The Lord is continually speaking, “seek me and follow me.” His eyes are going throughout the world to find those who will listen to Him. To lean on Him and not to get trapped by the words of men. Who test the teachings of men to see if they are truly speaking from the Lord.
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9
Do not listen to the false leaders who reside in church buildings. Not all who are in the position of Pastor have been placed there by God. Not all who have gone to Bible College, have obtained degrees, or received ordination by men have been given authority by God to open their mouths to declare His Word. I would dare to say, at this time, most in many churches have not.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to His disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. Matthew 23:1-3
In fact, did you know that the order of leadership in the Church has been set on its head for centuries? Historically, After the 2nd century, the word “pastor” was rarely used. It wasn’t until the 17th century and the reformation that it reappeared in usage in the church. It then gained greater popularity as the title of the top leader in the church in the 1800s.
But let’s take a closer look at Ephesians to see what order God placed the Pastor and Teacher.
And He Himself gave some to be Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-12
And God put all things under Jesus’ feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, Ephesians 1:22
I hope that you will see that the hierarchy of the Church is Jesus as the head then the Apostles on down. But the religious have flipped it upside down. For the most part these days, the Pastor, Teacher, Deacons, and Elders are the only ones we hear about. Who is it that rules the church congregations in this age? The Pastor leads the church, and the Teacher seems to be elevated even higher.
The word “pastor” is actually from the Latin noun of the same spelling “pastor”, which means “shepherd.” The term “pastor” also relates to the role of the elder within the New Testament and the elder is also known as an “overseer.” So actually, the Pastor is an Elder of the church, not the one who is in charge. But he is to shepherd the people and take care of their needs. Most importantly, He is to be a servant.
Therefore, take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:28
And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. Acts 6:2-3
Are you starting to see the problem here? The Pastor is a different word for an Elder and he is to a servant. He is below those who have been given leadership above them such as Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists. He is not in charge of ruling over the congregations. God has placed others in authority above them and with Jesus Christ as the Head. They have been given spiritual authority by God.
So how has this change happened? Where are the Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists? They are still serving the body of Christ, but they have been oppressed and attacked, driven out by those who should not have charge of things.
Yes, God’s order has not changed, even if you refuse to believe it. The majority have done that very thing. They are still doing the job God has given them. For God never changes and He will never change the order of the leadership of His Chruch until the end. No matter what men have declared or claimed. No matter who they have driven from the church or how they have changed the times, traditions, or ways of the churches that they have made into businesses in these last days.
For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also, from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore, watch and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn every one night and day with tears. Acts 20:29-31
Do you have a hard time believing this to be true? What has happened is exactly what was prophesied by God’s Prophets. Read the book of Jude and test the spirits that are within those speaking from behind their podiums and high platforms. See if the fruit that they produce is good or bad. See if they are the same in the limelight as they are in private. Their fruits will make it clear. One of the greatest tests besides fruit do they think they are there, to rule or to serve.
Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits, you shall know them. Matthew 7:17-20
Will you heed God’s warnings? Will you listen to the messenger? Test yourself to see if you are under the influence of the pastors of your church rather than God. If you found that your pastor or other leaders are not fulfilling their duty, ruling over the people, and have become unreasonable to listen to correction. Would you leave immediately, or would you hesitate in fear that they will judge you or that people might talk about you behind your back?
If not, then you are depending on and listening to the opinions of men rather than God. Yes, it is hard, but it is better to obey God and be abused by men than to be rebellious to God and suffer the consequences. Sometimes to follow God you must leave the nets and trappings that you have become accustomed to. The Disciples did and they are honored in God’s sight because of their obedience.
Now to you Leaders who have placed yourself in leadership over the sheep and led them astray. Turn away from your sins and your rebellious pride. Repent and do the work of a shepherd and serve. That is your role. Obey the Lord in the position He has for you and if you are not called to be a servant you better get out. Do this and do no evil to the sheep lest you suffer the hot wrath of the Father. He is warning everyone to listen to Him no matter who they are.
“And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the LORD of hosts.
My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.” Malachi 2:1-9
Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: “Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey.
And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and He shall feed them: He shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the LORD; I have spoken.” Ezekiel 30:20-24