zd. The way it’s supposed to be

What does “you are all brothers” mean? (That was the original name of my website, http://www.youareallbrothers.com)

These are the words of the Lord Jesus taken from the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 23:8 :

But don’t be called Rabbi: (i.e. a religious leadership title such as pastor, reverend etc.,) for one is your Leader, even Christ; and you are all brothers.

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (..Referring to a spiritual father and not one’s natural father.)

Neither be called leaders: for one is your leader, even Christ.

..Then what do we call “leaders”? Simply brother, for ..you are all brothers.

Rabbi Jones

Think of this contrast: If a Christian leader started calling himself “Rabbi Jones”, its highly probable that someone would show him this command of the LORD which forbids calling anyone Rabbi. What could Rabbi Jones say to defend his sin? For Jesus says don’t do it, yet he continues to defy the Lord anyway. He is calling himself Rabbi and allowing others to call him that, and Jesus says don’t do it.

Yet, if he calls himself “Pastor Jones” most would not correct him for that. Tradition has traditionally trampled the Word of God underfoot, therefore being called “Pastor Jones” or “Reverend Jones” , for example, is not seen by most today as being a sin. Yet the use of “pastor” or “reverend” etc. means exactly the same as “Rabbi” or “Leader”, i.e. the spiritual authority or leader of a church/synagogue.

Jesus forbids this and He commands us to teach all His commands to those who are disciples of Christ, (Matt. 28:19-20). If they continue to reject Jesus’ commands after being shown them, one would have to question whether they really are Jesus’ disciples, (Matt. 7:24-27).


The way it’s supposed to be

Jesus teaches us here, that there must be no head of a church other than He Himself, and no single leader except Him alone, for Jesus says: ..you have ONE Leader, who is Christ, and you are all brothers.. .

Jesus will express His leadership through the plurality of the elders, therefore they can only function if they are in agreement and unity in love. When we together seek the glory and honor of Jesus alone, and die to our own glory, then we are in unity. He has given us His glory, His Spirit which only glorifies Jesus. When the elders, and all of us, no longer seek our own glory : our own honor, name, reputation and gain, and we have one purpose, which is the glory of Jesus Christ, then, and only then, can we be in His unity and function together the way we’re supposed to. There is unity only at the Cross.

John 7:18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

In the beginning there was One Leader, Christ Himself, and there was a true functional brotherhood, who were one in love. It should be so today. For this to happen “Church” needs to be redefined to discover the original meaning.

The sisters are included in the term brothers, for the sisters are also equal sons of God by virtue of being IN The Son of God, however Jesus and the Apostles never ordained a female as a Leader, (i.e. Elder/Bishop/Shepherd/Overseer ), because women may not have authority over men according to God’s created order i.e. His order in creation. Yes, they have the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and they should be mightily used by the Holy Spirit, however their ministry must never usurp the authority of the brothers, (1 Cor. 11:7-10, 1 Tim.2:12), for if they usurp God’s divine order then they are defying God’s order, and will be judged accordingly by Him for it.

One Head

In the NT there is not one single reference to a head-position in any Church. Not one single precedent is there, yet Christianity has built altars to the imaginations of men: Practices and teachings that have originated in the imagination of men, then become tradition, and then are set in concrete as “official doctrine”, (as with Rome).

There is a great Kingdom difference between a team of co-equal elders who oversee and serve, than compared with a single leader and head of an assembly, a “pastor” who has people under him.

The Kingdom difference is that the plural eldership, with all the members of the Body, ** IF ** walking in the Spirit and in love, truly reflect the nature of the Oneness and plurality of the Godhead. They are a unified living epistle; a “living advertisement” to the very nature of the submission in love within the Godhead.

They are not held together by a form, but only by love. They actually become a living expression of the Gospel, of Jesus Himself. They are actually the visible body of Christ, to the world, and not the invisible or theoretical one. This is the kind of UNITY and LOVE which causes unbelievers to repent when they witness it and taste it, (according to John 17).

The plural eldership must together, with the members of the Body, find the will and mind of the Head of the Church, who is Christ. Only then is the Head honored and glorified in the way that is due to Him. He must be given His due, otherwise it is robbery, or at worst, a mockery. He must receive the reward of His Calvary sufferings.

And only then are the Churches a true, faithful, authentic and accurate, witness of Jesus Christ to the world. (John 17:21-22). ..And no longer bringing shame and dishonor to His name. Compare the fruit of man’s ways, with the fruit of God’s way! Where has traditional Christianity, old and modern, brought the western world to? To the brink of a holocaust.

Teams

The team of elders must feed, teach, care for, and correct when necessary, those whom God has made them accountable for, without ever usurping Christ’s authority and place in their lives. We only know leaders by their service to us and love for us. Shepherds feed and protect. Your elders are the men locally who feed you the Word of God. We don’t know them by any honorific title. We know them in spirit and truth, in reality.

Their work is not to lead meetings, or traditional services, but rather they are to be in the midst of the assemblies, as those who serve, as it was in the beginning. Natural fathers “minister” within their families. They don’t set up a platform in the living room and dictate from their perch. Likewise, elders must never contradict the nature of Jesus, and His Kingdom, by following the carnal leadership principles of the world, (top-down and heirarchy). They must never take the place of the Holy Spirit in leading the Assembly, (tradition and form usurps and quenches the Holy Spirit).

Frog in a pot

Only a remnant in the earth will obey Jesus’ and the Apostles words. Most of christendom is already in the process of being assimilated into the kingdom of antichrist, (2 Thess. 2:3-4). It’s all by stealth : the ..mystery of iniquity. Like a frog in a pot. If you throw him straight into hot water he will immediately jump out, instinctively. But if you put him in warm water and slowly increase the heat, he gradually gets conditioned to his strange new dangerous surroundings, so that when he starts to feel the heat it’s too late, for he no longer has the strength to escape.

Likewise, let the Word of God warn you now, lest you become conditioned and hardened in your heart, lest the sin you approve of today consumes you tomorrow. Do not sit under any elders who are not blameless in the sight of God and men, (1 Tim. 3). If they don’t obey Jesus’ words, then walk away if they won’t listen to the Word of God. Life is too short to waste it in carnal pursuits.

Many, who have vested personal career interests, and financial interests, in the Christian religion, and their own selfish egotistic agendas to pursue, will automatically dismiss writings such as these as being just an idealistic dream, or even as being dangerous or divisive, but to the regenerate and obedient disciples of Jesus, these things represent the Kingdom of God coming among us in power, for the Word of God declares it.

Will the Church be restored to as it was in the beginning?

I don’t think so. The hour on the prophetic clock is too late. The night is coming when no man can work, (John 9:4). One sister says, The last days will be a matter of survival, not revival.

Apostasy is already everywhere; however, in the context of such a bleak scenario, there is still reason to believe that there will be NT churches thriving to some extent when our Lord Jesus returns, having the same life, holiness and love for one another that the 1st Century church had.

The underground church

The underground church in China is thriving in spite of intense persecution and having to meet in secret. Its like an “endtime forerunner church” showing us the way its going to be. Jesus said that He ..will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Hell has already invaded and possessed most of what people call “Church” and “Christianity” today, therefore such is not what Jesus is building, though, wherever the gospel is preached people are born again by the Word of God. This is the mercy of God and not the approval of God.

The invasion is in many places ever so subtle, yet it is the spirit of antichrist nevertheless, which denies Jesus by accepting other ways, and by accepting immorality and perversion. The spirit of antichrist promotes a “different Jesus” than Jesus of Nazareth. We are accountable for whatever we accept or condone.

What Jesus is building cannot fall, and will overcome, and then at the last trumpet will be taken out of the coming holocaust of God’s righteous judgment.

The way it’s supposed to be is the way Jesus’ builds: it is His wisdom. You can either be a part of the answer or a part of the problem. Are you committed to the way it’s supposed to be ? Is the fellowship you are a part of the way it’s supposed to be? If not, please pray and work for the way it’s supposed to be , and don’t settle for anything less than what Jesus requires and commands. He is worthy of the reward of His sufferings.

Accountability

I submit the writings on this website to the true Church worldwide for testing, as an equal brother amongst brothers, a sinner saved by grace: saved by Jesus.

Gifts are a stewardship for which we need to give an account of one day. I will invest whatever gifting the Lord Jesus has entrusted me with in His Church, and not bury it in the ground, or hide it.

If, when reading the material on this site, you believe we should work together in some way, then please email me. We covet your prayers.

Re: accountability – I’m very happy to supply some of the names and contact details of the brothers and sisters we are in fellowship with, to whoever sincerely requests it, if it well help further Christ’s Kingdom.

See here: https://ianvincent.wordpress.com/d-ian-accountability/

One good thing about the internet is that it helps to keep us accountable : as everything that we are saying and sharing is out there in the public domain to be scrutinized by anyone : we are saying nothing in secret. Just as our LORD did. There is no hidden agenda. What you see is what you get!

Are these writings copyright? Answer: ..Give Unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.. (Matt 22:21)

In Jesus,

Ian Vincent.

February 5, 2006

Central India

This article is from my website:

http://ianvincent.com/2006/20060201_TheWayItsSupposedToBe.html

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9 Responses to “zd. The way it’s supposed to be”

  1. ian vincent Says:

    But all their works they do to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost places at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But you be not called Rabbi: for one is your Teacher, even Christ; and all you are brothers. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, who is in heaven. Neither be you called masters: for one is your Teacher, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:5-12
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    I was thinking today, or realized, that Jesus wasn’t denying that there are Rabbis or Teachers, nor that there are spiritual fathers.

    He doesn’t deny that there ARE such people.

    Just as He doesn’t deny there are Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors / Elders / Teachers and Deacons.

    But he forbids us addressing each other with titles.

    He explicitly commands us not to do it, but to acknowledge all as brothers.

    Yes, there are spiritual fathers, but we’re not to call them ‘father’.

    There are pastors/elders but we’re forbidden from calling them ‘pastor’.

    ‘Reverend’ is way over the top and dishonoring to God, who alone should be reverenced. When men seek to be honored by men and expect it, it indicates spiritual bankruptcy.

  2. ian vincent Says:

    Just showing the difference between relationships IN CHRIST (supernatural, spiritual) and relationships in the natural order (natural) :

    Whilst the natural order of human relationships in life and family was established by God, when the Kingdom of God comes, the Kingdom has precedence. Not destroying the natural order, but the spiritual rules over the natural order.

    E.g. It is right and honorable to call your Dad, Dad. But It would be dishonorable to call him brother. The reason being, that whether he is indeed your brother in Christ, or not, is irrelevant, bcos he IS your Dad, regardless, and needs to be honored.

    Natural relationships are according to the natural order. God has established that order.

    But, according to Jesus, if we have a spiritual father, and we call him Dad, or Father, or Pastor, Reverend etc.., then we are breaking God’s order IN CHRIST.
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    THE REASON
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    THE REASON
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    THE REASON !!!!!!!!!!

    (Jesus has a reason for commanding this)

    Jesus says: For you are all brothers in verse 8. That is, the REASON for this command is: for one is your Teacher, even Christ; and all you are brothers.

    Jesus is saying that to address men with titles dishonors Him and His exclusive place as Teacher and Leader, and the fatherhood of the Father in heaven.
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    To address men with titles dishonors the LORD Jesus Christ.

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    To call our brothers and sisters in Christ our brother and sister, HONORS the LORD Jesus Christ, first, and honors our brother and sister.

  3. fleebabylon Says:

    “(Jesus has a reason for commanding this)”

    I actually never saw that before, thanks brother!

  4. ian vincent Says:

    Was talking with someone yesterday about how i was shocked here in India, many years ago, teaching in Churches, that people were ignorant of the contents of the Gospels.

    Jesus says don’t tell anyone you are fasting, so they go and tell everyone. He says don’t address by titles, so they do the opposite. And on and on.

    It’s like “anti – Jesus” Christianity. That is, to do the opposite of what Jesus commands, and shows us by His example.

    If you go down the list of everything Jesus commanded us to do, on nearly every count they do the opposite, and yet profess to be Christians.

  5. ian vincent Says:

    Someone please tell me WHY the thought that:

    The way the Apostles founded the Church was the way it was always supposed to have been,

    is so controversial?? Why the controversy?

    Many are offended at this, but they can’t give any Biblical basis for their offense.

  6. ian vincent Says:

    These are the words of the Lord Jesus taken from the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 23:8 :

    But don’t be called Rabbi: (i.e. a religious leadership title such as pastor, reverend etc.,) for one is your Leader, even Christ; and you are all brothers.

    And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. .(Referring to a spiritual father and not one’s natural father.)

    Neither be called leaders: for one is your leader, even Christ.

    ..Then what do we call “leaders”? Simply brother, for ..you are all brothers.

    Now, c’mon, Vince! Jesus did not say you cannot call people “pastor” or “reverend” !

    He just said that you cannot call them, rabbi, father, leader, master or teacher. He never said you can’t call them “pastor”!

  7. fleebabylon Says:

    Its funny brother to be away from it all for so long, it becomes so clear.

  8. ian vincent Says:

    I don’t think we truly see what babylon is until we come out of her, cos it is “MYSTERY” babylon. After coming out of her we can really see her from the outside, and get the full view.

    Just to remind anyone, that in the above scripture (Matt 23), Jesus is not denying that rabbis, spiritual fathers, leaders and teachers, and pastor – shepherd – elders exist : He is NOT trying to say that such people do not exist : He was NOT trying to convince His Apostles that they were not Apostles!

    He was commanding them to to address every brother (no matter how much God is using him) as brother. In the NT record, every Apostle and every gifted person was addressed as brother, or just by their name, alone.

    Jesus is saying, that, while there are obviously different giftings in the body of Christ, the MAIN THING is that HE is the Leader, and we are all brothers.

    Meaning: A TRUE spiritual leader helps you understand that Jesus is the Leader. He does not try and make you understand that he is your leader. He never tries to break the common-union and equality of brotherhood in Christ, by exalting himself over others.

    Anyway, the simple test of whether someone really loves Jesus is whether they obey and do what He said, whether they fully understand why He commanded it, or not. Obedience always precedes full understanding.

  9. ian vincent Says:

    Jesus will express His leadership through the plurality of the elders

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