The Organization of the Lord Part 13

What is interesting about the only dispute on record among the apostles in the days of inspiration is the whole church coming to Jerusalem. We know this to be because of prophecy: “For the law shall go forth from Zion; and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-2 Nothing could be taught and it be apart of the “doctrine of Christ” and not first be preached in Jerusalem!! This is why denominational doctrines are never practiced in the Churches of Christ like the observance of Christmas, Easter, baptizing babies, baptizing saved people as a “outward sign of an inward grace”, having women preachers, song leaders, or women passing the Lord’s Supper—we could go on and on. This ONE principle stops ALL the doctrines of Mormonism, Adventism, Catholicism, Methodism, Pentecostalism, and Presbyterianism—again; we could go on and on. Why did the apostles Peter, Paul, and Barnabas come to James?? Second century writers who were leaders of the Lord’s church all agree, those who have studied this subject must agree, and the Bible supports “by example, and necessary inference” that James was the HEAD of the church at Jerusalem and when you came to Jerusalem, you were under his authority!! Ignatius, Cyprian, Polycarp, Eusebius, Chrysostom, and all who wrote in the second and third centuries record this position in every large city where there were large numbers of the Churches of Christ in one metropolis. They wore the title of bishop!! In fact ALL of these brethren just mentioned, were known as “bishops” of the city in which they lived. The New Testament called them presidents-governors-judges. The Greek word is hegomai; this word was a synonym for the word poimano (shepherd, overseer, and patriarch). In the New Testament this word is often translated “governor.” The noun form hegemon means a “prince.” We are told that technically in Roman affairs the hegomon-procurator-govenor was entrusted with administrative and magisterial powers with sole power over life and death!! Pilate would be the best know that held this office. In classical Greek a hegemon showed one the way or “one who did a thing first.” In the Septuagint hegemon translates, alluph, “chief” or “leader.”
These brethren ruled, managed, governed by “standing before or over” as in an army in order to lead or govern. These brethren, of which Timothy and Titus were the same, are mentioned in Acts 15:22; 1 Thessalonians 5:12 and Hebrews 13:7, 17. In all these references their command was to “watch” Their positions were different than that of the “prophet” we have previously discussed in that the “prophets” were appointed by an apostle. James was not appointed by any college of apostles, he was appointed by THE APOSTLE!! Hebrews 3:1 James, Timothy, and Titus could not qualify as elders (as we understand the office)—THEY APPOINTED elders!! This no longer exist in the body of Christ, today, we have replaced it with the “Bible College professor” with
The evangelist, then, is a faithful man of God, invested with the authority which rightly and scripturally belongs to the evangelistic office, who can render a valuable service which no other can perform, in promoting the unity, the stability, and the efficiency of the Churches of Christ. He can go among the congregations, not clad in priestly robes or a clerical-cut coat, not with an air of superiority, parading his official rank and authority as “elder”, but as a brother in the Lord, with the meekness and gentleness of Christ. Whether an eldership exit or does not exist in the church, the gospel MUST “make increase of the body by the edifying of the body in love”. Ephesians 4:16

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