There are sheep herders and there are shepherds. It all depends on what kingdom they are building, their own kingdoms or the kingdom of God. There are prophets and there are profits. Men have used their God given gifts and positions of authority in the ekklesia of God down through time for their own divisive purposes. A classic examples of this are Balaam and King Saul. Consider this indictment against carnal "holy" men from one true prophet.
An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes? (Jeremiah 5:30,31, RSV)
Yes, what have men done in these last days? Has the situation improved since the days of Jeremiah or has it gotten worse? Have prophets prophesied falsely and shepherds used their own soul power to rule over the saints, following their own carnal direction instead of the direction of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament church and even up until present? What do you make of this new rise and emphasis on submitting to ruling apostles? We believe even a cursory investigation of the scriptures and modern history will show this is not a new trend at all. Jude wrote:
Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots. (Jude 1:11,12, NKJV)
Verse twelve in the Greek should read: "These are spots in your love feasts, these shepherds who feed themselves." It seems that even in the time of the New Testament writer, Jude, there were prophets for profit and shepherds who ruled the ekklesia of God, the church, for their own gain and by their own direction. As we study church history we find that for the most part, the state of the church went down hill from the time Jude wrote his letter.
The evil behind all this first appeared corporately in ancient Babel. "Go to now, let us build ourselves a city and make a name for ourselves and raise up a tower to the heavens...." How they love the high places and the chief seats in their synagogues. Seeking high places and recognition is not the kingdom of the Father. Jesus drove this point home to His disciples on an number of occasions.
And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over <2961--archo--rule over> them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. (Luke 22:24-26, KJV).
Not that we have dominion [<2961> archo] over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand. (2 Corinthians 1:24, NKJV).
Paul counted himself as a "fellow worker," not one who ruled over the flock of Christ.
These three verses which follow are the favorites of those who would rule over the ekklesia of God:
Hebrews 13:7* Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Hebrews 13:17* Obey them that have the RULE OVER you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Hebrews 13:24 Salute all them that have the RULE OVER you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.
The word over in these verses is not in the original (by the way, the word office is not found in the original Greek New Testament either). The word translated ruleover in the above verses is :
1) to lead,
1a) to go before
Hebrews chapters eleven and twelve are filled with accounts of those who have gone before us as examples of how we should walk by faith, including Jesus. This is spiritual leadership--laying it all on the line like they did, not sitting in some earthly temple in your air conditioned office being served by your staff and being paid by those whom you are the supposed ruler over.
Clarke's Commentary states:
Verse 7. Remember them which have the rule over you. This clause should be translated, Remember your guides who have spoken unto you the doctrine of God. Theodoret's note on this verse is very judicious: "He intends the saints who were dead, Stephen the first martyr, James the brother of John, and James called the Just. And there were many others who were taken off by the Jewish rage. 'Consider these, (said he,) and, observing their example, imitate their faith.'" This remembrance of the dead saints, with admiration of their virtues, and a desire to imitate them, is, says Dr. Macknight, the only worship which is due to them from the living.
Considering the end of their conversation. "The issue of whose course of life most carefully consider." They lived to get good and do good; they were faithful to their God and his cause; they suffered persecution; and for the testimony of Jesus died a violent death. God never left them; no, he never forsook them; so that they were happy in their afflictions, and glorious in their death. Carefully consider this; act as they did; keep the faith, and God will keep you.
As you can see these passages in Hebrews have nothing to do with obeying mere men who desire to control and rule over you like so many Gentile kings from their false offices.
When I read the words of Jesus and then later read something in the epistles that contradict those teachings, I get a red flag that pops up and says, "VIOLATION!" Remember, the KJV was authorized by one of the "kings of the Gentiles" who had a kingdom to maintain and rule over. He had a ruling bishop under him in the Anglican church of which the king was head, named Richard Bancroft, who dictated to the translators just how "the Authorized Version," would be translated. They had fifteen rules that they had to follow, and most had nothing to do with the true work of translating the Bible. One of those rules was that they were not to follow the Tyndale version, but they were to translate the word ekklesia to read church instead of assembly. Thus to this day when people read that word ekklesia in the New Testament, they think of an ecclesiastical organization or a building with a steeple instead of the body of Christ.
Here is something that few know about which happened to the final approved text of the "Authorized Version" before it went to the printers:
"Having completed their recommendations for revision, the text was passed on to Miles Smith and Thomas Bilson, who were charged with the adding of the finishing touches. It is not clear whether their role was to review the overall text of the translation, or simply to comment on the specific changes proposed by the editorial committee that had met at Stationers' Hall. Then, in an apparently unscripted development, Richard Bancroft reviewed what had been hitherto regarded as the final version of the text. It would be one of his final acts; Bancroft died on November 2, 1610, and never lived to see the translation over which he had held so much sway [by order of the king]. Smith complained loudly to anyone who would listen that Bancroft had introduced fourteen changes in the final text without any consultation. Yet we remain unclear to what those alleged changes might have been."This is a quotation from In the Beginning: the story of the King James Bible and How it Changed a Nation, a Language and a Culture, by Alister McGrath. He is a professor of Historical Theology at Oxford.
Many of the later translations have held to this top down authority version of the scriptures that is not supported in the original language and was strictly forbidden by Jesus. Even Strong's and Thayer's Lexicons seem to be defining some of these words from the KJV translation. For instance, the word translated deacon, as if it were an office in the church government, simply means servant. It WAS translated correctly in the following verse speaking of Jesus:
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45, NKJV).
Jesus is our true example of leadership. Why is it then, that Jesus is delegated the position of servant by today's translators (which He truly is) yet mere men get to rule from their offices? Food for thought.
When you see a contradiction in the scriptures it is a good indication that something has been tampered with in the translation. We find that the expository dictionary of W. E. Vine is one of the better reference works you can use to untie these Gregorian knots tied by kingdom building and controlling men.
One last thing. Bancroft was made the archbishop of Canterbury for his efforts in channeling the translation efforts of the king's new Bible, but died shortly thereafter. I guess he did not read the end of the work very closely.
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18,19, NKJV).
I pray that you all will listen to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, for Jesus has sent Him into our lives to lead us into all truth. Learn to hear that still small voice speaking to you as you read the scriptures, for he will often say, "Look deeper. There is more here than there appears."
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16,17, NKJV).
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (John 16:13, NKJV).
For more information on other passages that have been tampered with, thus giving the power that belongs to Christ to men, read "The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy" on either of our web sites. We are praying that some scholars of integrity without an agenda who know the original languages of the scriptures will come forth and do a work that is worthy of Author who wrote it.to top