ritual with specific steps for that, and only the priests of that temple owned the ritual.  You had to pay him to get the hoky-pokey.  That was Greco-Roman "piety."  

            Somewhere between 20% and 50% of all women in the Greco-Roman world died in childbirth.  That isn’t good, right?  Well, if you don’t want that to happen you have to pay the right temple, and the right priest, to do the right “eusebia.”  There is nothing you can do to get it right because only the temple-church-priest owns the ritual.  

            Ever hear of a guy named Socrates? People think that he was put to death because he “corrupted the youth of Athens.” That isn’t true. Read Plato’s Apology. He was acquitted of that charge. He was put to death because he was “a-eusebia,” he wouldn’t do his city-state’s sacrifices. He refused to do them. That put the entire city into danger because those ordained rites, city-state rites, city-state mandated rituals kept the people, city, and even the world safe. A-Eusebia was in every sense of the word treason.

            Take a second look at Mark 1:1.

            “Begins the Good News of Jesus the Messiah.” The oldest versions of Mark do not even say “Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.” It doesn’t say that. The real Mark 1:1, Begins the Good News of Jesus the Messiah, lines up with Mark 8:29, and Mark 8:29 is exactly the same as Revelations 1:1-10. The entire emphasis is on Messiah. Why?

            Ever notice that they had to ask Jesus, “Teach us to pray!” Hold it! These are Jews. Why doesn’t anybody know how to pray to God on their OWN? Did you notice where Jesus says "Go into your house, go into your closet, and pray, God will see you"? Remember that? What is the big deal? Well, in the ancient world your prayers had to be out in the open. Sunday, right? What time? 11 to 12PM, right? Okay, what hour is Apollo Hour? Ever notice that a lot of Baptist Churches look like a Greek temple with a wide white starcase in front?

            The metaphysics of the ancient world was called "eusebia." It was step-by-step, priest controlled, priest dictated, as old as the stones, priest-owned correct rites. There was one for every day, every week, every Apollo Day (Sunday), every New Star, every harvest, you name it. And they had to be led and out in the open. See your Illiad chapter 4. Remember Menelaus challenges Paris to go man to man. But, only with a god-certified ritual-rite contract in the OPEN with the sacrifices of King Priam. The sacrifice had to be outside under the sky.

            Okay, let's say the author of 1 Timothy meant it in a “New Testament” way. Excuse me, but Jesus died on the Cross to get rid of it. Eusebia is the “correct rite,” and that cost money, lots and lots and lots of money, money for everything in your life. It was the core of Greco-Roman religious life. There was absolutely no such thing as “theology.” There was only “Orthopraxy,” the right rite, and the right rite was a patternistic ritual controlled by the temple, which no one could go into, by the appointed priest. The word is nowhere to be found in the Gospels, ever. Reason? It isn’t Christian. It is in fact the very opposition of Christianity. Go ahead. Look for the word in the Gospels or in Romans. Good luck with that.

            That is what the author of 1 Timothyis slipping into Christianity. Jesus’ lesson on the matter, however, was that nobody, absolutely owned the keys to Christian Fellowship. Nobody owned the keys to prayer, nobody. There are a handful of things that Jesus absolutely demanded that we do not do. In the Greek language, the strongest direct order to never, ever, under any circumstances, ever title yourself as a priest, rabbi, minister, pastor, Doctor of Theology, professor of Jesus, absolutely none of it. Banned. Matthew 23 contains the strongest direct order from Jesus. Start to finish, read Matthew and Mark again and look for where Jesus gives direct orders not to do something.

            Those were the words from Jesus’ mouth, so they didn't have anything in the Gospels or an athentic letter to build it. So, they did what they had to do, they dressed themselves up as Paul, although the author of 1 Timothy is very, very careful not to lie, ie., the author ever says, “This is Paul writing to you from X.” All the author says is “Paul the Apostle.” The implication is only in the mind of the reader. The only evidence in the text of 1 Timothy that Paul wrote it is that the early 4th century "church" said so.

            Without 1 Timothy and Titus, Constantine the 1st had NOTHING in the New Testament to put himself on top of a worldly church organization, and he needed money for walls, lots of walls. Moreover, when King James wanted a new Bible for England, did he invite a single Greek speaking person to sit on his panel? No, he did not. Without 1 Timothy and Titus King James had no New Testament scripture from the Gospels to build a state-run church. Most of the scholars on his board read Latin.

            When they burnt Jon of Arc at the stake, guess which book in the New Testament they threw in her face? She was not convicted of witchcraft. She was acquited of that. Read her trial and then read Titus again. Look for this, “Let nobody, anyone, scoff at your authority,” or perhaps, “Let nobody belittle your authority.” How about, “Let no one challenge your authority.” The Greek is really difficult to put exactly into English because we do not live in a vertically bolted world, while the Greco-Roman world was bolted rock solid top to bottom. For example, by around 1000 AD, 1 out of 10 men in Constantinople was a eunuch. What relevancy is that? Well, think of all the rapists we have. Why don't we just ... them or shoot them? Ultimately, we don't live in a ancient society were the entire culture is vertically bolted. According to Arrian, a servant once sat in Alexander's throne. He cut off his head.

            Some versions translate “eusebia” as “piety,” but since when is paying a priest to slash a bull’s throat before a god correctly in any way part of Jesus’ “Good News”?

            What eusebia did do, however, was put salvation, the gods’ favor, correct worship, solely into the hands of a city-state-controlled temple. Eusebia was legally mandated, mandatory city-state rituals. Ever have that feeling that you "Have to go to church at 11AM on Apollo Day? When you walk out it is about 12PM. Question: what is the Sun at 12-1PM?

            It wasn’t just the word “church” that they twisted. Worse than that, they twisted who is in charge of your walk with Jesus, while Jesus died on the Cross so you would have your own direct dial, Holy Spirit HotSpot connection. In 312 AD, that had to go, and so Constantine made it illegal not to go to "Church."

            1 Timothy and Titus are the greatest hoaxes to ever be inflicted on humanity. Wallace in Texas might still put 1 Timothy and Titus into the 1st century. But how does 4th century early Byzantine state-temple controlled Christianity suddenly jump back to the 1st century? Answer: The people who did it wanted paganism slipped into Christianity because they wanted to use it to make money. In paganism you had to go to the priest/pastor/minister, whatever word floats your trireme, for a direct connection to God.  Money, it cost money.

            One of Eusebius of Caesarea’s biggest lies was that Constantine was a Christian. That myth is still taught, and it is a lie. Read what Gibbon says about Eusebius of Caesarea as a "historian." He calls him the outright biggest liar of any historian. For example, after Constantine’s so-called conversion, he later cut off his son’s head, as a "Christian," and then after that boiled his wife alive.  Notice that Constantine refused baptism all the way up until two or three days before he died.  He knew he was dying.  My cat is more Christian that Constantine the 1st.

            Whoever wrote 1 Timothy 6:11 was one of Eusebius of Caesarea’s pals. Jesus didn’t give Christians any power, station, or authority over anyone, not ever apostle over apostle.

             So they did what they had to do to get control over it.  

             They forged them, and they are masterpieces.  1 Timothy and Titus are absolute masterpieces of forgery.  1 Timothy and Titus are faker than a 3-dollar denarius.

            1 Timothy and Titus haven’t been listed as 1st century documents by almost all archivists in real universities with programs in Greek papyrology since the 19th century.

            Matthew 23: 8-11, If you look, you will see all the words available to the author in the 1st century AD to cover the concepts of teacher, pastor, minister, rabbi, and invent any word you want, but the only ordination Jesus himself granted was brother. No, not friends, brother. Well he didn't say High, Holy, Sacred Hippo. That is right. He didn't because he adamantly covered the entire concept.

            Do I trust the words of Jesus, or, do I push Jesus aside because “The Church” said Paul wrote 1 Timothy and Titus and that is the only evidence that there is?  

            Friends, Eusebius of Caesarea is not my savior.

            Although there are some hold outs, but they are not just "scholars"; people who put them in the 1st century are also paid "preachers," I am nevertheless required to say this because Evangelical Christians will not recognize that these letters are not identified as 1st century documents by the overwhelming majority or Critical Texual New Testament Scholars.  

            I will not bring this up again.  I am required to say this just once so that you have at least heard this once.  

                

             

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          • David, it is amazing to me that today it has become necessary to make a great effort to state the obvious. Did you hear that recently it is controversial or even forbidden in some circles to state that "Women have babies?"

            Jesus had many disciples but only 12 apostles. Out of the 12 He had a special relationship with Peter, James and John. He has placed each of us in the Body as it pleases Him. If people want to put unqualified people in charge, they will likely regret it later. On the other hand, if they reject those who he approves, many will suffer.

            Furthermore, those who abuse their responsibility or neglect their responsibility to lead others will answer to God. I have seen it often and will see it again.

            Thanks brother, for your help in clearing up some confusion for us!

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            • Brothers & sisters, I think most believers in this house church forum would agree Jesus came to restore God's original intention at Creation, which was also expressed at Mt. Sinai: everyone can be a priest, everyone can have a personal relationship with Him. It is undisputable that Jesus taught that God's ways/laws are greater than man's, and that function is greater than title. (For whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother, Matt. 12:50. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers, Matt. 23:8). The same is true when we look at the "offices" within the Body of Christ: they are functions or roles--not titles. In the same way that one can operate as both an employee, and manager, and a business owner or shareholder. They are different aspects of the same thing; albeit, different roles. Had the Lord wanted another Aaronic priesthood (if you remember, He didn't want the first), He would have done so and established a tithe to support it. Instead, He said “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant (Matt 20:25-26). That we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, whether free or slave, Jew or Greek; and when we gather together, every one of us is to have a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, an interpretation. The very idea of hierarchy as after the system of the world--or even of the nation of Israel--is anathema to what we are to do as one Body in Christ, unified under Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit in us. This is not to say there is not a natural organization within the Body of Christ--is there not a type of natural organization within the home? Of course. And yet, we are all brothers and sisters under the same Head of authority, so then who is to lord over our faith (II Cor 1:24 "Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand")? Surely not any particular leader or man-appointed position. And yet, we do see natural leadership among us in service and example--gifted in this grace or that, yet all directed by the Word, the Spirit, some cultural considerations of appropriateness, and the very giftings we exercise. And yet, we are not all recipients of the same giftings or measure of gifts. And neither are those who are approved or graced in one area, in any way superior to the grace and gifts given to us. Surely, the hand cannot say to the foot, "I have no use for you." Nor can the foot say to the hand that it is superior or an overlord of the hand. We are all the body, and it is unfortunate that some have taken separate Scriptures--whether one believes or not in the authenticity of I Tim. or Titus--and thrown out the totality or whole of God's Word, so as to misrepresent the message itself. We know from Scripture that ekklesia in the home is the primary God's model of fellowship in Scripture, yet there are those who desire to to enslave us to their own private doctrines/beliefs, their own man-inspired religious system (auditorium churches of various denominations), and think we're the better for it. Yet God, in His eternal wisdom, sent Jesus Christ to live, teach, die, and be raised again, in order to join us together with God our Father, through Christ Jesus, so that we may be free from sin and man's ever-burdening traditions. So, no, I do not reject leadership within the ekklesia as it is naturally apparent; but neither do I believe the church should be subject to anarchy and chaos. The Lord will work within His Body--spread far and wide, throughout various cultures--to work out the small things in accordance with what each person--and each separate ekklesia of believers--allows. In the meantime, our only focus is Christ Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection, and the message of hope we live and share with others in the hope that they, too, will come to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

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              Title:
              Does it shock my brothers and sisters to learn that Jesus completely and utterly banned the very idea of a Priest, Rabbi, Pastor, Dr. of Theology, Professor, and all points south?
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