|Apostle, Prophet, Teacher, Pastor, Evangelist
Apostle - Strong’s # 652- one sent, ambassador, messenger. First twelve disciples were called apostles. The word means also the called out ones. The first twelve had a personal witness being with Jesus. Others, later on, were also called apostles or sent ones. It is God who sends those forth not clergy men. It doesn’t refer strictly to the original twelve apostles of the Lord.
Prophet - Strong’s # 4396- a foreteller, exhorter. Gave reprove. Spoke from impulse of sudden inspiration. Inspired by God to speak a word.
Ex. 1 Corinthians 14:29-32 verse 29 “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets;” NASBU. Exhortation to awaken the feeling and consciousness of the hearers. Should not be confused with prophecy or gift of prophecy which can pertain to all believers. A soothsayer is a false prophet.
Teacher - Strong’s # 1320- didaskalos- instructor, master, teacher. Correlates with 3101- mathetes as learner, pupil, disciple. See Matthew 10:24-25, 12:38, 19:16, Mark 4:38, 9:17, 38, 10:17, 20, 11:45.
Pastor - Strong’s #4166- poimen- shepherd, one who watches over the flock of sheep, Ephesians 4:11 as a leader (by example) elder, overseer. It is not a title. The term means to pasture a flock as the shepherd is to his sheep. Hence pasture became pastor. The shepherd was not a sheep. The sheep know how to survive, procreate the flock and to go to green pastures. The shepherd was there to rescue lost sheep and fend off predators.
Likewise, Jesus is our shepherd to guide and protect the believers. He is our overseer not the modern pastor as a title over the flock.
Evangelist - Strong’s # 2099- one who declares the good news. More of a missionary. Philip was called to evangelize. In 2 Timothy 4:5 Paul charges Timothy to do the work of an evangelist.
The apostle, prophet, teacher, pastor and the evangelist were preaching (Proclaiming) and declaring the kingdom of God wherever they found opportunity. It wasn’t that they rented the Synagogue or a building to get people to come hear them bloviate such as is the order of church we have today.
They were in any city, country, in the market place, just wherever the Spirit of God directed them to beat any appointed time.
Today’s Use of the Above Titles Are Not Valid in the Church
Today Christians seem to believe that all they have to do to be a Christian is to attend church once in a while and perhaps give a few dollars to the offering plate. They know about God but it is my experience and others that many do not know God personally.
The church experience is not conducive to the member’s growth spiritually today. The leaders of the “churches” with titles of the above paragraph orchestrate and have an order of worship that directs what is to be going on up front on stage and behind the podium.
The order of worship program originated from Roman customs to have orators come to the podium and whistle Dixie or better said, bloviate on a topic for a certain amount of time.
Today’s Positions of “Church” Authority are Abusive
Originally the called out ones, prophets, teachers, shepherds and the ones who spread the message of Christ were not positions of authority but functions of believers who were actively spreading the gospel.
They didn’t have Bible studies because there were no Bibles in those days. All the writings were Old Testament books of the Jewish people. The priesthood consisted of all believers functioning by the leading of the Spirit of God.
The Jewish believers who became followers of Jesus went to the Synagogue until they got run off. As a matter of fact, Jesus got run off from the Synagogue also. After that they met where they could. They met in isolated places like the cemetery, hill sides and private homes.
Today in the church house or religious building, men who appoint themselves leaders round up people in a semi religious form or program that looks just like modern entertainment where a play or stage production is being observed. The meetings also have a program just like worldly forms of entertainment.
When the stage production comes to an end with a crescendo, an altar call is given to join the country club. Oops! I meant to say church. I guess I got caught up in remembrance of a local church who bought a country club on the lake. The church took over another church and now its pastors are over two churches and a country club.
So how does all of this mess keep going on? There are many seekers who are trying to find their way to God. But when you hear their stories about their church experience it is disgraceful.
There are many worldly people that see all the shenanigans going on and they will never come to the Lord because of the above facts. The word religious hypocrite is used often by unbelievers toward religious people.
When I run into these unbelievers I tell them they are right in their assessment of what they see. Then I tell them in spite of all this I am a Christian. The only difference is I don’t go to the church house.
This opens up the door to let them know what true Christians are. Many that I meet are hard to reach and it has to be the Spirit of God that draws them. All I can do is plant the seed. So do I pester them into anything? No I just give them my card with my name address and phone number on it. The unchurched are the ones Jesus wants to become His disciples. The church members are only pew sitters and church hoppers.
The abuse comes from the church leaders who have their own agenda and they don’t have time to deal with those they call high maintenance members. They are also elitists who think they are elevated to rule over and control the members. They don’t deal with problem people. They just try to run them off.
Today the leaders spend much time dreaming up new things to draw people into the building. Just know that the leaders are in charge so don’t ask why they do things the way they do. If you are from another denomination don’t try to ask them to do what you did elsewhere.
We know the leaders are all anointed of God. How do I know that? Just ask them, they will let you know they are in charge. Leaders also many times bring in a big name so called Christian evangelist, prophet, Christian entertainers and maybe even a so called apostle. The event will be advertised as the great event in the city of some of God’s generals of the faith.
The Lies of the English Bible Translators.
The translators were originally very learned members of the clergy. Many words were translated into words that should not have been put in the Bible. I will give just a small lesson on what happened in the past and is still going on now.
The word church is an old English language word which is literally building. Reference the Oxford Shorter Dictionary. The word should be congregation, assembly, or gathering. Many Bible translations got it right. The Tyndale Bible 1534, 1536, the Cranmer Bible 1539, the Coverdale Bible, the Matthew/Tyndale Bible 1537, the Martin Luther Bible 1912, Young’s literal Bible 1898, and the Amplified Bible all got it right. The Amplified Bible uses the lit. Greek “called out ones”.
Since then Bible translators used ecclesiastical words to place in the Bible texts to support the clergy. I am in the process of writing an article on what other ecclesiastical words that should not be in the Bible. Stay tuned.
What title did Jesus have? Until age 30 he had no title. He got a title when he became 30 years of age. Why thirty one may ask. The religious training of the day was what we today know as the trades or crafts.
Let me quote from Book 2 Irenaeus: Against Heresies Chapter 22
4. Being thirty years old when He came to be baptized, and then possessing the full age of a Master, He came to Jerusalem, so that He might be properly acknowledged by all as a Master. For He did not seem one thing while He was another, as those affirm who describe Him as being man only in appearance; but what He was, that He also appeared to be. Being a Master, therefore, He also possessed the age of a Master, not despising or evading any condition of humanity, nor setting aside in Himself that law which He had appointed for the human race, but sanctifying every age, by that period corresponding to it which belonged to Himself. For He came to save all through means of Himself-all, I say, who through Him are born again to God -infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men. He therefore passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, thus sanctifying infants; a child for children, thus sanctifying those who are of this age, being at the same time made to them an example of piety, righteousness, and submission; a youth for youths, becoming an example to youths, and thus sanctifying them for the Lord. So likewise He was an old man for old men, that He might be a perfect Master for all, not merely as respects the setting forth of the truth, but also as regards age, sanctifying at the same time the aged also, and becoming an example to them likewise. Then, at last, He came on to death itself, that He might be "the first-born from the dead, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence," the Prince of life, existing before all, and going before all.
5. They, however, that they may establish their false opinion regarding that which is written, "to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord," maintain that He preached for one year only, and then suffered in the twelfth month. [In speaking thus], they are forgetful to their own disadvantage, destroying His whole work, and robbing Him of that age which is both more necessary and more honourable than any other; that more advanced age, I mean, during which also as a teacher He excelled all others. For how could He have had disciples, if He did not teach? And how could He have taught, unless He had reached the age of a Master? For when He came to be baptized, He had not yet completed His thirtieth year, but was beginning to be about thirty years of age (for thus Luke, who has mentioned His years, has expressed it: "Now Jesus was, as it were, beginning to be thirty years old," when He came to receive baptism); and, [according to these men,] He preached only one year reckoning from His baptism. On completing His thirtieth year He suffered, being in fact still a young man, and who had by no means attained to advanced age. Now, that the first stage of early life embraces thirty years, and that this extends onwards to the fortieth year, every one will admit; but from the fortieth and fiftieth year a man begins to decline towards old age, which our Lord possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher, even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, [affirming] that John conveyed to them that information. And he remained among them up to the times of Trajan. Some of them, moreover, saw not only John, but the other apostles also, and heard the very same account from them, and bear testimony as to the [validity of] the statement. Whom then should we rather believe? Whether such men as these, or Ptolemaeus, who never saw the apostles, and who never even in his dreams attained to the slightest trace of an apostle?
6. But, besides this, those very Jews who then disputed with the Lord Jesus Christ have most clearly indicated the same thing. For when the Lord said to them, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad," they answered Him, "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?" Now, such language is fittingly applied to one who has already passed the age of forty, without having as yet reached his fiftieth year, yet is not far from this latter period. But to one who is only thirty years old it would unquestionably be said, "Thou art not yet forty years old." For those who wished to convict Him of falsehood would certainly not extend the number of His years far beyond the age which they saw He had attained; but they mentioned a period near His real age, whether they had truly ascertained this out of the entry in the public register, or simply made a conjecture from what they observed that He was above forty years old, and that He certainly was not one of only thirty years of age. For it is altogether unreasonable to suppose that they were mistaken by twenty years, when they wished to prove Him younger than the times of Abraham. For what they saw, that they also expressed; and He whom they beheld was not a mere phantasm, but an actual being of flesh and blood. He did not then wont much of being fifty years old; and, in accordance with that fact, they said to Him, "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham? "He did not therefore preach only for one year, nor did He suffer in the twelfth month of the year. For the period included between the thirtieth and the fiftieth year can never be regarded as one year, unless indeed, among their Aeons, there be so long years assigned to those who sit in their ranks with Bythus in the Pleroma; of which beings Homer the poet, too, has spoken, doubtless being inspired by the Mother of their [system of] error:-
Did You Know That
Bet you didn’t know that! Over the years I asked many religious leaders, why, did Jesus begin to preach at thirty years of age. None of the religious leaders I asked could tell me. I searched for years to find an answer. One day I happened to be reading the article Against Heresies I came upon the answer in the article above.
Notice that Jesus was never called Rabbi, Teacher or Master until the time of His becoming of the age of thirty. At that point he gained the respect of the Jews because he was now a Master, Rabbi, Teacher.
Irenaeus was one of the early church fathers. Note: I found the article on my PC Study Bible 5 software. You may find the software in Bible bookstores locally or on-line. You can learn a tremendous amount having the software. It also has many different Bible translations and other resources.
No one calling themselves a teacher of the Bible and Christianity can claim to be a teacher without this historical reference material. Surely I can say one can’t even be a Master Teacher of the Bible. Check it out! Then you will understand.