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The Church
Organization and Structure

The word Ekklēsía is often used when referring to the Church. In the New Testament, the Greek word describes a public assembly summoned by a herald. It is derived from two words. One is ek that means “out” and the other is kaleín or kaleō that means “to call”. We are thus the “called out ones”. The Hebrew uses the word Qāhāl. This refers to the congregation of the people of Israel who gathered before the Lord. 

Jesus made only two references to the church in the Gospels. In
Matthew 16:18, He said that He would build His church on the rock. In Matthew 18:17, when He talked about correction, He mentioned the Church. His focus when teaching seems to rest more on the Kingdom of God, than on the church.
This raises a question. If the Kingdom of God is God’s ways of doing things, does this imply that the church is the vehicle to get the job done? In
Acts 7:38, Stephen spoke of the Church in the wilderness, referring to Israel.
It is evident from
Acts 7:46-50, Stephen revealed that God does not dwell in a physical building, so a church building is not where God resides. It is in the hearts of men who are born from above. See John 3:1-9.

The Kingdom of God is to be our theme or basis of preaching, modeled on the ministry of Jesus. John the Baptist came preaching this message, telling God’s people to be ready for His appearing.

In Acts, reference to the Church denotes a company or group of believers.

We read of churches in Jerusalem (Acts 5:11), Antioch (Acts 13:1), and Caesarea (Acts 18:22). The book of revelation contains letters to seven churches at specific locations.

In Acts 9:31 after Paul was converted, we see mention of hurches throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria.

Paul wrote to the church of God which is at Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:2)

He sent greetings to Phebe, who he described as a servant of the church at Cenchrea in Romans 16:1 and Priscilla and Aquilla in Romans 16:3-4 (see also 1 Corinthians 16:19) whose home was the church.

All through that chapter, Paul gave greetings to the saints. Believers are saints! We no not need any man or organization to declare us so. Blood washed, redeemed believers in Jesus Christ are all classed as saints. According to Ephesians 1, what we call the church is to reveal the mystery of God’s will and this requires revelation of that purpose. In Ephesians 1:20-23, Paul says that God raised Christ form the dead, set Him down in the heavenlies as ultimate and supreme ruler for all time, put everything under His feet and gave Him (Jesus) to be the head of all things relating to the church…which is His body!

We…are the Church.

Assumptions and Traditions

Before we go much further, I want to reveal that what we loosely call the church...isn't necessarily The Church!

There are any assumptions and traditions in the "church" that have no scriptural basis whatever. For example, the nativity story that I like and will always treasure states that there were three wise men who presented gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus.
The bible does not say that!
It only states that there were wise men from the East.
See Matthew 2:1-2. We assume that because of the three kinds of gifts that there were three men, whereas in fact there may have been up to 200 all told...those men with their guards. We have built a whole tradition on something that might not be true. Nevertheless, I still like that story and will continue this tradition.

Some of us also believe that Mary remained a virgin after Jesus' birth. The bible does not say that either. It does say that Joseph married her and did not know her until after the Lord's birth. It would appear from later scriptures that they had their own children. Jesus had brothers and sisters! See Matthew 13:55, 27:56 and Galatians 1:19. Whilst there are many women with the name of Mary, there are too many incidents recorded in the bible that indicate that Jesus' mother had her own children with Joseph. This may shock and offend some people but it is worth investigating further.

Another thing to consider is the belief that Jesus had twelve disciples, but that also is not correct. He may have had more than 500. We see in Luke chapter nine that He sent His 12 disciples out on assignments, but in chapter ten, He appointed an additional 70, making 82 in all. In John 6:66, we see that many of His disciples left him because His teachings were too hard for them. On the Day of Pentecost, Acts 1:13-15 gives a list of some of those present, including women and Mary and clearly states that there were 120 people gathered.
Paul said i
n 1 Corinthians 15:6 that 500 brethren had seen Jesus after His resurrection.

It is on such basis that I stated we have incorrectly assumed Jesus had twelve. It poses the question therefore as to how many more things we have incorrectly assumed.

The point I want to make is that what is often called "The Church" might not be the Church that Jesus spoke about.

Chief Cornerstone

We are the church, for specific reasons. Paul said-
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

Jesus is the chief cornerstone!

A Cornerstone or foundation stone was the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. It is very important, because all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.

Over time a cornerstone became a ceremonial masonry stone, or replica, set in a prominent location on the outside of a building, with an inscription on the stone indicating the construction dates of the building and the names of architect, builder and other significant individuals. The rite of laying a cornerstone is an important cultural component of eastern architecture and metaphorically in sacred architecture generally. There are six references to cornerstones in both the Old and New Testaments.

Some cornerstones include time capsules from, or engravings commemorating the time a particular building was built as seen in the above picture.

The cornerstone is Jesus and the apostles and prophets are aligned to Him. We shall deal with apostles, prophets and other ministries in the church elsewhere, but suffice it to say at this point that they are supposed to remain with us till the end of this age.

This church or building is to be assembled in such a way so that it can grow into a habitation of God through the Spirit! In other words, the Holy Spirit works on us, with us, to us, through us or in any way you like to describe to bring each and every believer into a dwelling place or temple in which God can dwell. It has nothing to do with denominations, cathedrals, A Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury or the president of an organization. 

The Church is not a human organization; it is God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), created in accordance with His eternal purpose in Christ (Ephesians 1:4), reveal the mystery of His will (Ephesians 1:9), that in it He might show the exceeding riches of His grace (Ephesians 2:7). See also Ephesians 3:9-19; 4:4-7 and of course, the reference to the Gift ministries listed in Ephesians 4:8-16.

The Head of The Church

We have seen that Jesus is the chief cornerstone. He is the Head of the Church and we are likened to His body. Ths body contains many diffferent parts, all of which differ in role, purpose, function, size, shape and so on. For example the eye cannot do what the ear does and the big toe cannot breathe air, so every individual part or member is unique and has a specific part to play. If one member is not functioning, the whole body suffers and this is consistent with the various gifts and ministries that the lord has given His church. We shall deal with these aspects in depth elsewhere.

What I wish to do now is to share scripture references to Christ, being the Head.

And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church], Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself]. Ephesians 1:22-23

...let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.
For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]. Ephesians 5:21-27 

[Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation. For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him. And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).

He also is the Head of [His] body, the church; seeing He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that He alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent]. For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him permanently. Colossians 1:15-19

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.
 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.
 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.
 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud,
 and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.
 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as,
 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”?
 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them.
 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires. Colossians 2:13-23 

Commissioning The Church

Throughout His ministry, Jesus chose others to help him. We have traditionally been taught that Jesus had 12 disciples, assuming many things that may not be correct, but in fact, there were several hundreds of followers.

In Luke 6:13 we see that He called His disciples to Him and Out of those disciples, He chose 12 who He called Apostles. The Greek word is Apostolos and it simply means someone who has been chosen for a specific task and thus sent on an assignment. Such a person is a delegate, a representative or an ambassador. He Himself is our Chief Apostle, having been sent by the Father. See Hebrews 3:1.

In Like 10, Jesus appointed an additional 70 who He sent on assignments. That makes 82! John 6:60-71 reveals that many of Jesus’ disciples left him. There were 120 people in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost and Paul reveals in 1 Corinthians 15:6 that at least 500 people saw Jesus after His resurrection.

In Matthew 28, Jesus appeared to the women and His disciples and said-
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20

His commission was to teach all nations, baptize them and teach them to observe everything He had commanded them. The word for Nations is ethnos that basically means all ethnic groups of people who are located all over the world.

This is a command.

The word for teach is mathēteuō. It describes the function of training and making of disciples, using words like instruct, instruction and teaching. We are to thus teach people how to do what Jesus told them to do. That is, to observe all things that He commanded them! This comes right round to the ministry assignments that He sent them on. He taught, He preached, He healed the sick, He cast out demons, He revealed the Kingdom of heaven or, more correctly, the kingdom of God (that is God’s way of doing things).

Turn now to Mark chapter 16.

And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. He who believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] and is baptized will be saved [from the penalty of eternal death]; but he who does not believe [who does not adhere to and trust in and rely on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] will be condemned. And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well.
So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and He sat down at the right hand of God.
And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them and confirming the message by the attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied [it]. Amen (so be it). Mark 16:15-20.

Most Christians accept the part about going into all the world and preaching the Gospel to everyone. Sadly, many propel want to tear out the remaining parts that talk about the signs, but the signs are a characteristic of His own ministry and are what He gave us so that He could go with us and confirm the message! It’s all there in read ink in my bible and He did not make any time constraints or specify that this was only for those eleven! Jesus spoke about “Those” who believe. He used words like they and them. We cannot pick and choose how and whom He uses for His purpose.

Luke’s account in chapter 24 is interesting. Jesus appeared to the two disciples (one was Cleopas) on the road to Emmaus. Here we see a disciple who was never mentioned before. During that conversation, He called them that they were foolish (sluggish in mind and dull of perception), slow in heart to believe, adhere to and trust what the prophets had said. He then started explaining things about Himself, starting with Moses. Later when everyone was gathered together in the house, He appeared to everyone of them, ate food and told them much the same tings. Luke said that He opened their understanding s that they could understand the scriptures.

Modern theologians do not take such matters into consideration and as a result do not gain this kind of understanding.

If they lack this understanding they lack the truth about His Church and everything else for that matter.

The Lord then issued the command that most Christians seem to partially acknowledge, as part of the great commission. He instructed them to wait in Jerusalem first to be endued with power on high. They had just spent 3 years with Him and had embarked on power-packed ministries in their own right. He was telling them that in order to continue doing what He did, they needed what He had!

The commission to the church includes receiving the Holy Spirit!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever according to Peter and His word abides forever. What He said then is just as valid today.

In John chapters 20 and 21, Jesus appeared to the disciples and ministered to them for some period of time, He did things that John admitted were not fully recorded and that if they could have been written down, the whole world itself would not be big enough to contain the record. See John 20:30—31 and John 21:25. 

He was with them for 40 days. Acts 1:1-3. In that time, He spoke about the Kingdom of God. He would be leaving them soon and had to prepare them to take over His ministry. They needed to know how to go about it!

In Acts 1:4, He repeated his earlier command to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit baptism we so desperately need. The word power is mentioned. It is dynamis. It is like explosive latent power or ability such as is stored up in a stick of dynamite. They already had another meaning of the word power that is exousia. It means authority. It is possible to have authority but no power to back it up!

Far too many parts of the Church sadly deny this and try to do the work Jesus wanted done without the tools with which they can do the work.

Later in acts 2, on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came and He has remained here ever since.

Many things happened after that and it is not my intention to dwell on those aspects here as they are covered elsewhere, but it is my belief that this is where the church may have been birthed. 

Jesus ’command was to start in Jerusalem and spread out from there (see Acts 1:8), but the church never really left Jerusalem until persecution came and they then started to “go ye” into all the world. In this light, we may also be able to say that at such time, the Church was birthed and started to activate the commission.

God's Approval

Paul told a young pastor-
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 2 Timothy 2:15-16.

His advice is very relevant today. We are indeed living in troubled times in which all kinds of religion are being promoted or people are living as if God does not exist.

 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.
 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.
 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.
 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

There are two words or phrases to consider in Paul’s advice. One is approved. The other is rightly dividing.

The word approved is Dokimos.
In those days, money was not made with the same precision it is today. Molten metal, such as gold or silver, was poured into a mould and removed after it cooled. The edges were rough and uneven.

As it is today, people pay good money for gold and silver and expect to receive the full weight of that commodity.

Unscrupulous money-changers shaved off those rough edges and kept the filings. After a while, they accumulated a considerable and valuable amount.

People were thus being cheated.

The situation grew so bad that laws were made to make this practice illegal. The coinage had to be full weight or approved and thus full value of the precious metal. The term used was dokimos.

Today, people are being cheated of the full value of precious truth by various man-made religion ideas and opinions. Part of the function of the five ascension gift ministries is to ensure “dokimos”.

The second thing to consider is the term rightly dividing. It is the Greek word Orthotomeō. Its basic meaning is to make a clean, straight and sharp cut or incision.

It is derived from two words, one of which is Orthos. It speaks about precise vertical or horizontal alignment and about being level, straight and true, or honesty. The second word is Tomos. This describes the act of being able to make precise, straight, sharp, cleanly divisions or incisions. Some references to Orthotomeō are made in medical science. Imagine having surgery when the doctor uses a blunt scalpel and has to repeatedly make hacking, chopping movements during surgery. I’d prefer one precise, clean incision that that if I needed surgery.

Paul thus stated that our studies of God’s word should be clearly defined, accurate, precise and have the results that God intended them to have.

This is one reason for our presentations. We desire for you, the reader, to know God and to experience everything He has for you, without having to guess, or be left useless and powerless in all areas of life.

 Our studies are all based on scripture and designed to bring you to the state whereby you can meet the following criteria… approved to God, perfect in Christ and compete in Him. 

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.


This brings us to the issue of Church Governance, or the organisational structure, when we look at how the early Church was modelled. I can only comment in general on what the New Testament itself says. What we know about the early Church’s official structure and governance is actually a little vague. Having said that, there are some clearly defined functions within the early Church. 

As we have seen, from the very beginning, there are apostles, beginning with the 12 apostles and later with others. This office (or function) is so important that the foundational apostles’ first major leadership act was to appoint another apostle to replace Judas (Acts 1:15–26).
The Council of Jerusalem in Acts repeatedly uses the phrase “the apostles and the elders” (
Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22–23; 16:4) and this may imply that the apostles were seen as a separate group from the elders, or that they were a particular kind of elder but given special mention.

Paul lists some in apparent order of apostles, prophets, teachers and then miracles. He suggests that there is a kind of hierarchy of spiritual offices is 1 corinthians 12:28-30, but this is often debated. 1 Corinthians 12 gives a list of what we call the gifts of the Spirit, or what we could say are spiritual offices. From my personal experience and understanding, the latter is true.

In Ephesians 4:11 Paul provides a similar list to the above, but here he includes evangelists and pastors (the shepherds).
This is the only New Testament passage that uses the term “shepherd” for a Christian leader, but the term is also used of Christ as the prototypical leader of the church in
1 Peter 2:25 and 1 Peter 5:4.
Christian leaders were viewed as elders or overseers and it is evident from
Ephesians 4:11-16 that the purpose of these roles is to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ and to stimulate growth and maturity. The word for pastor is poimēn. It refers to a shepherd. A shepherd tends the sheep. He seeks out good watered pastures for the sheep to feed on and protects them if necessary. He does all he can to look after the Lord’s sheep! They are not his or her personal property. A pastor does not bear lambs. Sheep have lambs. A pastor should care for the flock and allow them to do their own reproducing.

This is not permitted in some parts of the church and it makes me wonder if that kind of organisation and structure is correct or not. It often encroaches into the areas of manipulation, domination and control. Legalism and formalism follow and the members of that particular church never come into the fulness of what God has for them.

Paul also considered elders to be a vital function of the early church. He asked Titus to appoint elders in every town in Crete (Titus 1:7). If the Church is to be classed as a Church in a certain place as we have discussed earlier, Titus sought to suitably qualified people to lead that particular church.

The term elder is also translated as bishop  to function as overseers (see Acts 20:17; 28 and Titus 1:5-9).
This is the closest thing to a clear hierarchy in the early Church. It seems to be localised to this region or group of cities however and it is doubtful if there was a strict organisational structure employed.

1Timothy 4:14 refers to a group of elders collectively as the “council of elders” and this could indicate an organised administrative body, but again is uncertain.

Pleases consider that if a person held a church office that they were de facto elders.
They possessed certain qualities and were there to offer spiritual guidance and oversight. Paul provides the qualifications for elders in
1 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–9. See also Acts 14:23; 1 Peter 5:1–4.


In acts 6, the early church was growing at such a rate that the apostles needed some help. They chose suitably qualified men to help with the workload. the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.
So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program.
And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility.
Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.” Acts 6:1-4 

These men were the first deacons. The Greek word is diakonos and it means servant. They were chosen to look after the daily affairs of the Church or the people. They were not chosen to govern or rule as is often seen today. Deacons were to be supportive of the pastors and render practical assistance, not to control the pastors as if in a church board.
Because deacons had to possess certain qualifications, one of which was to be filled with the Holy Spirit, they were capable of performing Cretan spiritual functions. Philip, for example was a deacon and he became an evangelist as seen in Acts chapter eight.


These men were elders. Church governance became more formalised in the early second century after the pioneers died. At this point, the roles were diversified for some reason, but in the New Testament, no such distinction is made. Appointments of such people perhaps became acceptable due to growth, but I doubt if they were originally designed to be held in the same esteem as bishops, archbishops, cardinals, canons, and various other rankings as seen today. I am of the opinion that such positions are man-made.

I prefer to hold only to the descriptions that are listed in the canon of scripture.

As a closing thought on this patter, the priesthood, that is often seen today is not scriptural. There is only one high priest and His name is Jesus. There is only one advocate with the Father and He is Jesus. See Hebrews 3:1; 4:14-16; 5:9-10; 6:20; 7;14-17, 24; 8:1-6; 9:7-8, 12-14; 1 John 2:1.

Order and Discipline

The early churches maintained order and exercised exercised discipline. Unfortunately, the issues of order and discipline are clouded by excess, and over-control. Some denominations exercise such hard handed discipline the people are under subjection and in fact exposed to control.

The pastor exercises dictatorial control over the people and in turn he or she may be ruled by a governing body in a headquarters in a geographical location somewhere else.

In our day and age, we certainly need to be avoid erroneous teachings and practices for many reasons so it is good to have some standards.

What is often overlooked in a central administration, is the fact that each individual Church is just that.
A Church in Australia is not the same as a Church in the United States, or in a remote village in Africa or India. The needs are different. The geography is different. The climates are different. The economies are different and the population has different kinds of governmental rulership.
There could be a monarchy in one country, a President in another and a Prime Minister in one like ours.

We each face different manners an customs. For example, here in my country, it is considered impolite to eat noisily and to burp. In other countries, slurping and burping is an expression  of appreciation.

Imposing a strict denominationally based set of rules and regulations in any Church can therefore be difficult.

We must also consider that some scriptures refer to Jews and not to the Church, so trying to apply strict regulations in some instances might not be appropriate.

Let us take Matthew 18:15-20, where the Lord tells us how to handle a situation. Please bear in mind that He is discussing humility and offences. There was a power struggle I place here as the disciples wanted to  know who was best and who should be the leader.

Firstly, we are to love each other and forgive each other, but here He says that we are supposed to have a private conversation with the person who has trespassed against us. If this does not work, we are to take witnesses. If that does not work, then we can sever the relationship.
When Peter asked Him how often we should forgive, Jesus said we should look at 70 times 7.
I doubt if He meant we should count how many times and then respond when that limit was literally reached, but that we should do all we can to avoid a scene. 

On many occasions, such a stand is not taken. The pastor or ruling official sometimes acts as judge, jury and executioner. 

It appears that the final determination of disciplinary matters is in the hands of the local church. That local Church could be in a completely different situation to another. In 1 corinthians 5 and in 2 corinthians 2, Paul seems to offer his counsel and advice, but asks the local Church to handle its own problems.

Some leaders were chosen by the congregations. Others were appointed or instituted by Paul and Barnabas, or Peter and John. See 1 Timothy 4:4; 2 Timothy 1:6 and Titus 1:5, but we cannot infer that this was an arbitrary imposition of a higher Church governing body. They seemed to work together and confer with each other. They seemed to rely on how the Holy Spirit led them as seen in Acts 15:22 onwards.

When it came to matters of order an discipline, it seemed that each local assembly operated more like that, than by the dictates of an administrative body, or by one man who could handle things in a dictatorial manner.

Do not be a rebel and refuse to accept leadership, but recognize leadership for what it is. Wherever you are, you have the right and the authority to check things out scripturally and by the Holy Ghost.

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