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- willWhat is your driving force in life? What makes you move out of your comfort zone?Esther 4:15–16The New American Commentary: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther4:15–16 Esther felt identified with her people. She now looked to them for spiritual support. “And fast for me” implies prayer and fasting. This suggests that Esther had a genuine faith in God. By her request for fasting (and certainly prayer is assumed), Esther showed that she needed the support of others and recognized the need for God’s intervention. Even she and her maids would fast as well. This meant she would share her faith with these maids. Esther believed God answers prayer. Such prayer
- Preachers ARE NOT Pastors. The New Testament does not refer to its evangelists or preacher as pastors. This is a DENOMINATIONAL misuse of the term. Nor is there a difference between an evangelist and a gospel preacher, a man who preachers for a local church as Timothy did in Ephesus. The ONE place where the Greek “POIMEN” is translated “pastors” (plural) in the English N.T. is Eph 4:11. “ And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;…” There is a very clear line of distinction between evangelists and pastors. An evangelist is a preacher and a pastor is an elder. This Greek word translated “pastor” is always in the plural in the New Testament. An elder can be a preacher, but not every preacher is qualified to be an elder. Again, elders in each assembly have to be more than one. We have no new covenant teaching or example that tells us otherwise. Each assembly in the first century, if they had qualified men, had elders, deacons and a minister. They didn’t have any other church government except for Jesus Christ as their head. Today, you have “priests, popes, archbishops, preacher called pastor, reverend, etc. etc.” Their names are legion. They are referred to as “father, priest, reverend, pastor, etc) They have left the New Covenant teachings of Christ. Three Greek words describe an elder: Presbuteros – translated “presbyter,” or “elder, bishop.” Episkopos – translated “bishop” or “overseer.” Poimen – translated “pastor” or “shepherd.” IN acts 20:17-28 all three Greek words are used to refer to the same group of men – elders. Eldership is a “work,” not an office. Notice, Paul “called the elders of the Ephesus assembly.” 17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders (presbuteros) of the church. 18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, (episkopos) to feed (poimen) the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Verse 17 Paul calls to them “elders in the church” at Ephesus. The same verse says that they met him at Miletus. Beginning at verse 18 the apostle addresses the elders and his address is recorded through verse 35. In verse 28 Paul is yet speaking to these elders and charges them: “take heed unto yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops.” Notice carefully, the apostle address the ELDERS and says that the Holy Spirit made them BISHOPS. Thus elders and bishops are the same thing. An elder (Presbuteros) is the same as a bishop (episkopos). Further, to the elder, the bishops, Paul continues to say that they are to “feed the church of the Lord” (Acts 20:28) What are they to do? They are to “FEED” the church. This word “feed” is the Greek word POIMAINO. It is the VERB form of the word POIMEN which is translated “pastor” or “shepherd.” The verb is also translated “pastor” or “shepherd,” and here it is translated “feed.” Therefore, shepherds shepherd flocks, and pastors pastor sheep. The noun and the verb can be translated in the same way. You might say, “feeders feed. But the point is that to “feed” is actually to “pastor,” or to “shepherd,” and this is what the apostle tells the elders or the bishops to do. The elders (PRESBUTEROS) or bishops (EIPSKOPOS) are to feed (POIMAINO) the church. All three Greek words are not to be distinguished from each other. (Man has changed that today in the denominational world) Episkopos is a compound Greek word with “epi” means “over” and “skopos” – to see, this is where we get our English word “scope” like for a rifle. Also, in 1 Peter 5:1,2 we see all three Greek words used again. 1 Peter 5:1-2 KJV 1 Peter 5:1 The elders (presbuteros) which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder(sumpresbuteros, = “fellow elder”) , and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed (poimaino) the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight (episkopeo) thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; In Titus 1:5-7 you see two of the Greek words used with eldership duties. 5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders (presbuteros) in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop (episkopos) must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; Paul left Titus in Crete and told him to setup “elders” in the assembly. Then he told Titus how to pick them from among the assembly. They must be blameless, only have one wife, faithful children etc. The reason that these elders are to be blameless etc. is because a bishop (elder) must be blameless doing a work for God, not self-willed, no hot temper, not a heavy drinker of wine etc. The point I want you to see is what is an elder, what he is called and his work, that is, his duties. Today, the religious world makes “offices” and changes the names of this duty the first century congregation or assembly had. (Notice, I use the word “congregation of assembly” instead of “church” as the Protestant and Catholic organizations give you the wrong idea of the use of this Greek word translated “church or assembly” in the New Testament.) May you be blessed as you study His Word, Your servant in Christ, Charles Jemeyson firstname.lastname@example.org San Antonio, Texas
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