The unbiblical hierarchy of a Pastor
(shepherd/pastor) The Greek word translated “pastors” is poimen. It means shepherds, a figurative description of a particular function within the church buy such said members of that spiritual gift minister to the congregation. Mature men who could help guide the flock in righteousness. Not a one-man head of the church. Rather in truth, the congregation could have many such pastors readily available to minister such needs for edification of the body when called upon. “pastors” is actually a quite simple ministry, and very easy to study within the new covenant terms.
It is not an office or a title, not a specialized office of professionals at large "aka" (hireling shepherds). In the RCC these hirelings are called church "Fathers", in Talmudic Judaism "Rabbis", and in Protestantism Pastors. All are unbiblical (call no man father, said Jesus). Traditions of men have made this biblical term "PASTOR" the fundamental and dominate figurehead of the Protestant structure. An unbiblical position ordained through modern academic prowess of seminary résumés. A product of the Nicolaitanes. I ask; one needs a resume' from a secular academic institute called "Seminaries", which I suspect was named after the goddess "Samurais'? Under the supposed guidance of Hermeneutics, named after the Olympian Greek god Hermes? And this qualifies one to be a so-called Pastor who is the head of a congregation/church? What could go wrong with this academic formula? This was the way of Simon the sorcerer, Simon Megas of Rome, the predecessor of the Roman Catholic Dynasty. You can diligently search the scriptures and will never find the term “A”, “The” Pastor”! The word “pastor” (singular) is not contained in the text of the King James Bible. The word “pastors” is used once in the NT. Meaning many within a congregation, as opposed to a singular head. Therefore, Paul is writing a letter to a small group of Christians to the church at Ephesus. He doesn’t address it to “the Pastor”. But rather he talks about ministry gifts given by God to “every one of us”, and he uses “pastors” (plural) to express those of these ministry gifts.. (Ephesians chapter 4).
Where is “The” Pastor in this system? Who is this fictitious person? Answer; he is the Levitical priest. Inside the temple where there was an altar. There was one “priestly” tribe of Israel. The Levite's were the only ones allowed to be ministers. On the altar was the “delegated, authority that had the sole right to minister in the Temple, the Levitical priest. They had authority over the congregation of the people of Israel. Whether we realize it or not, the basis for “Sunday/Saturday church worship” and the basis for “pastoral authority” actually came from the old covenant. Specifically from the sacrificial laws. The ceremonial procedures that the people had to do before Christ and the New Testiment, in order to have their sin cleansed. Where is an alter call in the book of Acts? Answer; nowhere. The alter is now the mercy seat of God, through repentance and obedience, not a Church Alter Call.That was invented by men. Hence, a systematic theology, by joining the local Church, one accepts a format in which the priest/pastor/father will be the sole teacher to you and your family. This vain format must be done repetitively every Sunday/Saturday, (take your pick)--forever. Do you not know that Christ Jesus is the Sabbath, 24/7, and not just a particular day of the week. The truth is, the “Father ” of the Catholic Church is the “Pastor” of the Protestant Church. And keep in remembrance the word “church” is NEVER capitalized in the scriptures, it is a generic term for Israel, or the body of believers. Those who are Abraham’s seed by faith make up the true church of God, (the Israel of God, Galatians 6-16) under the authority of His Son Jesus Christ, not some Father/Pastor/ High-Priest etc.
Numbers 15:25 And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance: and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto
the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their ignorance:
Ezekiel 45:19 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court.
Hebrews 10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
Notice that in the old covenant, the blood was the sin offering, but when these actions are referred to in the New Testament we find in the book of Hebrews that the point is made about a better offering, one which can actually “take away the sins” of the repented --that is the blood of Jesus Christ.
The beginning of the priestly tribe
Ignatius of Antioch (35-107) a martyr, however, was the first figure of a single leader in the church. We can trace the origin of the modern "Pastor/Father and the concept of church hierarchy to him, (the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes). It was reported by Theodoret of Cyrrhus that the apostle Peter himself appointed Ignatius to his episcopal seat at Antioch. Ignatius called himself Theophorus (God Bearer). He stressed the value of the Eucharist, calling it a "medicine of immortality" (Ignatius to the Ephesians 20:2). He is also responsible for the first known use of the Greek word katholikos (Catholic), meaning "universal", It is from the word katholikos ("according to the whole") that the word catholic comes, wikipedia
Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid. — Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8, J.R. Willis translation.
The language of obedience to the bishop (flesh-mediator) and the presbyters (agents of the flesh-mediators) is notably pronounced in his letters. And we know that the apostle Peter would have never placed anyone in such an unbiblical position . "Your bishop presides in the place of God," he wrote to the Magnesians, "and your presbyters in the place of the apostles, along with your deacons." (Mag. 46:1). To the Ephesians he wrote: "It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself" (Eph. 6:1; cp. Sm. 9:1). Never did Paul exhort Christians to obey "the bishop", especially in a top down pyramid scheme of religion based upon man’s flesh. This is the same pyramid scheme used in Protestant churches today. Nothing has changed. However, the so-called "Pastor" is more of a disposable figurehead for the board of directors, administrators, and money changers behind the scenes for the purpose of growing the business/church. Same as the Pope, who also is but a mere figure head for the unseen controlling powers of the Vatican.
Concerning the Eucharist, Ignatius wrote in his letter to the Smyrnaeans:
Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God ... They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes. — Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:2–7:1
Catholic’s believe that Jesus lives inside the Eucharist? So, they build an elaborate “sanctuary” enshrining the Eucharist, putting it up on an altar, and only the priest can touch it, thus making himself the fleshly mediator between man and God. His presence is “up front” and only approachable by the priest, just like the old covenant Temple and it’s veil.
This has manifested to a lesser degree in Protestantism as the wine and cracker ceremony administered by the Pastor. These rituals make congregations blind to the New Testament church and the example that Jesus gave us. The real acid test is to see if it goes back to the flesh. If so, it is not of God. Therefore, not knowing that the real holy communion is: man does not live by bread alone, by every word from the mouth of God. True Christian fellowship with the Lord and Saviour in Spirit and in Truth is communion with God. Man needs no ceremonies to abide in communion with God. They are but copies of OT rituals that have long ago waxed away in favour of a newer and better covenant in Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour. From the time of Moses there are two covenants, two testaments in the scriptures. Christians seem to have so much difficulty differentiating between the two, therefore, always seeking to convert back to the lesser while abandoning the greater.
The reality is these masters of rhetoric are simply taking scripture out-of-context in the New Testament, coupling them with our long-accepted, long-standing traditions of men, (the old wine), along with emotional experience. However, it is based upon the OT Levitical priesthood, all the while perceiving everything properly set in order. Henceforth, ignoring the sober mindedness of the NT scriptures for the sake of a blinding power of emotional experience.
A tradition arose that Ignatius was one of the children whom Jesus took in his arms and blessed According to Ignatius; the bishop has ultimate power and should be obeyed absolutely. Consider the following excerpts from his letters:
Be not seduced by strange doctrines nor by antiquated fables, which are profitless. For if even unto this day we live after the manner of Judaism, we avow that we have not received grace ... If then those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer observing Sabbaths but fashioning their lives after the Lord's day, on which our life also arose through Him and through His death which some men deny ... how shall we be able to live apart from Him? ... It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practice Judaism. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity — Ignatius to the Magnesians 8:1, 9:1-2, 10:3, Lightfoot translation.
This is in contrast to this letter to the Smyrnans
Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid. — Letter to the Smyrnans 8, J.R. Willis translation.
“All of you follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father. No one is to do any church business without the bishop . . . Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be . . . You yourselves must never act independently of your bishop and clergy. You should look on your bishop as a type of the Father . . . Whatever he approves, that is pleasing to God"
This Nicolaitane formula eventually manifested into the highest earthy man of renown, the supposed Vicar of Christ, the Pope. This concept of hierarchy stood in the place of God, while the presbyters stood in the place of the twelve apostles. Hence, recreating another NT ordinance. It fell to
the concept of a head-honcho to preside over the Lord’s Supper, conduct baptisms, give counsel, discipline church members, approve marriages, preach sermons, and taking charge of public prayers. This is the exact formulistic concept found in today’s title of "Pastor". As much as I like the JKB, and realize that the words are defined therein, such as "church". The same with the word "office", which is defined not as a position of business, but as a servant to the congregations. I believe Tyndale translated it more clear. Notwithstanding the word is self-defined within the KJB, and “deacon” is not capitalized. Tyndale more clearly defines that they are servants that minister who have proved themselves of good works, obtain great liberty, (freedom from worldliness through Christ being established in the faith). This is probably where I feel the KJB translators were under certain word restrictions by the king, (church and office) of which Tyndale rendered more correctly. Although Tyndale did use the word “office” in verse one, but he defines it in verses 10-13 very clearly.
1 Timothy 3-10 let them first be proved, and then let them minister, if they be found faultless.11 Even so must their wives be honest, not evil speakers: but sober, and faithful in all things 12 the deacons be the husbands of one wife and such as rule their children well, and their own households. 13 For they that minister well,(office of a deacon) get themselves good degree, and great liberty in the faith, which is in Christ Jesus.
KJB_10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
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.
Today such terms as "office" in the church are totally maligned, suggesting the same procedures found within the Law of Moses and the priesthood. However, that system was abolished when the Temple was rent twain by God at Christ's death. Obviously the apostle Paul set things in order at Corinth, (chapter 11-34). But if read closely, he was doing so because; if any man hunger, (seek to lord over the congregation) let him eat at home! That the congregations might not come together unto ruination.
Ignatius believed that the church had to develop a rigid power structure patterned after the centralized political structure of Rome, and this rule would rescue the church from heresy and internal strife. This was what Paul warned against in 1 Cor. 11-3-34. And Jesus called such as these Nicolaitanes in the book of Revelation. He said He hated their doctrine, and their deeds, Revelation 2-6 & 2-15. It is a type of religious-organization whereas the "mighty men of renown" are distinguished from the congregations, therefore ranking above them, establishing Creeds which become the final authority. The Creeds of men held above the scriptures. The unbiblical Catechism of the RCC and the West Minister Confessions of Protestantism were established though these types of church Hierarchies. At the time of Ignatius, this concept of rule had not caught on in other regions. This clergy monarchial concept was still not yet wide spread in the early 2nd century. Clearly it was not, because Ignatius himself wrote of Christians who acted independently of the monarchial bishop (Mag. 4:1). In his letter to the Philippians, Polycarp did not even recognize a single bishop in contrast to the presbyters (Phil. salutations. 5:3; 6:1).
Tertullian of Carthage was the first writer to use the word “clergy” to refer to a separate class of Christians. Both Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria in the 2nd century helped establish the word “clergy” and used it in their writings, then Origin proceeded Clement, by the end of the 2nd century the creation of a new caste of Christians was already being developed, and within just a few years after the death of the apostles the church saw the initial emergence of an ecclesiological system which was to eventually have devastating consequences by the time of 4th century and the Constantine/Ambrose/Augustine era as the creation of a new caste of Christians was on the rise within the RCC to levels never seen before. Therefore, the elevation of monarchial bishops (Pastors) within local churches should not come as a surprise in light of human events. As the Israelites in the book of Judges argued in favour of a human king, so do many professing Christians.
Although, in defense of Tertullian: he distinguished "the clergy" from "the laity," and was unlike some of his contemporaries in that he did not regard "the clergy" as superior to "the laity." In his work On Monogamy he argued that what should be expected of "the laity" should also be expected of "the clergy," (Monogamy. 12). He also believed that "laymen" were fully qualified to perform clerical functions if the circumstances required it. The chief priest (who is the bishop) has the right: in the next place, the presbyters and deacons....Beside these, even laymen have the right; for what is equally received can be equally given. Unless bishops, or priests, or deacons, be on the spot, other disciples are called, i.e. to the work (administering of baptism,17).
The true shepherds/pastors within the flock were warning of such imposters, liken to Paul who warned for 3 years that grievous wolves would come in and slay the flocks. Thus, the biblical concept of soft clay and godly shepherds was hardening into a fixed office that would be lording over the flocks, as seen during the time of the Cyprian of Carthage (200-258 AD). And after the Council of Nicaea (325 AD), bishops began to delegate the responsibility of the Lord’s Supper to agents of the Institute known as the presbyters. Presbyters were little more than deputies of the bishop, exercising his authority in his churches. By the end of the 4th century the clergy caste was now cemented together with slime for mortar, becoming a caste system no different than those of the far east, such as Hinduism, etc.....At the head of the church stood the bishop. Under him was the collegial of presbyters, under them stood the deacons, and below all of them crawled the poor, miserable “laymen.” who were disallowed the scriptures. Once again, placed under a priest to acquire knowledge, just as it was in the OT law of Moses. One-Bishop-Rule became the accepted form of church government throughout the Roman Empire. During this time, certain churches began to exercise authority over other churches therefore broadening their phylacteries, and enlarging the borders of their religious garments, laying heavy burdens too grievous to be sustained on the backs of the suffering congregations ; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers, while they receive greetings in the market places of notoriety , and to be called of men, Rabbi/ Father/Pastor etc.,
Cyprian of Carthage argued that "every one honored by the divine priesthood, and ordained in the clerical service, ought to serve only the altar and sacrifices, and to have leisure for prayers and supplications." (Epistle 65.1).
Cyprian, also a martyr, his works were edited in volumes 3 and 4 of the Patrologia Latina. He was a former pagan orator and a master of rhetoric. When Cyprian, like Augustine, became a Christian, he began to write prolifically, and was a master of rhetoric. Today, rhetorical masters, of neuro-linguistics, speaking great swelling words of emptiness, beguiling unstable souls, mesmerizing the congregations into a deep sleep, and having dispensed spells of darkness upon them. These are the wondering clouds without water, (Spirit), that are blown about by every wind of false doctrine that Jude spoke of in verse 12. Like the Locusts out of the bottomless pit, they are carried by the wind. The apostate church is the fallen star that has the key to open Pandora's Box of false prophets, Revelation 9. In other words, according to the apostle Paul, 2 Tim 2-3, the congregations themselves demand such false prophets of heresy. When Cyprian became a Christian, he began to write prolific rhetoric, with some of his pagan ideas mingled therein. His skillful Latin rhetoric led to his being considered the pre-eminent Latin writer of Western Christianity until Jerome and Augustine arrived on the scene and has never again been upbraided. Thus, opening the door for the same old rituals of the OT which by traditions of men manifested into the Cabbalistic-Talmud at the time of Christ. Christianity is a copy of the old testament Judaism. This is not of the true Christian faith that was once delivered to the saints..
From A.D. 313-325, Christianity was no longer a struggling religion trying to survive the Roman government. It was basking in the sun of imperialism, loaded with money and status. To be a Christian under Constantine’s reign was no longer a handicap. It was an advantage. It was fashionable to become a part of the Emperor’s religion. And to be among the clergy was to receive the greatest of advantages.
Clergymen received the same honors as the highest officials of the Roman Empire and even the Emperor himself. The brute fact is that Constantine gave the bishops of Rome more power than he gave Roman governors! He also ordered that the clergy receive fixed annual allowances (ministerial pay)!
Under Constantine, Christianity was both recognized and honored by the State. This blurred the line between the church and the world. The Christian faith was no longer a minority religion. Instead, it was protected by Emperors. As a consequence, church membership grew rapidly. Truckloads of new converts were made who were barely converted. They brought into the church a wide variety of pagan ideas. In the words of Will Durant, “While Christianity converted the world; the world converted Christianity, and displayed the natural paganism of mankind.“ Frank Viola
This is not surprising, because Satan merely hopped the Mediterranean and set up shop in Rome. And by the end of the 4thd century Nicolaitane-Hierarchy ultimately prevailed and become the model of the World Church, (Christianity), Catholic-Universalism, the Holy Roman Empire, and then forwarded to all of her Daughter Protestant Churches centuries after. Residing today as the World Council of Churches, de-global Ecumenicalism. Satan, through pride, always autographs his work; because he can’t help but do so. By the end of the fourth century the clergy had become a sacerdotal cast; a spiritually elite group of holy men and the door was open to resurrect the Old Testament economy of priests, temples, altars, and sacrifices reconformed.
It is a universal tendency in the Christian religion, as in many other religions, to give a theological interpretation to institutions which have developed gradually through a period of time for the sake of practical usefulness, and then read that interpretation back into the earliest periods and infancy of these institutions, attaching them to an age when in fact nobody imagined that they had such a meaning.-Richard Hanson
Therefore, congregations once being active are now rendered deaf and mute, held under the thumb of licensed fleshly mediators. This Mystic Babylonian "Peter principle" is seen throughout the western secular world today. It is in All of her Institutions, in that the least qualified and least knowledgeable persons are exalted to the highest levels. It is a bullet proof formula of control and the prevailing principle of mankind. It’s seen in politics, education, medical, monetary, all forms of science, religion. All gathered into the collective conscience of man forming de-global Humanism, the rule of the day, (Leviathan the beast of pride.) of whose foundational apparatus and MO is that of respecter of persons.
There is no biblical reference within the entire NT that supports the existence of the modern day Pastor. It was invented by men. The supposed office of "Pastor" did not exist in the first century church. Yes, there are many individuals who fill the role pastors, but it is nothing in likeness to the "Pastor" titles held up in the halls of Protestantism, as well as many non-denominational churches.. The apostolic church and the pre-Nicene early 2nd church basically had no official leadership. No mighty men of renown! In other words no big-shots among the congregations, because Jesus is the only man worthy of RENOWN. Yes He is the only real Big Shot in the group.
With the fall of the church during the era of Constantine/Ambrose/Augustine the mystery of iniquity had been revealed. With that fall came an implicit desire in man to have a physical leader to bring him to God. (having itching ears, heaping upon themselves men of renown). For this reason, human societies throughout history have consistently created a special caste of religious icons, and Christianity (the whore of Babylon is no different), it’s all one giant system of error, thus we are called out of these Religious Nicolaitane Institutes of men, lest we be partakers of her plagues. The medicine man, interpreters, Zeus Pathors (Jupiter) , the miracle worker, the witch-doctor, the soothsayer, the wise-men Jannes and Jamborees , and the priest have all been with us since the Tower of Babel, and her Confucius says, (Simon says) men of systematics are but interpreters of darkness.
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed
you with knowledge and understanding.
Shepherds/pastors are plural in Jeremiah 3:15, just as elders were always plural. This verse is not speaking about what Christianity calls a "Pastor" today. What is feeding? It is nurturing the needs of the congregations as ministers of love and truth for edification of the body. Therefore, Ephesians 4:11 doesn’t establish a pastoral office, but rather servants to the congregations. shepherds/pastors are those who naturally provide, nurture, and care for God’s sheep while sleeping with one eye open looking out for wolves in sheep's clothing that seek to slaughter the flock.
2 Peter 5 says "as your fellow elder .. I urge the elders among you: Give a shepherd’s care to God’s flock among you, exercising oversight.."
Do the scriptures teach a one man ministry???. No, because the head of the Church is Christ. Therefore, why is a single Pastor the leader of a church? Where does the bible tell us that this is the way it should be? There is only one verse in the NT where by the word “pastor” is used. Not capitalized, and is a marginal piece of evidence on which to hang the entire Protestant belief. The NT scriptures say “pastors.” in the plural. For whosoever these are, they are plural in the church, not a singular Interpreter. There is no biblical evidence for the idea of a "single" pastor to head up a congregation. In reality they have become Baal Pathors/Pastors of interpretation in modern-day Protestantism.
How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification." - 1 Cor. 14:26
Being a pastor and preaching or leading a congregation are not the same. The pulpit is a pagan device imported into Christianity centuries ago for the purpose of manipulation. Many will call themselves Pastor while not knowing the biblical definition of the said position. But biblical leadership is through a plurality of elders, not a sole Pastor figure-head. No one is addressed as a Pastor in scripture, elders are addressed and are told to feed and watch over God's flock...Look at scripture for the definition of what a shepherd does, not at our modern persons who are called Pastor. Shepherd/pastor isn't a title or office in scripture. It combined with teaching is a work done by elders… “pastor” is the same Greek word as shepherd so the verses in 2 Peter 5 & Acts 20 tell who do the shepherding work. There is nothing in scripture where a single Pastor leads a congregation as we so often find today. There is no evidence of such. And the invented term “Reverend" is unbiblical also. Yet another title invented by men. I'm not saying that shepherds don't exist or are to be done away with. I simply say let us rightly divide the word of truth in defining their function within the body of Christ. In doing so we find that the words, elder, pastor, shepherd, bishop, presbyter, are interchangeable. They are the leaders of the flock and ministers of the gospel in love. Not men of renown and prowess! The preacher is more accurately, the "evangelist." In the early days the evangelists travelled, preaching and establishing congregations, whereas the elders (pastors/Sheppard's) were appointed to be the spiritual leaders and administrators of the local congregation. . By no means were they men of renown and notoriety. The apostolic churches were autonomous, meaning elders (pastors/shepherds) did not exert authority over other congregations. In fact there were no "head" elders even in any single congregation. In closing; I am not suggesting forsaking the assembly of the saints, but rather asserting that we should return to such goodness and gather under the ONE true Head of the Church Jesus Christ….