ELDERS AND OTHER POSITIONS IN THE BIBLE

Let us understand where we are starting.

Mat 25:5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Mat 25:6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

This means me.  It means you.  If you are a Christian in the end time, you have been one of these who have been slumbering or sleeping.  Notice it says ALL.  “All” is Strong’s #3956 πᾶς (pâs) including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole:–all (manner of, means), alway(-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no(-thing), X thoroughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.

“Slumbered” is # 3573 νυστάζω (nystázō) from a presumed derivative of 3506; to nod, i.e. (by implication) to fall asleep; figuratively, to delay:–slumber.

“Slept” is #2518 καθεύδω (katheúdō) from 2596 and εὕδω (heúdō) (to sleep); to lie down to rest, i.e. (by implication) to fall asleep (literally or figuratively):–(be a-)sleep.   This is speaking spiritually and it includes every end time Christian.  If you want to argue with God about it, that is your choice.

Another very revealing verse is found in Hosea 4:6.

Hos 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Does this apply to you?  You and God know.  I try to keep it from applying to myself, but let us be realistic.  While we have been asleep, we have certainly been slowly but surely losing some Christian values.  Another fact is that God allowed this spiritual sleep to come upon the church.  The facts are that we could not see it until we see it in hindsight as we begin to wake up. This has been God’s doing. It is what we do after we wake up that determines if we make it into the Kingdom or not.  God will give us understanding of our Cry at Midnight as it come to us.

There is one verse that makes so much knowledge available to us that it is overwhelming.  1Corinthians 10:11 is the key to our eternity especially if you are or want to be a Philadelphian in the end time work.  Why would anyone want to be a Philadelphian?  Read these verses in Revelation.

Rev 3:7  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Rev 3:8  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Rev 3:9  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Rev 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Rev 3:11  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Rev 3:12  Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out ofheaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Rev 3:13  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Notice that God does not have a complaint with this church.  Also, they are protected during the “hour of temptation” or Great Tribulation.  Then, too, consider their reward.

There is a blueprint to the end time work that Philadelphians have set before them.  It is 1Corinthians 10:11.  This could be the most important verse in the Bible for end time Christians.

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

“Examples” is Strong’s #5179: τύπος (týpos) from 5180; a die (as struck), i.e. (by implication) a stamp or scar; by analogy, a shape, i.e. a statue, (figuratively) style or resemblance; specially, a sampler (“type”), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning):–en-(ex-)ample, fashion, figure, form, manner, pattern, print.

Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament says about this word #5179: “type, as a constituent element of a parable or model of some reality which was yet to appear, a prototype of that which was yet to be developed and evolved.”

“Admonition” is Strong’s #3559: νουθεσία (nouthesía) from 3563 and a derivative of 5087; calling attention to, i.e. (by implication) mild rebuke or warning:–admonition.

“World” is Strong’s #165 αἰών (aiṓn) from the same as 104; properly, an age; by extension, perpetuity (also past); by implication, the world; specially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future) :–age, course, eternal, (for) ever(-more), (n-)ever, (beginning of the , while the) world (began, without end).

With these instructions from God, we can follow them and go into His Word to look for the EXAMPLES OR PROTOTYPES, the things that happened and were written down for us to copy or imitate.  With that in mind, let us look into what God says about elders, apostles and teachers.  Begin with 1Corinthians 12:28-30.

1Co 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

1Co 12:29  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

1Co 12:30  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

Mainly what I want to look at in this paper is how these positions are acquired.  Our only guideline is what happened in the New Testament Church.  If you notice, elders are not mentioned here by that name.  Let us start with apostles, since these are the first position mentioned.  The first thing I notice when looking at “apostles” is that they are directly called by Christ.

Mat 4:18  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

Mat 4:19  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Mat 4:20  And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

Mat 4:21  And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

Mat 4:22  And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Paul was called in Acts 9:3-6, 15.

Act 9:3  And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Act 9:4  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Act 9:6  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Act 9:15  But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Christ does the ordaining of the apostles personally.

Mar 3:14  And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

Mar 3:15  And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

At this point, I know of no verses that indicate that the apostles were anointed with oil in any way by Christ. It is clear that Christ chooses the apostles and sets them apart for their jobs.  The church does not choose apostles as far as I can tell at this point.  Let me say something here.  In this paper I do not claim to address every verse about a subject, just enough to make the point.  THE APOSTLES WORK DIRECTLY FOR CHRIST.   Look again at Mark 3:14-15 above.  Christ will send them forth to preach.  The local churches have to support the true apostles.

Luk 9:1  Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

Luk 9:2  And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

Here again, CHRIST SENDS THEM; THEY WORK FOR CHRIST.  Part of the work they do is to heal the sick and cast out demons.

Mat 10:5  These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

Luk 22:8  And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.

The brethren sent Paul in verses 30 and 14 below .

Act 9:26  And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.

Act 9:27  But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

Act 9:28  And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.

Act 9:29  And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

Act 9:30  Which when the BRETHREN KNEW, they brought him down to Caesarea, and SENT HIM FORTH to Tarsus.

Act 9:31  Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

Act 17:14  And then immediately the BRETHREN SENT AWAY PAUL to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timothy abode there still.

Act 15:2  When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Act 15:3  And BEING BROUGHT ON THEIR WAY BY THE CHURCH, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

In the three above passages, the church had input into what the apostles were doing and gave support verse 3, but in no way did the apostles work for the church.  It seems the apostles are directly accountable to Christ.  Will we in the end time apply 1Corinthians 10:11?  Go back and study what the apostles did and that is how we can recognize an end time apostle.  Signs follow.

Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Mar 16:18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Mar 16:19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Mar 16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with SIGNS FOLLOWING. Amen.

Act 2:43  And fear came upon every soul: and MANY WONDERS AND SIGNS WERE DONE BY THE APOSTLES.

We certainly have to recognize the FALSE APOSTLES and not support their work, for Satan will have HIS counterfeits.

2Co 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

2Co 11:14  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

1Co 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Prophets are the second category God has placed in the church.  This is also confirmed in Ephesians.

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

In both verses, “prophets” is Strong’s # 4396 προφήτης (prophḗtēs) from a compound of 4253 and 5346; a foreteller (“prophet”); by analogy, an inspired speaker; by extension, a poet:–prophet.

A prophet foretells the future.  Here again the church members will have to be using sharp discernment to separate the false prophets from the ones that God has ordained.  THE WAY TO RECOGNIZE THESE PROPHETS OF GOD IS THAT SIGNS WILL FOLLOW.  They will have to bring forth the Godly fruit.  Remember, God puts these people in their jobs.  We have to have the SPIRITUAL SKILLS TO RECOGNIZE THEM.  God uses different methods to choose the people he wants to work with in leading positions.  Christ handpicked the apostles, Moses was hand picked by God.  John the Baptist was hand picked by God.  The church congregation will be used to pick certain individuals.  I am sure that the church will have nothing to do with picking apostles and prophets.  There is no escaping 1Corinthians 10:11 if you want to be an end time Philadelphian.  It is our blueprint.  Review on page 2.

The third category God identifies in 1Corinthians 12:28 is teacher, but this is not the case in Ephesians 4:11.  Review these two verses above.  “Teachers” in both verses is Strong’s # 1320 διδάσκαλος (didáskalos) from 1321; an instructor (genitive case or specially):–doctor, master, teacher.

The church congregation will have a lot of input in teacher issues.  The local churches will have to give members opportunities to teach so we can know who God wishes to have as teachers in any particular congregation.  WE WILL RECOGNIZE WHOM GOD IS CHOOSING BY THEIR FRUITS.

Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Mat 7:17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Mat 7:18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Mat 7:19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Mat 7:20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

We will look at the ordaining issue later.  Frankly, ordaining is why I started studying this subject in the first place.  I had no idea the study was going to lead to where it is at this point.

The next position listed in 1Corinthians 12:28 is miracles.  It is in fourth place if the ordinal value is important.  It is not mentioned in Ephesians 4:11.  “Miracles” is Strong’s #1411 δύναμις (dýnamis) from 1410; force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself):–ability, abundance, meaning, might(-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle(-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work. This number 1411 is translated “power” in Luke 10:19.

Luk 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

In this verse, this power can be used against Satan and demons.  In the arena of miracle working, the church will have to be on guard and high alert.  Study these next verses.

Mat 24:24  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.

Mar 13:22  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

“Signs” in both verses is Strong’s #4592 σημεῖον (sēmeîon)
neuter of a presumed derivative of the base of 4591; an indication, especially ceremonially or supernaturally:–miracle, sign, token, wonder.   Zodhiates’ Lexical Aids to the New Testament says of this word, “sign, miracle with an ethical end and purpose.”  “Wonders” in both verses is #5059 τέρας (téras) of uncertain affinity; a prodigy or omen:–wonder.

Church members should not allow themselves to be deceived.  Satan will use his ministers and servants to work miracles.  If you see a miracle that you are suspicious of, we must try the spirits.   NOT EVERYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE A MIRACLE WILL BE OF GOD.

1Jo 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

If they teach not according to Gods word, they are false teachers.

Isa 8:20  To the LAW and to the TESTIMONY: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Gifts of healing comes next after miracles in 1Corinthians 12:28.  It would be number five. The number five is an important number in scripture.  According to E.W. Bullinger’s book, Number in Scripture, the number 5 means, “grace or favor.”  “Favor shown to the unworthy, we call grace.”  To me, a healing from Christ and the Father is both favor and grace.

1Co 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Notice that the word “gifts” is #5486 χάρισμα (chárisma) from 5483; a (divine) gratuity, i.e. deliverance (from danger or passion); (specially), a (spiritual) endowment, i.e. (subjectively) religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty:–(free) gift. Zodhiates’ Lexical Aids says of this word, “a gift of grace; and undeserved benefit from God…”

“Healing” is #2386, ἴαμα (íama) from 2390; a cure (the effect):–healing.

There is another manifestation of the spirit in 1Corinthians 12:9.

1Co 12:9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the GIFTS OF HEALING by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

The word “gifts” in verse 9 is #5456 φωνή (phōnḗ) probably akin to 5316 through the idea of disclosure; a tone (articulate, bestial or artificial); by implication, an address (for any purpose), saying or language:–noise, sound, voice.

Is this saying that some people will have the gift of just saying the word and someone would be healed?  Peter had this power, as shown in Acts 3.

Act 3:4  And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.

Act 3:5  And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

Act 3:6  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

In the end time church and work, some of God’s people will have this gift of just saying the word and someone will be healed.  This will be and example or manifestation of the power given to the apostles and disciples in the end time.

Luk 9:1  Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them POWER AND AUTHORITY over all devils, and to cure diseases.

Luk 9:2  And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

Luk 10:17  And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

Luk 10:18  And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Luk 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Luk 10:20  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Do not forget 1Corinthians 10:11 and how it applies to us, review on page 2.

In 1Corinthians 12:28 “helps” is the next category after “gifts of healing.”  “Helps” is #484 ἀντίληψις (antílēpsis) from 482; relief:–help.

There will be plenty of need for helps for those men and women out on the firing line in doing the end time work.  Everyone in the Philadelphian Church will have a job.  For many, it will be helping and supporting.

“Governments” is the next category listed in 1Corinthians 12:28.  It is #2941 κυβέρνησις (kybérnēsis) from κυβερνάω (kybernáō) (of Latin origin, to steer); pilotage, i.e. (figuratively) directorship (in the church):–government.

This is something that will be easy for some people to abuse under the influence of demons.  The definition does not imply or hint at any kind of dictatorial power.  God will not tolerate DICTATORS in HIS church.  The congregations will need to be aware of any fledgling dictators.  This job will just simply be guiding the congregation on the strait and narrow path.  I would think that many physical matters would fall under this direction, for instance being sure that we have a place to meet each week or that the church library is functional, etc.

“Diversities of tongues” is the last one mentioned in 1Corinthians 12:28.  “Tongues” is #1100 γλῶσσα (glōssa) of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication, a language (specially, one naturally unacquired):–tongue.

Does this mean that translators will not be needed when apostles and their helpers and other Philadelphians go to a country where a different language is spoken?  I think it does.  No translator was needed in the verses below.  When you think about language translations, much meaning could be lost in the process of translation.

Read Acts 2:2-8.

Act 2:2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

Act 2:3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

Act 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Act 2:5  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Act 2:6  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

Act 2:7  And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

Act 2:8  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

The next verse adds some more to this subject.  The word “tongues” here is #1100, same as above.  This verse shows that another manifestation of the Holy Spirit will be interpretation of tongues or languages.  “Interpretation” is #2058 ἑρμηνεία (hermēneía)
from the same as 2059 ἑρμηνεύω (hermēneúō) from a presumed derivative of 2060 (as the god of language); to translate:–interpret.

1Co 12:10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the INTERPRETATION of tongues:

There will be other opportunities to serve in God’s end time church.

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

“Evangelists” is Strong’s #2099 εὐαγγελιστής (euangelistḗs) from 2097; a preacher of the gospel:–evangelist.  Zodhiates’ Lexical Aids says of “evangelist,” “one who declares the good news…”

“Pastors” is #4166 ποιμήν (poimḗn) of uncertain affinity; a shepherd (literally or figuratively):–shepherd, pastor.

“Teachers” is # 1320 διδάσκαλος (didáskalos) from 1321; an instructor (genitive case or specially):–doctor, master, teacher.

Notice that verse 12 indicates the job of these people. It is to perfect the saints.  Who would know better than the congregation whom the Holy Spirit is using in these capacities.

Act 14:21  And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they RETURNED AGAIN to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

These verses show us that a period of time passes after a congregation is formed before elders are ordained.  This is so that the congregation can see by the fruits who the Holy Spirit is using.  The phrase “return again” is #5290ὑποστρέφω (hypostréphō)
from 5259 and 4762; to turn under (behind), i.e. to return (literally or figuratively)
:–come again, return (again, back again), turn back (again).

After a period of time has passed, the congregation can sort out by their fruits with signs following who the Holy Spirit is inspiring to do certain jobs like teaching, caretaking, etc.  An example of CARETAKER is found in Titus 1:5-7.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Tit 1:6  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Tit 1:7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

“Bishop” is #1985  ἐπίσκοπος (epískopos) from 1909 and 4649 (in the sense of 1983); a superintendent, i.e. Christian officer in genitive case charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively):–bishop, overseer.

It should start to become obvious that some jobs, positions or assignments are appointed or ordained by the church congregation.  Some jobs are gifts directly from God to certain people.  You cannot be ordained to be a prophet or to speak in other languages, the gift of tongues.  You cannot ordain someone to have faith.  The Holy Spirit will guide the church to sort out all these instances with the passage of time and experience for the church after the end time work gets going and congregations are formed in different parts of the world.

There is something we need to be keenly aware of as Christians, found in 1Corinthians 12:4-7.

1Co 12:4  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

Study the definition of the word “gifts” in verse four.  It is #5486, χάρισμα (chárisma)
from 5483; a (divine) gratuity, i.e. deliverance (from danger or passion); (specially), a (spiritual) endowment, i.e. (subjectively) religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty:–(free) gift.

The word “administrations” in verse 5 is #1248, διακονία (diakonía)
from 1249; attendance (as a servant, etc.); figuratively (eleemosynary) aid, (official) service (especially of the Christian teacher, or technically of the diaconate)
:–(ad-)minister(-ing, -tration, -try), office, relief, service(-ing).

“Operations” is #1755 ἐνέργημα (enérgēma) from 1754; an effect:–operation, working.

All these gifts, all the jobs people are given and ordained into are jobs of service, of helping, of giving service to others for the perfecting of the saints.  Consider all these positions that God makes available to us end time Christians.  None of them are given to people so they can lord it over the brethren.  They are SERVICE JOBS, not hierarchical jobs.  An apostle is a service job.  An elder who anoints the sick is a service job.

Jam 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

If you think you can lord it over God’s people as some hierarchical churches do, then you are in for a surprise.  The church will have checks and balances built in when we truly work under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  True Christians will be submissive, willing to go where and do what the Holy Spirit guides them to do, but everyone in every congregation does not now and will not in the future have the Holy Spirit.  Many people are tares, more that 50% in fact.  I have covered that statement in other papers.  The tares are in the various congregations and God allows them to stay there.  Study the following verses.

Mat 13:24  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

Mat 13:25  But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

Mat 13:26  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

Mat 13:27  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

Mat 13:28  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

Mat 13:29  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

Mat 13:30  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Satan will push his weeds or tares into positions of power over the brethren.   Maybe a better way to say that would be that Satan will push his weeds to abuse the positions they obtain in the church causing them to lord it over the brethren like it is and has been in a lot of churches.  Study what John dealt with in 3John 9-11.

3Jo 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

3Jo 1:10  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doth, 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.

3Jo 1:11  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.

Diotrephes apparently took over the church and kicked out the real Christians.  The congregations have to be very careful about whom they ordain into positions.  By their fruits you shall know them.

Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

As mentioned a few pages back, it seems many of the job assignments are gifts, not something that people are ordained into. A person could be ordained into none of the abilities listed in 1Corinthians 12.

1Co 12:4  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

1Co 12:5  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

1Co 12:6  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

1Co 12:7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

1Co 12:8  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

God places these people in their jobs.  The same is true in 1Corinthians 12:28 as we covered earlier in this paper.

1Co 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

The word “set” is #5087 τίθημι (títhēmi) ; a prolonged form of a primary θέω (théō) (which is used only as alternate in certain tenses); to place (in the widest application, literally and figuratively; properly, in a passive or horizontal posture, and thus different from 2476, which properly denotes an upright and active position, while 2749 is properly reflexive and utterly prostrate):–+ advise, appoint, bow, commit, conceive, give, X kneel down, lay (aside, down, up), make, ordain, purpose, put, set (forth), settle, sink down.

Zodhiates’ Lexical Aids to the New Testament says of this word, “to set, place, lay, put…”

Here again, God put these people in their positions or jobs.  It is most critical that the congregations recognize what God expects us to do.

Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Mar 16:18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Mar 16:19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Mar 16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Signs will follow the men and women whom God is using.  We can know them by their fruits.

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

The word “gave” is #1325 δίδωμι (dídōmi) a prolonged form of a primary verb (which is used as an alternative in most of the tenses); to give (used in a very wide application, properly, or by implication, literally or figuratively; greatly modified by the connection)
:–adventure, bestow, bring forth, commit, deliver (up), give, grant, hinder, make, minister, number, offer, have power, put, receive, set, shew, smite (+ with the hand), strike (+ with the palm of the hand), suffer, take, utter, yield.

Do some of these jobs in the above verses require being ordained by the congregation?  We will find out as we go along.  It is clear that some positions members are ordained into, other positions are filled directly by God Himself. This is what I am trying to sort out in this paper.  We as a church have to get the instructions right.  By that, I mean get all things right that God requires of us.  Remember that we have a blueprint in 1Corinthians 10:11.  Review on page 2.

The word “ordain” just appears two times in the New Testament.  Once in 1Corinthians 7:17, where the word is #1299 διατάσσω (diatássō) from 1223 and 5021; to arrange thoroughly, i.e. (specially) institute, prescribe, etc.:–appoint, command, give, (set in) order, ordain.

1Co 7:17  But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

The second place is Titus 1:5, where it is #2525 καθίστημι (kathístēmi)
from 2596 and 2476; to place down (permanently), i.e. (figuratively) to designate, constitute, convoy:–appoint, be, conduct, make, ordain, set.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

The word “ordained” appears nineteen times.  There are at least a dozen different Greek words used in those 21 different verses. Let us take a look at all of those that appear to apply to ordaining elders which is something that church members participate in.

Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

“Ordained” is #5500 χειροτονέω (cheirotonéō) from a comparative of 5495 and τείνω (teínō) (to stretch); to be a hand-reacher or voter (by raising the hand), i.e. (generally) to select or appoint:–choose, ordain.

It is obvious here that all churches have ordained elders in them and that church members vote on who is being ordained.  It is also obvious that God makes it clear that to be official, he sends someone to officiate at this ordaining.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

It is obvious that the church members would have to pick out and recommend someone for the jobs.  Who would know better than the church members who was doing the job of an elder before the person was ever ordained as covered earlier?  The next verses show that time passes after a congregation is formed before any person is ordained.

Act 14:19  And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

Act 14:20  Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Act 14:21  And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

“Returned again” is Strong’s #5290ὑποστρέφω (hypostréphō) from 5259 and 4762; to turn under (behind), i.e. to return (literally or figuratively):–come again, return (again, back again), turn back (again).

In the verses above, it is clear that God sent Paul and Barnabas to this church to ordain elders.  Paul and Barnabas are in a higher position than the local church members because God placed them there.  Can a new congregation in the end time of their own free will ordain elders without God sending someone He has hand picked like Paul or Paul’s assistant.  I do not think so if we are to follow God’s instructions completely.  These apostles or assistants or both, will have their Godly credentials.

Titus was an assistant.  I ask again, can a new congregation of its own volition decide to ordain an elder without God’s stamp of approval like the three above mentioned servants of God, Paul, Barnabas, and Titus? We must make all efforts to do things right.  Christ ordained the apostles through God’s inspiration.

Mar 3:13  And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.

Mar 3:14  And he ordained 4160 twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

Mar 3:15  And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

Ordain is 4160 ποιέω (poiéō)  apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do (in a very wide application, more or less direct):–abide, + agree, appoint, X avenge, + band together, be, bear, + bewray, bring (forth), cast out, cause, commit, + content, continue, deal, + without any delay, (would) do(-ing), execute, exercise, fulfil, gain, give, have, hold, X journeying, keep, + lay wait, + lighten the ship, make, X mean, + none of these things move me, observe, ordain, perform, provide, + have purged, purpose, put, + raising up, X secure, shew, X shoot out, spend, take, tarry, + transgress the law, work, yield.

These apostles have power to heal and cast out demons.  God the Father does the choosing for all the sheep who are called.

Joh 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Joh 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Joh 10:29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

If we are to use the Bible for our guide, then Christ makes the actual contact with the physical humans.

Mat 4:18  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

Mat 4:19  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Mat 4:20  And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

Mat 4:21  And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

Mat 4:22  And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Mat 10:1  And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Mat 10:2  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 10:3  Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus whose surname was Thaddaeus;

Mat 10:4  Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Mat 10:5  These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

Luk 6:12  And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Luk 6:13  And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Luk 6:14  Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,

Luk 6:15  Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,

Luk 6:16  And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

In Luke 6, notice that these twelve that Christ called in verse 13, he also NAMED “APOSTLES.”  Dare any church of God try to name someone an apostle?  Apostle is #652 ἀπόστολος (apóstolos) from 649; a delegate; specially, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ (“apostle”) (with miraculous powers) :–apostle, messenger, he that is sent.

The church’s job is to support the apostles and their assistants, not to try to ordain someone to a job that only the Father and Christ do.  We must follow instructions completely, because the Bible is our only guide.  Signs follow.  Be aware that there will be false apostles also.  They will be given their jobs by Satan.

2Co 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

2Co 11:14  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

2Co 11:15  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

The Bible has to be our basic blueprint for doing the end time work.  1Corinthians 10:11 spells that out very clearly.

1Cor 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

“Examples” is Strong’s #5179: “a die (as struck), i.e. (by impl.) a stamp or scar; by anal. a shape, i.e. statue, (fig.) style or resemblance; spec. a sampler (“type”), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning).”

Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament says about this word #5179: “type, as a constituent element of a parable or model of some reality which was yet to appear, a prototype of that which was yet to be developed and evolved.”

“Admonition” is Strong’s #3559: “calling attention to, i.e. (by impl.) mild rebuke or warning.”

“World” is Strong’s #165: “prop. an age; by extens. perpetuity (also past); by impl. the world; spec. (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):—age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the , while the) world (began, without end).”

Look at what happened in the New Testament Church so we can imitate it.  As mentioned earlier, the word “ordained” appears 19 times in the New Testament.  The following is a list of the verses.  “Ordain” appears twice in the New Testament and “ordained” which appears nineteen times in the New Testament.

“Ordain” is used in 1Corinthians 7:17 and Titus 1:5.

“Ordained” is found in Mark 3:14, John 15:16, Acts 1:22, 10:42, 13:48, 14:23, 16:4, 17:31; Romans 7:10, 13:1; 1Corinthians 2:7, 9:14; Galatians 3:19; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:7; Hebrews 5:1, 8:3, 9:6; Jude 1:4.

The verses above which have a direct bearing on local congregations and ordinations within them will be printed out along with the Strong’s definitions below.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Strong’s # 2525 καθίστημι (kathístēmi) from 2596 and 2476; to place down (permanently), i.e. (figuratively) to designate, constitute, convoy:–appoint, be, conduct, make, ordain, set.

Does not this verse make it clear that an apostle or an apostle’s assistant like Titus helps the new congregations get their churches organized and ordain elders.  Reread the definition of “ordain” above.  Notice the phrase “set in order the things that are wanting.”  This happened in every city as well as the ordaining.  “Set in order” is #1930 ἐπιδιορθόω (epidiorthóō) from 1909 and a derivative of 3717; to straighten further, i.e. (figuratively) arrange additionally:–set in order.

“The things that are wanting” is Strong’s # 3007 λείπω (leípō) a primary verb; to leave, i.e. (intransitively or passively) to fail or be absent:–be destitute (wanting), lack.

It is clear that God had revealed to Paul how He wants things done in the local churches and Paul sent Titus to see that it was done correctly.  Is that the way it will be done in the end time churches?  You bet it will if we are to live by every word of God.

Understand this clearly.  An apostle or assistant can come in person to a congregation and this will probably happen in many countries in the world, but in many congregations we can use Paul’s instruction personally and set the things in order and ordain.   That is why 1Corinthians 10:11 is one of the most important verses in the Bible for end time Christians.  Review the discussion on previous page or page 2.

The things that are clearly laid out in the Bible are ready to be imitated.

Mar 3:14  And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

“Ordained” is #4160 ποιέω (poiéō) apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do (in a very wide application, more or less direct):–abide, + agree, appoint, X avenge, + band together, be, bear, + bewray, bring (forth), cast out, cause, commit, + content, continue, deal, + without any delay, (would) do(-ing), execute, exercise, fulfil, gain, give, have, hold, X journeying, keep, + lay wait, + lighten the ship, make, X mean, + none of these things move me, observe, ordain, perform, provide, + have purged, purpose, put, + raising up, X secure, shew, X shoot out, spend, take, tarry, + transgress the law, work, yield..

It is obvious that Christ personally ordains apostles and sends them on their missions.  As mentioned earlier, the church has to support them.

Acts 14:23 is the next verse with specific information about ordaining in local congregations.

Act 14:19  And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

Act 14:20  Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Act 14:21  And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

In this instance, Barnabas was traveling with Paul, verses 19-20.  Notice in verse 21 the phrase “they returned again” is Strong’s #5290 ὑποστρέφω (hypostréphō) from 5259 and 4762; to turn under (behind), i.e. to return (literally or figuratively):–come again, return (again, back again), turn back (again).

This is important because a new congregation has to have time to sort itself out.  God will reveal the people he wants to be ordained.  Do not forget, SIGNS FOLLOW.  They do not go in front.  This sorting time is critical to a new church, so that mistakes will not be made.  The word ordained” is #5500 χειροτονέω (cheirotonéō) from a comparative of 5495 and τείνω (teínō) (to stretch); to be a hand-reacher or voter (by raising the hand), i.e. (generally) to select or appoint:–choose, ordain.

The message is clear that Paul and Barnabas returned to churches that had been established earlier in order to ordain elders.  The churches would recommend whom they thought God was blessing with the abilities needed to function as an elder.  Signs would have followed the candidates for a period of time.  Who would know better than the congregation who was doing the job of an elder.  The church voted on the nominees and they were put into their respective jobs.

Referring back to 1Corinthians 10:11, to imitate or use Paul and Barnabas and Titus as examples of ordaining elders, an apostle or apostle’s assistant would have to be present in the local churches where ordaining was taking place. Today, April 1 2008, I am not sure if an ordination could happen properly in God’s sight without 100% compliance to the prototype.  It would seem on the surface that a church could ordain on its own, but there is the problem of laying on hands.  That raises the question, does someone who has already been ordained of Christ have to pass the confirmation to the new inductee.  We will look closer at this later.

The word “elders” in Titus 1:5 and Acts 14:23 is Strong’s # 4245 πρεσβύτερος (presbýteros) comparative of πρέσβυς (présbys) (elderly); older; as noun, a senior; specially, an Israelite Sanhedrist (also figuratively, member of the celestial council) or Christian “presbyter”:– elder(-est), old.

That is the same word used in James 5:14.

Jam 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

This seems to indicate that any older senior member of the church is an elder, including women.

1Ti 5:2  The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

This is the same Greek word used for elders #4245 in the verses above. There is more to this.  Every older senior member of the church, men and women are not necessarily elders.

Tit 2:2  That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

Tit 2:3  The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

The words “aged men” is #4246 πρεσβύτης (presbýtēs) from the same as 4245; an old man:–aged (man), old man.

The words “aged women” is Strong’s #4247 πρεσβῦτις (presbŷtis) feminine of 4246; an old woman:–aged woman.

Therefore, all elderly people in the church are not the same as far as positions go.  The aged men and women have jobs to do.

Tit 2:4  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

Tit 2:5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Tit 2:6  Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

Tit 2:7  In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Tit 2:8  Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

The other older senior members of the church can be ordained to certain jobs like anointing the sick.  Personally, I think this will include some women “elders” who can anoint, but this has not been tested and proved.  That is just my personal feeling.  God will show us with signs following when we have to know.

1Ti 2:7  Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

“Ordained” is #5087 τίθημι (títhēmi) ; a prolonged form of a primary θέω (théō) (which is used only as alternate in certain tenses); to place (in the widest application, literally and figuratively; properly, in a passive or horizontal posture, and thus different from 2476, which properly denotes an upright and active position, while 2749 is properly reflexive and utterly prostrate):–+ advise, appoint, bow, commit, conceive, give, X kneel down, lay (aside, down, up), make, ordain, purpose, put, set (forth), settle, sink down.

Paul was hand picked, taught by Christ, and put in his position.

Act 9:1  And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

Act 9:2  And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Act 9:3  And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Act 9:4  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Act 9:6  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Act 9:7  And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

Act 9:8  And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

Act 9:9  And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

Gal 1:11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

Gal 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Gal 1:13  For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

Gal 1:14  And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

Gal 1:15  But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,

Gal 1:16  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

Gal 1:17  Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

Gal 1:18  Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

Gal 1:19  But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.

The church had nothing to do with Paul’s calling, conversion, or sending him on his mission.  They did support him.  This has to be considered.  Paul had the authority to ordain others or send someone like Titus to do the ordaining.

Look at the qualification for elders.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Tit 1:6  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Tit 1:7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Tit 1:8  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

Tit 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Tit 1:10  For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision:

Tit 1:11  Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

Tit 1:12  One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

The word “bishop: is #1985 ἐπίσκοπος (epískopos) from 1909 and 4649 (in the sense of 1983); a superintendent, i.e. Christian officer in genitive case charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively):–bishop, overseer.

A superintendent watches over, is an overseer.  Think about this.  These overseers have to be serious, God-fearing Christians who believe what God’s word says and who will oversee the local church with the greatest care.  Anyone who is the least bit hierarchical should not be ordained an elder.  This is why a church cannot ordain elders until later after they are established.  They have to watch for fruit in the potential candidates.  Signs follow.  Verse 9 shows us an elder has to be willing and capable of being taught. Notice the phrase “hath been taught.”  If a person cannot be taught and is self-willed like it mentions in verse 7, they cannot be an elder.  Not being able to be taught is a major issue.  This will change among true Holy Spirit led Christians when the Holy Spirit is poured out.

In 1 Timothy 3:8-13 we find more instruction on the character of those who would be put into the office of deacon or bishop.

1Ti 3:8  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1Ti 3:9  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

1Ti 3:10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

1Ti 3:11  Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1Ti 3:12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1Ti 3:13  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Deacon is 1985 ἐπίσκοπος (epískopos) from 1909 and 4649 (in the sense of 1983); a superintendent, i.e. Christian officer in genitive case charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively):–bishop, overseer.

Review the definition of bishop #1985 above.  “Deacon” in verse 8 is a different word, Strong’s #1249 διάκονος (diákonos) probably from an obsolete διάκω (diákō) (to run on errands; compare 1377); an attendant, i.e. (genitive case) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specially, a Christian teacher and pastor (technically, a deacon or deaconess):–deacon, minister, servant.

1Ti 3:1  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

1Ti 3:2  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1Ti 3:3  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1Ti 3:4  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

1Ti 3:5  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1Ti 3:6  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

1Ti 3:7  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

1Ti 3:8  Likewise must the deacons 1249 be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1Ti 3:9  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

1Ti 3:10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

1Ti 3:11  Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1Ti 3:12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1Ti 3:13  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

In verse 10, these people have to be proved first.  That is why in Acts 14:21-23 Paul and Barnabas returned again to ordain elders.

Act 14:21  And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Time had to elapse so the proving could take place.  In Philippians 1:1, bishops and deacons are mentioned again.  Review the definitions of bishops #1985 above, and deacons #1249.

Phi 1:1  Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

The deacon could be called a “go-for.”  I remember two deacons in the late Worldwide Church of God that really fulfilled that office.  I called them workhorses.  Any job that needed to be done, they did it. Anybody with this workhorse attitude would prove themselves during this proving period mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:10.

1Ti 3:10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

1Pe 2:24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

1Pe 2:25  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Bishop is #1985 ἐπίσκοπος (epískopos) from 1909 and 4649 (in the sense of 1983); a superintendent, i.e. Christian officer in genitive case charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively):–bishop, overseer.

The word “bishop: is used to express Christ’s care in overseeing and superintending of true Christians.  In Acts 1:18-20 it shows how Judas tossed his office of bishop away in his betrayal of Christ.  The word here is #1984 ἐπισκοπή(episkopḗ) from 1980; inspection (for relief); by implication, superintendence; specially, the Christian “episcopate”:–the office of a “bishop”, bishoprick, visitation.

Act 1:18  Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

Act 1:19  And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

Act 1:20  For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take.

The word bishops  #1985 is used once in Philippians 1:1

Phi 1:1  Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Here in this verse it is very clear that deacons and bishops are two different words, just like in 1 Timothy 3:2 and 8.  Now look at all the verses where the word “deacon” and “deacons” is used.

The word “deacon” is only used two times in the New Testament.   In 1Timothy 3:10 and 13.

1Ti 3:10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

1Ti 3:13  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The word “deacons” #1249 is used three times, once in Phil.1:1, which means “an attendant, i.e. (genitive case) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specially, a Christian teacher and pastor (technically, a deacon or deaconess):–deacon, minister, servant.”

Phi 1:1  Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

The other two verses where the word “deacons” is used is 1Timothy 3:8, 12.

1Ti 3:8  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1Ti 3:12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Tit 1:6  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Tit 1:7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Titus makes it clear that bishops are ordained in 1 Tim 3:10-13

1Ti 3:10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

1Ti 3:11  Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1Ti 3:12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1Ti 3:13  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The phrase “office of deacon” is used.  In 1Tim 3:1 the phrase “office of bishop” is used.  I do not think there could be any argument that deacons would be ordained just like bishops.

1Ti 3:1  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Tit 1:6  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Tit 1:7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Titus 1:5-7 indicates strongly that bishops come under the heading of elders.  If that is true then does a deacon come under the same heading?  I do not think so when you consider their job description.  Bishops is #1985 ἐπίσκοπος(epískopos) from 1909 and 4649 (in the sense of 1983); a superintendent, i.e. Christian officer in genitive case charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively):–bishop, overseer.

Deacons is #1247 διακονέω (diakonéō) from 1249; to be an attendant, i.e. wait upon (menially or as a host, friend, or (figuratively) teacher); technically, to act as a Christian deacon:–(ad-)minister (unto), serve, use the office of a deacon.

These are two entirely different job descriptions.  Right now to me April 6, 2008, it seems that bishops will come under the heading of elders and deacons will not, but maybe that is not true we all grow and learn.

Let us now look at the verses that used the word elder and elders the word elder is used twenty times in the New Testament.  The word “elder” is used sixty times.  The word “elders” all sixty of them is covered by two Greek words strong’s #4244 and #4245.

4244  πρεσβυτέριον (presbytérion) neuter of a presumed derivative of 4245; the order of elders, i.e. (specially), Israelite Sanhedrin or Christian “presbytery”:–(estate of) elder(-s), presbytery.

4245 πρεσβύτερος (presbýteros) comparative of πρέσβυς (présbys) (elderly); older; as noun, a senior; specially, an Israelite Sanhedrist (also figuratively, member of the celestial council) or Christian “presbyter”:– elder(-est), old.

#4244 is just used twice in Acts 22:5 and Luke 22:66.  #4245 is used in seven of the verses for the word elder.

The other two Greek words are found in Romans 9:12 where it is # 3187.

Rom 9:12  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

3187 μείζων (meízōn) irregular comparative of 3173; larger (literally or figuratively, specially, in age):–elder, greater(-est), more.

The other verse is 1Peter 5:1 where it is #4850.

1Pe 5:1  The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

4850 συμπρεσβύτερος (sympresbýteros) from 4862 and 4245; a co-presbyter
:–presbyter, also an elder.

We need to look at any of these 69 verses which have to do with ordaining and job description.  Some we have already look at  but it will not hurt to revisit them.  Start in 1Tim 4:14.

1Ti 4:14  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.  (MINISTRY)

The word “presbytery” is Strong’s #4244 πρεσβυτέριον (presbytérion) neuter of a presumed derivative of 4245; the order of elders, i.e. (specially), Israelite Sanhedrin or Christian “presbytery”:–(estate of) elder(-s), presbytery.

God requires that things be done decently and in order.

1Co 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

“Order” is #5010 τάξις (táxis) from 5021; regular arrangement, i.e. (in time) fixed succession (of rank or character), official dignity:–order.

Now look at 1 Peter 5 :1.

1Pe 5:1  The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

The word “elder” is #4850  συμπρεσβύτερος (sympresbýteros) from 4862 and 4245; a co-presbyter:–presbyter, also an elder.

What is the order here?  Peter was ordained by Christ, hand picked and personally taught.  The “elders which are among you” came later.

Review Titus 1:5.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

In 1 Peter 5:1, they are co-elders, but Peter received his position first and would be in a leadership position among all elders.  The word rank to describe Peter’s position repulses me because of the hierarchical implications.

Read 1 Timothy 5:1-2.

1Ti 5:1  Rebuke not an elder 4245, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;

1Ti 5:2  The elder 4245 women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

The word “ elder” is #4245, the same word used in James 5:14.

Jam 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders 4245 of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

The same word is used in Titus 1:5 above.  Titus shows they were ordained.

4245 πρεσβύτερος (presbýteros) comparative of πρέσβυς (présbys) (elderly); older; as noun, a senior; specially, an Israelite Sanhedrist (also figuratively, member of the celestial council) or Christian “presbyter”:– elder(-est), old.

In Berry’s Greek to English Interlinear, the word elder is used just like in the King James.  This is also true for Green’s Greek to English Interlinear.   My personal feeling is that there will be certain women ordained to eldership positions, but I cannot and do not say that is 100% sure that it is God’s will.  It will all be sorted out in due time.

1Peter 5:1 is the next verse in the list of nine for the word “elder.

1Pe 5:1  The elders 4245 which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder 4850, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

John was an apostle and considered himself an elder.  This word “elder” is #4245, the same as the ones Titus was ordaining. The difference is Christ handpicked and ordained or put John in his position as apostle.

2 John 1:1 The elder 4245 unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

3Jo 1:1  The elder 4245 unto the well-beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

Now we will go through the word “elders” in the New Testament and read the ones that have to do with being ordained and job description.  The word ‘elders’ is used in Matthew, Mark and Luke, where the word is used in conjunction with the chief priest.  The first place the word “elders #4245 is used in the New Testament in conjunction with the New Testament Church is in Acts 11:30.  The word is not used in John at all.

Act 11:30  Which also they did, and sent it to the elders 4245 by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Was the New Testament Church’s eldership pattern after the Sanhedrin, at least to some degree? I do not know.

Acts 14:23 is the next place elders #4245 is used.  This was covered in the discussion of the word ordained, but needs to look a little more closely now.  Elders is #4245,
πρεσβύτερος (presbýteros) comparative of πρέσβυς (présbys) (elderly); older; as noun, a senior; specially, an Israelite Sanhedrist (also figuratively, member of the celestial council) or Christian “presbyter”:– elder(-est), old.

Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders 4245 in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

The word “ordained” is #5500, χειροτονέω (cheirotonéō) from a comparative of 5495 and τείνω (teínō) (to stretch); to be a hand-reacher or voter (by raising the hand), i.e. (generally) to select or appoint:–choose, ordain.

It is obvious that elders are appointed to their positions by the local churches and who would know better than the local congregation who was doing the job of and elder.  Be reminded that Paul and Barnabas were there to oversee the ordinations and they were already confirmed in their positions by Christ.  The same thing is implied by Titus 1:5.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Titus was sent to ordain elders.  I do not think in light of these two examples that a local congregation can choose on their own to ordain someone to eldership.  We have to follow God’s instruction to the exact example we have in the Bible.  Read again 1Corinthians 10:11 on page 2.

Study Acts 15:2 where the word elders is #4245 (review definition above), the same as in Titus 1:5 and Acts 14:23.

Act 15:2  When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Remember that these verses show plainly the elders are ordained, and an apostle or his representative was there to officiate, Titus 2:2-3.

Tit 2:2  That the aged men 4246 be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

Tit 2:3  The aged women 4247 likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

The Bible makes a distinct difference between senior or aged members of the church and elders.  Acts 15: 6 and 22 show that elders were involved in making major decisions.

Act 15:6  And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

Act 15:22  Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

Act 15:23  And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.

Acts 15:23 shows there are three different categories in a church congregation, apostles, elders, brethren.  It would be hard to argue that the aged men and women mention in Titus 2:2-3 would not be under the category of brethren.

Act 16:4  And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

Acts 16:4 shows again that elders were involved in major decisions involving the church.  This is only basic Bible wisdom, Proverbs 11:14.

Pro 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

Act 20:17  And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

Notice here that Paul sent for the elders, not the whole church.  In certain situations, elders represent the church as an ambassador. Now go to 1 Tim. 5:17.

1Ti 5:17  Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.

Here is a job description for elders.  It is same word #4245 πρεσβύτερος (presbýteros)
comparative of πρέσβυς (présbys) (elderly); older; as noun, a senior; specially, an Israelite Sanhedrist (also figuratively, member of the celestial council) or Christian “presbyter” :– elder(-est), old..

The word rule is #4291 προΐστημι (proḯstēmi) from 4253 and 2476; to stand before, i.e. (in rank) to preside, or (by implication) to practise:–maintain, be over, rule.

I do not see any permission in this definition for any elder to become a hierarchical dictator as many in other churches.  Any elder who turns into a dictator should be removed from the congregation by the congregation or some apostle or his assistant.

Titus 1:5 is the next verse listed under “elders” that affects the end time church.  When thinking of ordaining elders, Strong’s 4245 must be considered: πρεσβύτερος (presbýteros) comparative of πρέσβυς (présbys) (elderly); older; as noun, a senior; specially, an Israelite Sanhedrist (also figuratively, member of the celestial council) or Christian “presbyter”:– elder(-est), old.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

It is not a small thing that Titus was an assistant of Paul who was sent there by Paul to “set in order the things that are wanting”  and to ordain elders.  Remember Paul was taught and ordained by Christ and Titus was surely passing on to the local church what Paul had taught him.  Can a new congregation in the end time do any thing other than this clear Bible example?  After all, these things happened and were written down for examples and prototypes for us to imitate, 1Corinthians 10:11.

Elders must have faith, Hebrews 11:1-2.

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Heb 11:2  For by it the elders obtained a good report.

James 5:14 is a verse we are all aware of and will affect almost everyone at some point in their church lives.

Jam 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders 4245 of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

Elders is the same #4245.  Anointing the sick is a job for an ordained elder.

1Pe 5:1  The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

1Pe 5:2  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;

1Pe 5:3  Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.

1Peter 5:1 is the next verse we have already looked at at least a couple of times, but we need also to look at verses 2 and 3.  Be reminded that Peter was an elder before the local church elders were and also he was hand picked and taught by Christ.  Verses two and three give us some of the job description of local church elders.  Number one, they are to feed the flock.  This is obvious.  Teach the local church what is needed.  “Taking oversight” is #1983ἐπισκοπέω (episkopéō) from 1909 and 4648; to oversee; by implication, to beware:–look diligently, take the oversight.

This is also clear they are to keep an eye on things that relate to the church and see to it that everything is done in a Godly manner.  “Not by constraint.” No one should be forced to take a job they do not want and no one should take an elder’s job just to make money; but any elder who needs a salary for their work to supplement their income, it is perfectly okay by God’s word.  Verse 3 is very clear that an elder has to be a Christian example not a dictator.  An elder has to live by every word of God.

The word “elders” #4245 in Revelation in every place I could find refers to the 24 elders who perform their functions right at the Father’s throne.  Elders seem to be very important in God’s organization.  There is sufficient evidence for me to believe that Christ is a created being and that the elders existed before Christ was created.  Read my paper on “Did Christ Always Exist.”  If elders existed before Christ, the church, and salvation, it makes elders a very important subject in the Father’s sight, not to be taken lightly by us demon-influenced and vanity-filled humans.

Let us review and maybe add to what we have covered.

1Pe 5:1  The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

1Pe 5:2  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;

These verses show us that apostles are elders also.  The second word for elder here is Strong’s #4850 συμπρεσβύτερος (sympresbýteros) from 4862 and 4245; a co-presbyter
:–presbyter, also an elder.

Verse two shows that one of the jobs of an elder is oversight, being aware of how the church is functioning.

Act 15:23  And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.

Acts 15:23 is interesting because the church is put into three categories, apostles, elders, and brethren.  One thought that came to mind with this verse. Where are deacons placed, with elders or brethren?  Their main function is servant.  That is also true for apostles and elders. At the end of the day, all these jobs are servant jobs.

Act 15:2  When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Act 15:4  And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

Act 15:22  Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

Acts 15:2, 4, and 22 show us that elders are in jobs of spiritual oversight. As elders, they attended this conference in Jerusalem with the apostles.

Act 16:4  And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

The word “elders” in these verses is #4245.  Remember James 5:14.

Jam 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

One of the responsibilities of an elder is to anoint the sick.

1Ti 5:17  Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor 5092, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.

1Ti 5:18  For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward.

1 Timothy 5:17-18 shows elders who work in the word and doctrine should be paid for their labor if they need an income.  The word “rule” #4291  προΐστημι (proḯstēmi)
from 4253 and 2476; to stand before, i.e. (in rank) to preside, or (by implication) to practise:–maintain, be over, rule.

This definition gives no one the authority to be hierarchical.  You cannot lord it over God’s people.  Philippians 2:12 means what it says.

Phi 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

1Ti 5:1  Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;

1Ti 5:2  The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

In verse two, elder #4245 is used for women.  That is the same word used in James 5:14 and dozens of other verses.  Are there women elders?  Can they anoint?  A word of caution here before anyone jumps to conclusions.  Berry’sGreek to English Interlinear translates this just like the King James, but Green’s Greek to English Interlinear does not.  He translates it as “OLDER MEN” and “OLDER WOMEN.”   I do not think some things can be determined just yet. God will reveal these things as we need them as we get into the end time work.  Signs follow.  They do not go out front.

Mar 16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Tit 2:2  That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

Tit 2:3  The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

These two verses make it clear that all older men and women are not considered elders.  “Aged” here is #4246 and 4247 respectively.  Both Green and Berry translate these words just like the King James “aged.”

4246 πρεσβύτης (presbýtēs) from the same as 4245; an old man:–aged (man), old man.

4247 πρεσβῦτις (presbŷtis) feminine of 4246; an old woman:–aged woman.

We need to revisit Titus 1:5

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

For some additional thought, consider the word “ordain,”  which is #2525 καθίστημι (kathístēmi) from 2596 and 2476; to place down (permanently), i.e. (figuratively) to designate, constitute, convoy:–appoint, be, conduct, make, ordain, set.

Berry’s Greek to English Interlinear uses the word appoint” instead of ordain.  Green’s Greek to English Interlinear uses “appoint.”  The primary definition of “ordain” in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary is “to invest with ministerial or priestly authority.”  A website I visited made a comment about this, of people being appointed, not ordained. I do not see a problem here whether or not a person is ordained or appointed a need is met and the same goal is accomplished. It should be noted again that an assistant to an apostle was sent to do this job whether it be appoint or ordain.

Now look at Acts 14:21-23.

Act 14:21  And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

We covered this before notice in verse 21, they “returned again.” The message is clear here that new churches had been established and after a period of time had passed, the apostle Paul and an assistant Barnabas went back to ordain elders.  This passing of a certain amount of time is critical for a new church to sort itself out.  God will reveal who HE wants in elder positions by signs following.  The word “ordained” is #5500  ειροτονέω (cheirotonéō) from a comparative of 5495 and τείνω (teínō) (to stretch); to be a hand-reacher or voter (by raising the hand), i.e. (generally) to select or appoint
:–choose, ordain.

Here again, Green’s Interlinear translates this as “having hand picked.” Berry’s Interlinear translates it as “having chosen.”  The website I was visiting made somewhat of an issue about this.  To me, using the word ordained is not a bad translation.  Maybe it is a good one.  How would be the best way to pick or choose elders in a local church after this period of time had passed? Could Paul, Titus, and Barnabas just walk into a local congregation some Sabbath morning and say, “You, you, and you, I appoint to be elders.”  They could not do this without special inspiration from God.  I think it would be a lot more probable that on that Sabbath morning they would sit down with the congregation and discuss who had been bearing elder fruit.  The local members would know who had been bearing elder fruit by the signs following.  Then after the congregation had made their views known, the apostle or assistant would hand pick or choose whom the congregation had recommended.  How could this be better accomplished than the members voting by raising their hands on the ones recommended?  Actually, I do not see anything wrong with this translation once you have the background information.

Now we need to digress a little and ask a question.  Why did an apostle or assistant return to a new congregation after a period of time to choose or appoint elders?  Do not forget 1Corinthians 10:11. Review definition on page 2. These things happened and were written down as prototypes for us to imitate.  We have to do God’s will or die in the Lake of Fire.  To answer the question above let us look at it from a DNA perspective.  The father is the greatest of all.  We need his DNA.  He begat Christ thus passing on his DNA to him.  Christ handpicks, appoints, and chooses apostles and thus passing his DNA on to them.  The apostles handpick or choose their assistants and this would be through Christ and the Father’s guidance and pass the Father’s DNA on to the assistant.  Does it not make sense that the creation of a new church would require someone with the Father’s DNA in them to pass it on to the elders appointed or chosen for the new church?  Then as time goes on the chosen elders would pass the Father’s DNA on to that generation of elders so I should think that a new congregation would need someone like an apostle or an assistant to pass on the Father’s DNA to keep the chain unbroken.  The Father and Christ will certainly guide the new churches in the end time as exactly how to do things the way they require if only we the members will be pliable in their hands.  Look at how this DNA Holy Spirit is passed on.

Joh 20:19  Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Joh 20:20  And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

Joh 20:21  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Joh 20:22  And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

John shows us the original apostles received the Holy Spirit by Christ breathing or blowing on them, but they were face to face with him.

1Ti 4:14  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

The word “gift” here is #5486  χάρισμα (chárisma) from 5483; a (divine) gratuity, i.e. deliverance (from danger or passion); (specially), a (spiritual) endowment, i.e. (subjectively) religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty:–(free) gift.

Presbytery is #4244 πρεσβυτέριον (presbytérion) neuter of a presumed derivative of 4245; the order of elders, i.e. (specially), Israelite Sanhedrin or Christian “presbytery”
:–(estate of) elder(-s), presbytery.

This verse is the only place in the New Testament that this word is used.  Both Green and Berry translate this as “elderhood.”

2Ti 1:6  Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting 1936 on of my hands.

The word “gift” here is #5486, χάρισμα (chárisma) from 5483; a (divine) gratuity, i.e. deliverance (from danger or passion); (specially), a (spiritual) endowment, i.e. (subjectively) religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty:–(free) gift.

“Putting” in this verse is # 1936 ἐπίθεσις (epíthesis) from 2007; an imposition (of hands officially):–laying (putting) on.

The message is very clear here.  Christ had given Paul the Holy Spirit, the DNA of the Father if you will.  Paul passed it on by the laying on of hands and saying a prayer.  It is critical as new churches come about in the end time that we must follow God’s word as exactly as we are able.  Reread Acts 14:21-23.

Act 14:21  And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Paul and Barnabas returned again to ordain or put in place elders.  This tells me that a new congregation cannot ordain their first elders until someone in the chain from the Father through Christ through the apostles through the apostle’s assistants like Titus and Timothy pass the Holy Spirit or DNA on to that new congregation.  See Titus 1:5.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Two Bible commentaries I checked say that there were several churches in that region with Crete being one of them.  The Church in Crete did not have the proper organization that is required by Christ, therefore Paul sent Titus to get the church organized.  Do not think for one second that a new church in the end time can ordain elders and get the church set up properly on their own.  Someone from that unbroken chain from above has to start it.

Act 8:14  Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Act 8:15  Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

Act 8:16  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Act 8:17  Then LAID THEY THEIR HANDS ON THEM, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Act 8:18  And when Simon saw that THROUGH LAYING ON OF THE APOSTLES’ HANDS THE HOLY GHOST WAS GIVEN, he offered them money,

Act 8:19  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

1Ti 4:14  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

These are the verses using the word “laying on hands.”  Mark 5:23; Mark 16:18; Acts 8:18-19.  “Laid on hands” is used in Mark 6:5; Luke 131-13; Acts 13:1-4; Acts 28:8.

In Acts 8:14-18 it is very clear that this DNA Holy Spirit from the Father is passed on to the local brethren by prayer and laying on of the apostle’s hands and this happens after they are baptized.  For the average church member, this is the process to receive the Holy Spirit.

In 1 Timothy 4:14, Timothy is reminded that the gift within him the Holy Spirit this DNA from Father was passed on by the laying on of hands. As covered above, presbytery should be “elderhood.”

1Ti 4:14  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

Heb 6:1-2 show very plainly that laying on of hands is one of the basic foundation blocks of being a true Christian.  An interesting note if you want to do a Bible study on the two words “doctrine” in these verses, the first one is #3056 and the second one is #1322.

Heb 6:1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Heb 6:2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

The word “lay” on hands is used in the next 3 passages. Mark 5:23 indicates that the general population new there was power associated with the laying on of hands.

Mar 5:23  And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

Read the rest of chapter 5 just touching Christ in Mark 16:18 makes it clear that laying on of hands is a direct part of the healing of the sick. Here again, it is apparent that there is power associated with the laying on of hands.

Mar 16:18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Acts 8:18-19 shows that it was so obvious that the laying on of hands transferred power that Simon tried to buy that power of the Holy Spirit.  This passing on of the Holy Spirit DNA is not a trivial thing.  It opens doors for true Christians who will use the power wisely.

Act 8:18  And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

Act 8:19  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost

“Power” is #1849 ἐξουσία (exousía) from 1832 (in the sense of ability); privilege, i.e. (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely, magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence:–authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength.

The phrase “laid on hands” is used in the following four passages, Mark 6:5  this verse confirms that the laying on of hands is associated with the sick being healed.

Mar 6:5  And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

Luke 13:11-13, same thing with these verses the healing power of the Holy Spirit was passed on to the afflicted by the laying on of hands.

Luk 13:11  And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.

Luk 13:12  And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.

Luk 13:13  And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

Acts 13:1-4 gives us a different message.

Act 13:1  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.

Act 13:2  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.

Act 13:3  And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Act 13:4  So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

It seems that the laying on of hands in this example was to confirm the Holy Spirit’s actions or request. Maybe it was to impart a higher level of the Holy Spirit to Saul and Barnabas. A higher octane gasoline, if you will.  This is something that needs to be kept in mind as new churches develop special assignments need special attention.

Acts 28:8 shows us again that the apostles who are hand picked by Christ have the ability to heal.

Act 28:8  And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.

Notice it says nothing of Paul anointing the sick man with oil. He simply laid hands on and prayed and the man was healed. In James 5:14 the elders have to anoint with oil. This also needs to be kept in mind. Apostles in the end time church will have a higher level of the Holy Spirit or more grace or favor from God and will be able perform miracles that elders will not be able to do. We have to follow God’s instructions the very best we can.

Jam 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

Paul was also able to heal by voice, Acts 14.

Act 14:8  And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:

Act 14:9  The same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,

Act 14:10  Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

What are the qualifications for elders teachers and what we call deacons and other jobs in the church. Before we look at the qualifications for elders, let me revisit gifts again.  Read 1 Timothy 4:14 again.

1Ti 4:14  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

Notice that Timothy’s gift was given by prophecy with the laying on of hands. Timothy’s job was important enough to have two books of the Bible named after him. Reread 1Corinthians 12:1-10, 28.

1Co 12:1  Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

1Co 12:2  Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

1Co 12:3  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

1Co 12:4  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

1Co 12:5  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

1Co 12:6  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

1Co 12:7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

1Co 12:8  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

1Co 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Eph 4:10  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

Both Berry and Green translate the word “gave” in verse 11 as “gave.”

These verses do not seem to indicate that there was any laying on of hands involved. Eph 4:11 seems to indicate that abilities are given just to the people who can do the various jobs. This might indicate that the laying on of hands is limited to certain situations.  Today April 28 2008, I am not 100 % clear on this but I am clear that God will straighten this out when it becomes necessary.

Now on to 1Timothy 3 for a look at the qualification for certain jobs.

1Ti 3:1  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

1Ti 3:2  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1Ti 3:3  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1Ti 3:4  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

1Ti 3:5  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1Ti 3:6  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

1Ti 3:7  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

1Ti 3:8  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1Ti 3:9  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

1Ti 3:10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

1Ti 3:11  Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1Ti 3:12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1Ti 3:13  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

1Ti 3:14  These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:

1Ti 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

1Ti 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

These are very clear instruction for church etiquette.  In verse 15 the phrase “behave thyself” in Berry’s Greek to English Interlinear is translated “conduct oneself.” Green translates it “behave” just like the King James Version. Any converted person knows that certain actions are not allowed in God’s house or family. House is #3624 οἶκος (oîkos) of uncertain affinity; a dwelling (more or less extensive, literal or figurative); by implication, a family (more or less related, literally or figuratively):–home, house(-hold), temple.

Some Christians make a big issue of some of the words appearing in the King James Version.  “Bishop” in verse 2 is one of these words.  It is #1985 meaning ἐπίσκοπος (epískopos) from 1909 and 4649 (in the sense of 1983); a superintendent, i.e. Christian officer in genitive case charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively):–bishop, overseer.

Zodhiates’ Lexical Aids to the New Testament translates it “watcher” or “overseer.”  Berry translates it “overseer,” and so does Green.   “Deacon” is another one of these words that people make an issue of.  “Deacon” is in two verses, 1 Tim 3:10, 13, Strong’s # 1247 from 1249; to be an attendant, i.e. wait upon (menially or as a host, friend, or (figuratively) teacher); technically, to act as a Christian deacon:–(ad-)minister (unto), serve, use the office of a deacon.

“Deacons” appears in Phil 1:1 and 1 Tim 3:8 and 12, where it is #1249διάκονος (diákonos) probably from an obsolete διάκω (diákō) (to run on errands; compare 1377); an attendant, i.e. (genitive case) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specially, a Christian teacher and pastor (technically, a deacon or deaconess):–deacon, minister, servant.

Phi 1:1  Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

1Ti 3:8  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1Ti 3:12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Both of these definitions of deacon and deacons basically mean servant.  In the USA today, the term “gofer” could be used.  A “gofer” runs errands and generally helps any way needed. Personally, I am not put out or offended by the word “deacon.”  It might be one of the better words used for job description.  Think about it.  Who would want to be appointed to the job of slave, which in one sense the word servant means.  Would you want to tell one of your neighbors who is not converted that you were appointed to the job of waiter, attendant, to run errands, to do menial duties at your local church.  The first thing that would come to mind here in the USA that this church is a cult. This man is a slave to them.  As Christians, we do have an obligation not to give any appearance of evil to nonbelievers.  I know for sure that here in the US many minorities would be offended at anything that hints at slavery of another human.  We are all slaves to God and Christ, but today April 4, 2008, most Church of God people would become upset and consider the idea as being hierarchical.  I have been in a rigid hierarchy system that proved destructive to its members.

The word “deacon” may not be such a bad translation after all, or someone may come up with a better term.  Regardless of what the job is called, there will be a need in congregations for someone to do that type of work.

The qualifications for a bishop (overseer) and deacon (servant, attendant, etc.) are very clear review all of 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9.

1Ti 3:1  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

1Ti 3:2  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1Ti 3:3  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1Ti 3:4  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

1Ti 3:5  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1Ti 3:6  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

1Ti 3:7  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

1Ti 3:8  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1Ti 3:9  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

1Ti 3:10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

1Ti 3:11  Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1Ti 3:12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1Ti 3:13  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Tit 1:6  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Tit 1:7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Tit 1:8  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

Tit 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

The person cannot be a novice or recently converted.  The person’s reputation outside the church must be good.  This has to be verified before a person is put into any position in the church by the congregation. One reason for this is that in every church there will be tares or weedsTARES PLAY CHURCH.  They do not DO church SINCERELY and they cannot be given jobs where they would set a bad example.

Read Acts 14:21-23.

Act 14:21  And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

The reason Paul and Barnabas returned again is a period of time has to pass so the church can sort itself out.  The Holy Spirit will start to exalt the ones who Christ and the Father choose for positions of service.  Is Mark 16:20 true or not.

Mar 16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

SIGNS FOLLOW.  THEY DO NOT GO OUT FRONT.  One thing we need to remember, God does very few things in a hurry.  Sometimes in emergencies, he reacts fast, but most of the time it is slow and methodical.

It is a sure thing that Mat 3:8 will apply to every end time Christian.

Mat 3:8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

Everyone of us will have to repent of many things the biggest in most cases will be the wrong beliefs we have from previous church affiliations.

While we are on the subject of church positions, “evangelist” (singular) is found in two verses.

Act 21:8  And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was was one of the seven; and abode with him.

2Ti 4:5  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

“Evangelists” (plural) is found in one verse.

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

All three are Strong’s #2099 εὐαγγελιστής (euangelistḗs) from 2097; a preacher of the gospel:–evangelist.

Both Greens and Berry’s Interlinears use the word “evangelist” just as the King James.  Zodhiates’ Lexical Aids to the New Testament gives the primary meaning as “one who declares the good news.” One thought that comes to mind here is that all apostles would be evangelists, but all evangelists would not be apostles.  Remember Christ chose and hand picked the original apostles with the Father’s inspiration.  There will probably be many evangelists in the coming end-time work.  Evangelist is a job description, not a hierarchical position.

The original idea for this research was to confirm exactly who was or is an elder and that job description.  Let us see what we can find out about this subject.  One of the first verses that comes to mind is James 5:14.

Jam 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

Praying over and anointing the sick is one of the elders’ jobs.  Elder is #4245, πρεσβύτερος (presbýteros) comparative of πρέσβυς (présbys) (elderly); older; as noun, a senior; specially, an Israelite Sanhedrist (also figuratively, member of the celestial council) or Christian “presbyter”:– elder(-est), old.

Being elderly or senior does not make you an elder who can pray over and anoint the sick, but generally speaking it seems to be a qualification for a person who can.  The apostles considered themselves elders.

2Jo 1:1  The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

3Jo 1:1  The elder unto the well-beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

I think most of the apostles were roughly Christ’s age, but in longevity in the church, they were the oldest or senior since they were called first.

Act 11:27  And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.

Act 11:28  And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Act 11:29  Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea:

Act 11:30  Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

These verses show that the elders would have been in charge of drought relief for the brethren.  There will probably be much need for aid work in the end time work and churches with all the natural disasters throughout the world.

Act 15:2  When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Act 15:6  And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

These verses show that the elders were in on doctrinal decision-making.

Act 15:4  And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

Act 15:22  Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

Notice that the elders are mentioned right up there with the apostles.  In all four of these verses, the apostles are mentioned first, “apostles and elders.”  This correct because the first called by Christ became the apostles who with their assistants ordained or appointed elders.  This was covered earlier in the paper that the elders were in on establishing doctrine.

Act 16:4  And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

1Ti 5:17  Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.

1Ti 5:18  For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward.

This shows us more of an elder’s job description and that they should be paid for their work if they need an income.  The word “rule” is #4291 προΐστημι (proḯstēmi) from 4253 and 2476; to stand before, i.e. (in rank) to preside, or (by implication) to practise:–maintain, be over, rule.

Berry’s Greek to English Interlinear translates “rule” as “who take the lead.”  No way does God intend for these elders to rule in a hierarchical sense.

Phi 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Phil. 2:12 makes it very clear that no one is to be between a church member and God, but it is also true that groups have to have leaders to keep things on course and moving.

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Heb 11:2  For by it the elders obtained a good report.

Hebrews 11 shows that elders should be leaders in faith.  From the verses above, it should be clear that elders are a level below the apostles, that they should be leaders in faith, they would be in on doctrinal decisions, they should certainly be capable of keeping the church on the straight and narrow path to salvation.  I am sure as the end time churches come into existence that many more duties of elders will be made clear.

I think it goes without saying that all the qualifications for bishops (superintendent, overseer) found in 1 Tim 3:1-13 would apply.

1Ti 3:1  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

1Ti 3:2  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1Ti 3:3  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1Ti 3:4  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

1Ti 3:5  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1Ti 3:6  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

1Ti 3:7  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

1Ti 3:8  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1Ti 3:9  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

1Ti 3:10  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

1Ti 3:11  Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1Ti 3:12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1Ti 3:13  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

More of these qualifications are found in Titus 1:5-9.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Tit 1:6  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Tit 1:7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Tit 1:8  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

Tit 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Verses 5 and 7 indicate that bishops or superintendents are elders.  Both Green’s and Berry’s Interlinears translate bishop as overseers.  Elders in the end time churches will not only have to talk the talk, they will have to walk the walk.  That is the reason for a period of time to pass after a new church is established before elders are pointed or ordained as was discussed earlier in this paper.  You shall know them by their fruits.

Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Christianity has to be a way of life for a potential elder with everything looked at through Christ eyes so to speak.

Published March 2008

© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA
edgar@solidrockspeople.org
www.solidrockspeople.org