Counting on leaders to follow Jesus Christ

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


“Counting on leaders to follow Jesus Christ”

September 3, 2014

It indeed is not a “new thing” to wonder if we place our trust in those who may not be worthy of our trust. After all, we have all experienced those who are respected overseers being deceived in doctrine or outright refuses to follow the doctrines of Christ set forth and established by Jesus Christ and the “sum of thy word”.

Psa 119:160 (ASV) The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever.

However, that does not mean that the Lord has not placed faithful servants into these positions of oversight.  Leaders placed in the church have always been questioned as to why “they” are qualified to be leaders, so let us go to the sum of the Word, not just SOME of the Word, and see what the Word of God has to say on this topic.

What then is the function of a teacher, preacher or leader in the body of Christ? Paul proclaims and tells us to “be a follower of me as I am a follower of Christ,” so that would instruct us that Paul is a leader of followers of Christ. It is also easy to miss the point the Paul himself calls himself ….. a follower.

In other words, we all fall in line in following Jesus Christ.

 

“Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen”

 

In the beginning,  the Lord asked Cain why he was wroth and why his countenance had fallen.

Gen 4:5  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
Gen 4:6  And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
Gen 4:7  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

“If thou doest well …. you’ll be accepted ….. but if thou doest not well ……sin liest at the door.”

Sin is simply missing the mark, and it is the discernment the Lord has given me that tells me that you are missing the mark in doctrine when you believe that the Lord does not have anyone He has placed in the church in the roles of teachers, preachers and elder-ship.

I hope everyone can come together with one mind on this topic, and that one mind can only come from the Holy scriptures. I am hoping to be used to help us look at this from a different angle which will hopefully be used to shed some more light on this topic as the Lord wills it.

G2233

hēgeomai

Thayer Definition:
1) to lead
1a) to go before
1b) to be a leader
1b1) to rule, command
1b2) to have authority over
1b3) a prince, of regal power, governor, viceroy, chief, leading as respects influence, controlling in counsel, overseers or leaders of the churches
1b4) used of any kind of leader, chief, commander
1b5) the leader in speech, chief, spokesman
2) to consider, deem, account, think
Part of Speech: verb

The Greek word “hēgeomai” (sounds like hedge to me) 2233 is used in many different ways and translated into English in a variety of words, but it is used to give a very defined concept of what it is this Greek word means.

We can look at these examples, study them, and then pray the Lord will reveal to us what is being said. I will give you what I believe the Lord has shared with me about what they mean, but I implore you all to consider the matter for yourselves.

It is easy for us all to say “we think” or “I feel” or “I know” but at the end of all of those statements, I personally only want to follow what scripture tells/shows me is true about ANY doctrine.

Here is where G2233 is used in the New Testament.

G2233

hēgeomai

Total KJV Occurrences: 28

count, 7

Phi_3:8 (2), 2Th_3:15, 1Ti_6:1, Jam_1:2, 2Pe_2:13, 2Pe_3:9

chief, 3

Luk_22:26, Act_14:12, Act_15:22

counted, 3

Phi_3:7, 1Ti_1:12, Heb_10:29

rule, 3

Heb_13:7, Heb_13:17, Heb_13:24

esteem, 2

Phi_2:3, 1Th_5:13

governor, 2

Mat_2:6, Act_7:10

think, 2

Act_26:2, 2Pe_1:13

thought, 2

2Co_9:5, Phi_2:6

account, 1

2Pe_3:15

esteeming, 1

Heb_11:26

judged, 1

Heb_11:11

supposed, 1

Phi_2:25

Here then are some of the above verses listed out.

Very early in the gospels, we are told that a Governor will be given to us:

Mat 2:6  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

In English, I know the word “rule” can be quite offensive, but the thought being conveyed by a Governor being given, is that the very definition of “Governor” used here EQUATES to and is the same as “rule” mentioned in other places in scripture.

Then, we are told this Governor will rule “my people Israel”. The word used as rule here has a very specific meaning.

Those who “rule/govern” feed the flock, and those who FEED the flock RULE, but what does that mean according to scripture?

The Father’s Governor will be used to, “poimaino”, to “feed” the flock.

G4165

poimainō

Total KJV Occurrences: 12

feed, 4

Joh_21:16, Act_20:28, 1Pe_5:2, Rev_7:17

rule, 4

Mat_2:6, Rev_2:27, Rev_12:5, Rev_19:15

feeding, 2

Luk_17:7, Jud_1:12

cattle, 1

Luk_17:7

feedeth, 1

1Co_9:7

One who is used to be a governor, a chief, a judge will FEED Israel.

So, in context of this topic, does the Lord place those who are ruler/chiefs / judges / governors to oversee His flock?

Let us see if if we can scripturally determine sound doctrine, with these above scriptures, to answer this question.

We are talking about G2233 (govern/rule/chief/judge) and G4165 (feed).
 

Php 3:7  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8  Yea doubtless, and I count (G2233) all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Those that are esteemed as leaders have done what we all must do and have counted the cost. When we get done counting, all that is counted is LOSS. Do the leaders of this fellowship demonstrate that within their example?

So leaders are “counters“.

2Th 3:13  But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
2Th 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
2Th 3:15  Yet count (G2233) him NOT as an enemy, but ADMONISH HIM AS A BROTHER.

Those which have been appointed by God to be overseeers of the flock are told to not become weary in well doing, and just what is a HUGE PART of this well doing? –> “If any man OBEY NOT OUR WORD ….”

What then is “our word” if not the Word of God, which we weigh ALL THINGS, the ALL THINGS which have been given to the flock, AGAINST the Word of God?

We are followers of Christ. We are followers of the Way, Truth and Life and we implore all of the SHEEP under our watch, whom have been appointed by the Lord Himself to the membership in this body, to follow the voice of the True Shepherd. Follow us as we follow Christ.

We tell the sheep to COUNT the cost of listening diligently to the Words of the Lord, apply them to your hearts and minds, and be DOERS of the Word.

Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

1Ti 6:1  Let as many servants as are under the yoke count (G2233) their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
1Ti 6:2  And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

Keep counting daily.

Jas 1:2  My brethren, count (G2233)  it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Here then is the negative application of “counting“. My comments are emphasized in ( ).

2Pe 2:11  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. (against whom are accusations brought against I ask you all?)
2Pe 2:12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
2Pe 2:13  And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count (G2233)  it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

The Lord is not slack when suffering such things and those whom He dwells in learn to be the same.

2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count (G2233) slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Anyone who has been placed to be an overseer within the body is not only placed there by God’s will and manifested to be placed in this role, but is also explained as being counters of all the things mentioned above.

Those who have been “set” into these positions are the first ones to tell you that the role of counting the cost is NOT an EASY one. In Truth, it is an impossible one for any of us without the Lord working miracles in us.

Luk 11:49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:

1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

It is true that we can have certain times that these traits come out in all of us, but as far as “established governments” go, the Lord is not slack in telling us to be diligent in recognizing His will in this process and placements of these overseers for the benefit of the flock.

1Ti 1:12  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

Jesus Christ alone gives His gift of Faith, and counts out who He deems is faithful to be set in these gifted positions. Ask yourself, to WHOM does He send these prophets and apostles to?

“Also said the wisdom of God, I will send them…..God hath set some in the church” It is God who predestines it all.

So, when He appoints anyone to MINISTRY, to SERVICE, to be a servant, He does so by giving faith and counting those same folks as FAITHFUL. Do you see this in your leaders?

Here are some other G2233 definitions taken from scripture and defined by the same.

Luk 22:26  But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief (G2233), as he that doth serve.

Act 14:11  And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
Act 14:12  And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief (G2233) speaker.

Act 15:22  Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief (G2233) men among the brethren:

Here then are some of those things which are hard to be understood if we do not weigh them against the “sum of thy Word”.

We must not let words, and how we personally define them, be what drives our thoughts on a doctrine.

Heb 13:6  So that we may boldly sayThe Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Heb 13:7  Remember them which have the rule (G2233) over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Heb 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Heb 13:9  Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with graceNOT WITH MEATS, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Grace is a gift from God. It is something He gives according to His Will. Who are we to question who He the Lord gives Faith (which is made manifest in someone or not according to the Lord) or grace to, in order to accomplish the work of the ministry?

Heb 13:17  Obey them that have the rule (G2233) 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.

Heb 13:24  Salute all them that have the rule (G2233) over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.

Those that have “the rule over you” have so much more to their role in the body of Christ than what appears on the surface and in the letter.

That is not to say that it is MORE IMPORTANT than another’s appointment, but simply that these verses alone don’t fully reveal the entirety of the conversation on this topic and doctrine.

Php 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem (G2233) other better than themselves.

1Th 5:12  And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
1Th 5:13  And to esteem (G2233) them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And BE AT PEACE AMONG YOURSELVES. (they had to deal with this same spirit from the beginning)
1Th 5:14  Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Paul was a “counter”.

2Pe 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
2Pe 3:14  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
2Pe 3:15  And account (G2233) that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
2Pe 3:16  As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Those who have been appointed as governors/judges/chiefs/counters simply tell all the body of Christ to follow the voice of the True Shepherd.

Heb 11:11  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged (G2233) him faithful who had promised.

We as leaders judge Him Faithful alone. Just as Moses laid out judges to judge all of Israel, so too has Jesus Christ appointed judges of many different types to do the work of the ministry, but ALL still pointed back to Moses who judges the “great matters.” 

This is what my Awesome Hands study is about in the next study since we’ll be in chapter 18 of Exodus, and this is a great type and shadow of what we are talking about here.

Exo 18:22  And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

Exo 18:25  And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the peoplerulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
Exo 18:26  And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

Isn’t is plain to see? RULERS are MEASURING STICKS. Rulers are those that measure out the pattern of what is being said and done, versus what has come before them, as an EXAMPLE laid out by Jesus Christ.

Eze 43:9  Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.
Eze 43:10  Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.
Eze 43:11  And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.

We bring and doctrine, and false doctrine and all spirits to the flock for YOU to measure the pattern. We are asking the flock to do what is so often proclaimed boldly…. being a follower of Jesus Christ the Word of God.

Do not follow a man, but be a follower of Jesus Christ in another member of the body who has been manifested to be set into a position of leadership, teaching, preaching, apostleship, so on and so forth.

Doesn’t the Word of God make it clear that the Lord has set these ministering roles out for those whom He has found faithful?

 

“Feeders of the flock”

 

The Father’s Governor, the pattern which must be measured against —– Jesus Christ —— sets out His own governors/rulers (hegeomai) to be used to “poimaino”, to “feed” the flock.

Here it is:

Joh 21:16  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed (G4165) my sheep.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed (G4165) the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

1Pe 5:1  The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:1Pe 5:2  Feed (G4165) the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Rev 7:17  For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed (G4165) them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

What then has the same Holy Spirit of God inspired ALSO be equated to FEEDING the flock? “Follow me as I follow Christ Jesus”

Mat 2:6  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Rev 12:5  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule (G4165) all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Rev 19:15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule (G4165) them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Rev 2:24  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have NOT THIS DOCTRINE, and which have not known the depths of Satan, AS THEY SPEAK; I will put upon you none other burden.
Rev 2:25  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
Rev 2:26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27  And he shall rule (G4165)  them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Rev 2:28  And I will give him the morning star.
Rev 2:29  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

There you have it.

To feed the flock is to rule with a rod of iron. That may not sound flattering. It may sound cold, but as it sounds in your ears and as it is seen by yours eyes, so will YOUR IDOL be used to judge you no matter who you are.

Jud 1:10  But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
Jud 1:11  Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
Jud 1:12  These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, FEEDING THEMSELVES WITHOUT FEAR: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Feeding (G4165) themselves WITHOUT FEAR”

Those which attempt to RULE THEMSELVES, taking the gold of the Word of God and turning it into fruit that withereth and which is plucked up by the roots, will reap what is sown, corruption.

 

“Lord of lords, King of kings”

 

Lordship, which can easily be intertwined with the English word “rule”, but there is only one who is the Lord of lords, and King of kings.

G2961
kurieuō
Total KJV Occurrences: 8
dominion, 4
Rom_6:9, Rom_6:14, Rom_7:1, 2Co_1:24
exercise, 1
Luk_22:24-25 (2)
lord, 1
Rom_14:9
lords, 1
1Ti_6:15
lordship, 1
Luk_22:25

 

Being a Lord over someone is not ever in the mind of Christ for those who follow Christ. We are commanded to not “Lord” over anyone for any reason. We no more have dominion over another person than death has over Christ.

Rom 6:9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more “dominion” over him.

For us to understand just what this means, all we have to do is learn from our own expereinces.

What has had dominion over you in the past? What currently has dominion over you? That is the “lordship” we are talking about. To have complete control of the subject or servant one has control over is to be their lord.

In the case of something that has dominion over us, it is an absolute power in our lives. It is a power that we ourselves CANNOT overcome without Christ in us doing it via grace, which chastens us.

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Rom 7:1  Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

2Co 1:24  Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

There is no WAY for anyone who has been given the role as a leader, a teacher, a preacher, an apostle and evangelist, so on and so forth, to have dominion over FAITH…. which is freely given by our True Lord.

Luk 22:23  And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.
Luk 22:24  And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.
Luk 22:25  And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
Luk 22:26  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.

We serve by example by saying, “follow me as I follow Christ” which was the focus of this entire study.

Rom 14:9  For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

Dominion which I am speaking of here is the type of lordship that a slave or servant can never overcome. When a lord says “jump” that servant jumps.

However, the previous sections were all about governors/rulers (measuring sticks of sorts)/judges/chiefs who have been given to be full of Faith given to them and have learned to discern both good and evil …. and are still learning daily.

Their job is to lead others to this same spiritual place, just as Jesus came to show us the Way.

Luk 17:7  But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding (G4165) cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
Luk 17:8  And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
Luk 17:9  Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
Luk 17:10  So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

1Co 9:7  Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth (G4165) a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?

It is the duty of a leader, preacher or teacher to deliver the feeding, the rule of the Lord, to those whom He alone has placed under their care which only ever points to Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Other related posts