Is the Pastor the head of a church?
We update studies as the Lord Jesus leads us. You can find the latest update of this study at ChurchAges.net
Every man is flawed, and has areas of ignorance as well as error. Only Jesus can be the Head of a church.
- Pagans had a priest in charge of each religious group
- The apostles left elders in charge of each local church
- But a church leader wants people to follow him
- What the Bible says about Pastors
- Bible condemns pastors in 6 out of 9 verses on pastors
- God rejects pastors and sets up shepherds to feed us
- Teaching makes us understand Bible verses
- How pastors made a mess of the 1963 Cloud doctrine
Pagans had a priest in charge of each religious group
Any group of people becomes more effective with a single leader who controls policy and finance. That is how nations are governed. Religious groups copy this example from politics.
A group of people form a church and soon realize that it will be more efficient if run on business principles. Religion and money have always been intertwined. Put one competent man in charge and things are more effective.
The Roman Catholic Church copied this pagan system of having a priest as the head of a local pagan temple.
The priest tells the congregation what to believe and how to live. The priest controls who can and who cannot preach. The priest controls how the tithes are spent. Thus the congregation is under the rulership of this one man.
The people are simply absorbers of the priest's wisdom.
But they are also the victims of his limitations and ignorance.
In addition, the people stop thinking for themselves. They become incapable of detecting religious error.
Then a group of priests from different churches then fall under the central control of a bishop.
The priest is above the people and the bishop is above the priests. The human elevation of a holy man between the people and God. That is the weakness of the elevated priesthood. It is known as Nicolaitan. Conquering the laity or congregation.
People in the group depend on an exalted leader to get the group right with God.
Eventually, they put what the priest or bishop or leader says first. They put his quotes before the Bible and regard what the leader says as more important than the written Scripture.
"I have a quote" replaces "It is written".
The group finds safety in numbers. They keep elevating the leader as if he alone can find truth. Then they just blindly believe him instead of searching through the Scriptures for themselves. That is too much like hard work.
Church groups depend on group-conformity instead of each person getting right with God individually by being able to understand and follow the Bible by themselves.
Group-domination by the leader is an efficient model for church growth.
That is why the Catholic church is by far the biggest Christian organization with 1.4 billion people.
This system has proved to be very effective because the Roman Catholic method of local church control by a priest has survived for 2000 years. It has grown up into the biggest and wealthiest worldwide church that the Bible calls the beast.
If the Protestants want to build up a similar denominational system whereby a one-man leader as the head of the local church then their greatest success will simply be a Protestant image of the Catholic beast. If the different Protestant denominations and churches unite into a confederation of churches then the non-Catholic image of the beast will be fulfilled.
We must search for the unscriptural ideas of church-building that the Roman Catholics invented and that the non-Catholic churches copied in order to understand how the antichrist spirit of religious deception conquered all the churches.
REVELATION 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
A bow without an arrow. A bluffer. White is religious, so this is religious deception that works best when it elevates a leader to be crowned. Around AD 960 Pope Nicholas wore a single crown to be above the church leaders and equal to the kings. By 1316 the Pope wore a triple crown which elevated him above kings. The endless elevation of a human preacher that cannot stop until he is infallible as he stands in the "Place of Christ". Vicarius Christi.
This process of conquering the churches by means of a pagan structure of elevated leadership will never stop until Armageddon occurs.
JEREMIAH 9:8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit:
The unscriptural lies that are spoken by church leaders are the deadly arrows that cause spiritual death in the church.
Protestant or non-Catholic churches either follow the Bible-believing first church age that was the Scriptural mother church of true believers or they follow the example of Roman Catholicism that used the Trinity and dominating bishops from the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 to become the unscriptural mother church who gave birth to her harlot Protestant daughters.
REVELATION 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
EZEKIEL 16:44 Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter.
If a Protestant group wants to get big, they tend to follow this very successful Catholic model of church growth. Exalt a human leader as head of the church.
Protestants also agree with many Catholic beliefs like Trinity, Christmas, Good Friday, and baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost without ever mentioning what that name is. They cannot find one name for their Triune God.
Non-Catholic churches also have certain different doctrinal beliefs to the Catholics (and to other Protestant groups) but they mostly agree on the method of church control by the centralization of power in the hands of one person.
This person is called a reverend, a bishop, a dominee, a pastor in the Protestant church, which is the Protestant version of the "priest". They claim that this man is the head of the church and basically rules the church. Very efficient, but is it Scriptural?
The apostles left elders in charge of each local church
Jesus left the apostles to establish the early churches. Who did the apostles leave in charge?
Elders, not one man.
Saint Paul spoke to the elders of Ephesus who established the first church age which is the model that the last church age must return to. This is near the beginning of the New Testament.
17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Acts 20 : 17;28
Feeding the flock is the work of a shepherd.
The elders are to feed the flock. It is not a one-man ministry.
A group of local elders who are all equal act as a shepherd to the flock.
Paul did not put a one-man pastor as the head of the church. Nor a one-man reverend. Nor a one-man priest.
The local elders are the overseers of the local church of God in any one place.
A shepherd is thus represented by a group of elders. No one man has sufficient knowledge or talents.
Saint Peter says the same thing near the end of the New Testament.
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:
2 Feed 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;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
1 Peter 5 : 1-5
Peter greets the elders as an elder himself, not as an apostle.
57-0908 HEBREWS CHAPTER FIVE AND SIX.1
Show me by the Bible what's greater, in the Bible, than a local elder to a local church? That's right, yes, sir, the sovereignty of the local church, each church in itself.
The 12 apostles would die in due course and it was elders who would take over from them.
The elders must feed the church...and not for the sake of money.
1 Peter 5:2 Feed 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;
When it comes to church leadership, Peter sees money as a contaminating issue. Money begets ambition and greed.
Giving a greedy person money is like adding dry branches to a fire, the flames of greed intensify.
Verse 2 does not justify a one-man church leader collecting all the tithes. The elders take the oversight of the church and handle the money matters as well as all the other issues. It is not a one-man show.
In today's materialistic world, if a person benefits from the church money then that person should have no say in how the church money is allocated. Money allocation that favours a family member is nepotism.
Verse 3 speaks out against a one-man leader who dominates an assembly.
1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
No one is lord over God's people. No one man is the head of the church.
Verse 4 speaks of the Chief Shepherd, Jesus, who actually runs the church. Thus the elders should only tell people what is in the Scripture because that alone points the people to the Chief Shepherd.
Verse 5 "All of you be subject one to another". This was the key to the early church. All the elders were equal. No elder was the boss. No single elder was in charge.
They ran the church as a group, a team of equals.
But a church leader wants people to follow him
A wolf pack is most effective when it is dominated and ruled by a single powerful wolf, called the "alpha male".
The wolf-pack leader is ruthless.
This is a great model for Churchianity growth and survival.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Acts 20 : 29-30
Notice this tactic "to draw away disciples after them" is to promote a human leader for the church to follow.
One man then runs the show and the people are subject to his opinion.
It is effective in terms of building up a church group but God says this type of leadership reminds Him of wolves.
Romulus and Remus were twins who were supposedly suckled by a she-wolf and then dominating Romulus got rid of the only man who was his equal, his twin brother Remus. Romulus killed Remus. Just like Cain killed Abel.
Today church leaders "kill" Bible teachers by character assassination.
After taking that step, Romulus was the undisputed leader and on his way to successfully building up Rome. Stay away from that spirit. Do not follow a man. Do not believe anything that does not get proven to you from Scripture.
Paul lays out how the church should be run.
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.
1 Corinthians 12 : 28
These are three key ministries for setting the church in order, apostles, prophets, and teachers.
Notice, pastors are not even mentioned. Priests are not mentioned. Reverends are not mentioned.
The word "pastors" is mentioned once in the New Testament.
"Teachers" are mentioned 11 times in the New Testament.
The New Testament mentions "elder" six times and "elders" twenty-four times. A total of thirty times.
A group of elders is a far more Scriptural leadership structure than a one-man-head-of-the-church who calls himself a priest or a reverend or a pastor.
Even teachers are mentioned ten times more than pastors in the New Testament.
EPHESIANS 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
The apostles established the New Testament which was based on the Old Testament of the prophets.
But the Old Testament prophets have to agree with what the New Testament apostles wrote as the apostles have pre-eminence.
You cannot interpret the Old Testament in a way that contradicts the New Testament.
Ellen G White did that when she called Saturday the New Testament Sabbath. The true Sabbath of the New Testament is the Holy Ghost baptism that makes us rest from our sins.
HEBREWS 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
God did not rest from His creation works and then go back to them again.
If you stop work on a Saturday and then go back to work again on the next week, you are not doing what God did.
But when you do your sinful works, and then you repent and go on to receive the Holy Ghost, then you do not go back to your sinful works and unbelief anymore. So the Holy Ghost baptism is the true Sabbath, the rest from sin and unbelief.
The apostles come first. They were trained by Jesus and they laid down the rules and guidelines for the New Testament church to follow. The original 12 apostles had the highest authority. Other apostles or missionaries must be subject to the teachings of the first apostles.
These truths and guidelines would get lost during the church ages because of unscriptural teachings.
REVELATION 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
No modern-day apostle is allowed to say anything different from what the original apostles laid down in the New Testament.
Prophets are second in line. God has often used a prophetic gift to guide His people at different times during history but the main prophetic ministries would be men like Paul, Peter, and John who wrote the prophecies of the New Testament.
So he (Luther) was not able to lead the church back to the whole truth as would a man like the apostle Paul who was both apostle and prophet.
"Sardisean Church Age", Church Age Book Chapter 7
Then there is a special prophetic ministry, the end-time Elijah who has to turn the children (us) back to the fathers (the original apostles).
MATTHEW 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
This prophet can only reveal the mysteries that are written in the Bible, so that we can understand the Bible and thereby return to the beliefs of the early church.
We have the written Word from the apostles. We have the spoken word from the end-time prophet.
We get our ideas or revelations from the spoken word.
Then we have to prove those ideas from the written Word which always has pre-eminence.
This is where the church fails. They get a revelation from the quotes but do not prove it from Scripture.
This is why teaching is the third step.
Teaching is focused on Scripture. Taking the quotes of man back to Scripture and proving them from Bible verses.
Believe all the Message. Believe That. If it isn't, if it isn't written in the Bible, then don't you believe it.
"He That Is In You" 10 November 1963
Teaching is essential as it forces people to prove what they believe just from the Bible.
Only then do you know what you are talking about.
If that Angel of the Lord told me anything that wasn't Scriptural, I wouldn't believe Him.
"The Third Seal" 20 March 1963
Prophets could not just say what they liked. Their sayings were checked to make sure that they were Scriptural
In the Old Testament, before a prophet's word could be made manifest, it had to be examined and proved. They wasn't loose with it, like we are today.
Just go out and have any kind of a sensation, or anything else, "Oh, glory to God, that's it!" You're mistaken.
The Bible said, that, "In the last days, the Devil will impersonate Christianity, so close, till it'll deceive the very Elected if possible." That's right. So, we must test it.
And how did they test it in their day? To the Urim Thummim. The breastplate of Aaron, that had those stones in it: carbuncle, jasper, diamond, ruby, sapphire. All those stones, that represent the birth of these twelve patriarchs, was in the breastplate of Aaron. And when a prophet prophesied, and that sacred Light flashed over it, God said, "That is the Truth." But, no matter how real it seemed, if it didn't flash on that, it wasn't the Truth. So, that Urim Thummim went with that priesthood.
But this Bible is God's Urim Thummim today. And when a prophet prophesies, it must absolutely flash with the Bible.
"Hebrews Chapter Two", Part 1 25 August 1957
Checking things with the Bible is the unpopular task of a teacher. Because that implies that you must know a lot about the Bible which takes time and hard work.
To check what the prophet said and see if his ideas can be proven just from Scripture.
Priests, reverends, and Pastors do not have this kind of Bible-based ministry and happily preach by splicing quotes together to produce unscriptural conclusions.
Hence these one-man church leaders do not like having a teacher to correct them for being unscriptural.
If you put one man in charge of a church then the inevitable consequence will be the growth of Bible-illiteracy in the church.
Pastors run the evangelical and Pentecostal churches and almost all of them believe in Trinity, Christmas, Good Friday, a seven-year Tribulation, "The Antichrist" (there is no such Scripture), the antichrist is a political leader from Europe, etc.
Many evangelicals and Pentecostals even thought that the antivirus vaccines developed in 2021 were the mark of the beast. An injection in the shoulder is supposed to fulfill the Scriptural mark in the forehead? Really?
All these wrong ideas are the corruption of Scripture because one-man church leaders are simply not capable of understanding the deeper mysteries of Scripture. That is not their ministry.
As a self-proclaimed head-of-the-church, the leader gets rid of a Scriptural teacher who dares to contradict him and then usurps the position of explaining the deep Bible mysteries.
What does God think of all this seeing that the people in the church want to be dominated and taught by a charismatic one-man leader. That way they do not have to prove what they believe from Scripture, because they do not know enough about the Bible to prove their beliefs just from Scripture anyway. Loyalty to their leader and going to church regularly become the anchor of their faith.
Jesus is the Word.
Whatever you say about the Bible you are saying about Jesus.
Hardly any Christians today say that the King James Bible is the infallible Voice of God, the Absolute.
Today's Christians are happy to criticize parts of the King James Bible (whereby they criticize Jesus) but they would never dare criticize their pastor nor their church.
Do you wonder that God describes the end-time church as vomit that He will spue into great Tribulation.
63-0630 THE THIRD EXODUS
for they can hear plainly the God's Voice, calling, through His Word
... Listen to the Bible, the Voice of God calling to you in this day.
What the Bible says about Pastors
Not much in the New Testament. The word "pastor" is only mentioned once.
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Ephesians 4 : 11-12
A five-fold ministry is needed to guide the believers among whom pastors are mentioned fourth.
This is not a high-ranking position. Does this entitle the pastor to dominate a church? Certainly not.
Where is the five-fold ministry today? Because no one is allowed to preach unless they agree with the one-man church leader.
Disagree with the head-of-the-church and he closes his pulpit to that ministry. Thus the church leader acts as a Catholic bishop, controlling the other four ministries. The one-man church leader also controls the tithes so any independent thinking by the other four ministries is financially throttled.
Just as the Catholic emperor Constantine subsidized the churches to make them obedient to him so that he was then able to bend them to his will, the man who is the church leader will only subsidize the ministries that he agrees with. The congregations are only exposed to ministries that the leader approves of. They only hear the leader's side of the argument, never an opposing viewpoint. That produces a very biased opinion.
Thus, many church leaders develop into a pre-eminent "one-man-show". One man who can do it all: preach, teach, evangelize, rule the church, subject the church to his beliefs, etc. The congregation benefits from his strong points but are also subject to his weak points, errors, and Bible-ignorance.
9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
3 John 1 : 9-10
This man, who coveted more than his due, and lorded it over God's heritage, ruled the flock and usurped a one-man power over them.
Who bans people from his church and pulpit today? The self-proclaimed head of the church.
Who has pre-eminence in the church today? Pastors.
One keeps hearing this title all the time.
Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
Matthew 23 : 2
The scribes and Pharisees quoted from the prophet Moses. Selective quotes that suited their theories. What they heard from Moses did not stop them rejecting the full Word in the Person of Jesus.
Church leaders today mainly preach from carefully chosen quotes.
"The prophet said this ...", "The prophet said that..."
Carefully selected quotes based on their understanding of the mysteries. That does not stop them from rejecting many verses of Scripture.
They do not prove their point by going through the Scriptures. Their understanding is based on a certain puddle of selected quotes that ignore other quotes and Scriptures that contradict their theory. Skeptics refer to this type of one-man church leader as "a puddle pirate". Robbing people of a deeper understanding of Bible truth.
Ask the question "Why does a pastor rule the assembly?" and you get a flood of quotes to justify that the pastor is the head of the church. Not a flood of Scriptures because the Bible says that Jesus is the Head of the church.
...even as Christ is the head of the church:...
Ephesians 5 : 23
Speaking of the Pharisees, the Jewish religious leaders, Jesus said:
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
Matthew 23 : 6
Religious leaders love self-importance. This is an inbuilt human defect.
"The chief seats".
How many modern church buildings have seats in front for the important people to sit in? Who are these important people? Those preachers who agree with the church leader. No ministry will sit there if that man disagrees with the local priest, reverend, dominee, or pastor.
One-man church leaders do not welcome opposition, just as Pope Leo X did his best to get rid of Martin Luther who was the best monk in the whole Roman Catholic system.
This is the grievous weakness of one-man-church-leadership. They cannot see the good that another person is doing for God. All they can see is that the other person is opposing the leader's wishes and ambitions.
By saying that the one-man church leader is not the head of the church means that the Bible also does not say that the tithes belong to the one man who calls himself the head of the church. Thus you threaten the church leader's income. That means war.
Luther challenged the Pope's false income from the sale of indulgences in 1517 and by 1520 Luther had been excommunicated, which was effectively a death sentence if the Pope could get hold of him.
Jesus chased the money-makers out of the Temple on Palm Sunday and again the next day on Monday. That was going too far. The religious leaders demanded His death on Thursday.
Jesus interfered with the Temple's money-making business. It cost Him His life. Interfere with a church leader's money income and watch things get nasty. Remember the ruthless alpha male wolf that is in charge of a submissive pack. Paul called one-man church leaders "wolves" for good reasons.
Jesus did not die on a Friday as the churches claim because He had to spend 3 nights in the tomb before rising on Sunday morning.
"Good Friday" and "Easter Monday" are unscriptural ideas thought up by incompetent church leaders who cannot teach from Scripture as they "parrot" false church traditions. Just like the unscriptural Christmas, 25 December, and Christmas tree. The Bible never mentions parrots because parrots cannot understand what they are saying. Church leaders who preach on Christmas and Good Friday and Easter Monday do not know what they are talking about. These are pagan ideas and dates.
In modern-day churches, the man-in-charge is always considered to be right, the person who disagrees is always wrong. That thinking is called Churchianity, the subtle enemy of Christianity.
And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Matthew 23 : 7
How often do you hear the title "Pastor" being mentioned? Often.
Consider, if a man Tim is the pastor.
The pastor is never called, "Tim". Always, "Pastor Tim".
Many pastors resent being called, "Brother Tim" as that does not give them pre-eminence. They want the title of "Pastor" to be stuck onto their name. Nowhere in the Bible is the title of "Pastor" ever stuck onto somebody's name.
But this emphasis on a title is not how other ministries are called.
These criticisms of a one-man church head are not criticisms of the person. Church leaders are nice people. Nobody desires to serve God in order to be a bad person.
The criticism is aimed at the unscriptural position that has been created in the churches whereby one man becomes the head of the local church. Thus a nice person fills an unscriptural position, which is wrong.
Pope Francis is a lovely and charismatic man. There are no complaints about him as a person. But the position of Pope is unscriptural. Nobody can serve God in an unscriptural office or position of authority.
The criticisms are directed at the church systems that create these wrong positions. Not at the nice and friendly people who wrongly fill these unscriptural positions.
A pastor is a useful office that God can use to help his church. But that does not happen when the pastor is unscripturally elevated to be the head of the local church.
In the same way, it is wrong for the great guy Francis to be "Bishop of Rome" or "Pope" or "Pontiff" because there is no such position in the Bible.
If Tim is a teacher then he is just called, "Tim" or "Brother Tim". Never, "Teacher Tim".
"Who is your pastor?"
This unscriptural question is one of the first that message-people ask a person.
The early church never spoke like that.
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
Matthew 23 : 8
"All ye are brethren".
We are all supposed to be equal. A teacher is not called Teacher Smith, just brother Smith. But pastors insist on being called Pastor Smith. (If his name is Smith)
William Branham didn't ask to be called prophet Branham. He was happy to be brother Branham. We should address men as "brother", not some other title that implies that they are above us in some way.
Until Constantine stopped the persecution of Christians around AD 312, Christians often had to meet in houses, open-air places, or secret places owing to the major persecutions that had been launched against them. If they met in public buildings these were liable to be confiscated. Tertullian (AD 160 - 228) wrote "We are besieged, hunted down, taken by surprise in our secret congregations".
The first evidence of a church building comes from around the year AD 220. They never had separate church buildings in the first church age that ended around AD 170. And we are supposed to be going back to the first church age example.
The severe persecutions kept them on track. After AD 312, the persecution of Christians stopped and church buildings sprang up with a priest who ruled the congregation.
Basilicas (big, fancy churches) were built to give certain places pre-eminence and their ceremonial worship copied the ceremony that took place in the emperor's palace.
The worship of God was modeled on emperor worship. Churchianity replaced Christianity.
The state was ruled by a human head, the emperor. So the churches also had to be ruled by a human head. The church copied the political example.
Church leaders were elevated above the church members and they ruled and dominated the people just like political leaders did.
Look what the Bible says of this third church age:
12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write...
13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: ...
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Revelation 2 : 12-13;15
Church buildings thus open the door to a large crowd being organized and dominated by one man.
"Nico" means to conquer. "Laity" the people in the assembly.
God did not elevate an Aaronic priesthood of a five-fold ministry above the people.
Or worse still, a one-man-show, that elevates a man above the assembly who then rules, regulates, and subdues the assembly until they are bent to the leader's will.
"Satan's seat". This is a harsh condemnation.
This is one successful technique whereby Satan takes over the church although the people sincerely believe that they are serving God.
The Old Testament only speaks of pastors in Jeremiah, who does not say much good about them.
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Jeremiah 3 : 15
This is good. Pastors can be a useful ministry if they find their correct place.
Pastoral care is to help people with their personal, family, and work problems.
Help them with problems in their relationships with people and with Jesus.
63-0724 GOD DOESN'T CALL MAN TO JUDGMENT WITHOUT FIRST WARNING HIM
But, you see, in the church there is the pastor, and that pastor is a special person. He's built to where he can put up with the fusses of the people. He's a burden-bearer, he's the ox of the team. He's a man that can sit down when somebody's got something against somebody else, and sit down with them two families (and take neither side) and reason it out and bring it right back into sweetness. See? He's a pastor, he knows how to take care of things.
Pastors are part of a team of local elders who run the local church.
Pastors are not anointed to puzzle out deep Bible doctrines. That is a teacher's ministry.
As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee.
Jeremiah 17 : 16
This is a reasonably neutral statement. What came out of his mouth was true. That is good.
But, being a pastor did not make him follow God. And he was slow to get away from being a pastor so that he could follow God. That was not so good.
As the pastor, he assumed that he had the power to be in charge of the church and its money, and this power over people made him reluctant to follow God.
Men do not like to let go of power once they have wielded it.
Bible condemns pastors in 6 out of 9 verses on pastors
"Pastors" is mentioned once in the New Testament and eight times, prophetically, in the Old Testament.
Pastors were not a ministry in the Old Testament.
So, when 6 of the 8 prophetic verses condemn pastors, then we realize that the unscriptural elevation of the pastor to be the head of the church has done a lot of damage.
Pastors can do a lot of good by helping and counseling people but they do a lot of harm when they are elevated to be in charge of the church.
The following verses are not mentioned to find fault with the ministry of a pastor. That is a very useful ministry when it focuses on people and helping them with their problem areas.
But the criticism against pastors is when they get out of their scriptural place and are elevated to being the head of the church.
Then they also assume the right to reveal the deeper Bible mysteries according to their own opinions.
But the one who is ordained to explain the Bible verses is the ministry of a Bible teacher.
As the unscriptural head of the church, Pastors also assume that they have the say over who preaches and what is done with the church money. Look around. The guy in the church who has the best house is all-too-often the pastor. Plus he has the advantage of a reserved parking bay at the church.
Power corrupts and by having too much power over the people and the money simply corrupts the pastors as the last 6 comments on Pastors in the Old Testament are very condemning of Pastors.
According to the Bible, they are obviously not the one-man-superstars that they and their congregations think they are.
The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
Jeremiah 2 : 8
"The pastors also transgressed against me". Transgression means unscriptural beliefs.
Just having a pastor as the head of the church is very unscriptural and thus a big transgression.
For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.
Jeremiah 10 : 21
The pastors are become brutish and don't seek God.
Their agenda is their own gain and their own importance.
They love to rule over people. Anyone who disagrees has to leave. The believers who want Scripture have to scatter. Then the assembly cannot be corrected.
Submissive to this unscriptural error of a human head, the congregation heads for great Tribulation.
Wolves are brutish. Any wolf challenging the dominant wolf pack leader gets destroyed by that leader.
Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
Jeremiah 12 : 10
We are supposed to prove our beliefs from Scripture. The Bible is our true Vineyard. That is where we get our stimulation of revelation from when we understand the meaning of the Scriptures.
Now, pastors have decided to interpret the unwritten mysteries in the Bible like the seven Thunders and the new name of Jesus, etc.
They have made people put their faith in selected quotes instead of Scripture. Truth is no longer based on Scripture. People parrot quotes. Scriptural proof of a doctrine is left desolate. Message people and church-goers cannot prove their beliefs just from the Bible anymore.
The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.
Jeremiah 22 : 22
Wind speaks of spiritual war and strife. Their love of argument is based on selected quotes and the sad lack of Scriptural proof.
"The wind..." By interpreting certain selected quotes to mean something that brother Branham never said, pastors become windbags.
Brother Branham never said "The seven Thunders have uttered" but pastors make this statement a foundation of their mystery beliefs.
Disagree with the Pastor and you have to leave.
1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 23 : 1-2
By preaching their different versions and interpretations of quotes, pastors browbeat and brainwash a group into not building up their beliefs on Scripture, as if some selected quotes are all you need. The pastor's opinion of these selected quotes is claimed to be the truth.
But those who dare to disagree with him are chased away and scattered.
"Your pastor will see you through". (This is an unscriptural statement). Yet one pastor differs from another as the message-churches have fragmented into numerous variations.
So which pastor and which version of the Message is correct? Any of the church versions?
After all, Jesus stands outside all the churches in the age of the church of the Laodiceans where the people are making up their own church ideas.
The size of the congregation and the accumulated wealth of the church are regarded as proof of correctness. By that logic, the Catholics are most correct as they are the biggest in numbers and money.
But any person who wants to learn Truth by linking up Scripture to Scripture gets driven away.
Pastors do not visit these dissenters. They don't want them in their assemblies.
So what is the alternative?
God rejects pastors and sets up shepherds to feed us
People claim that a pastor is a shepherd but there is no Scripture that says this.
2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 23 : 2-4
God condemns the pastors that have fed the people the wrong food. No one person can succeed as the head of the church, only Jesus. Human church heads are flawed vessels with their limitations, weaknesses, and Bible-ignorance.
Life today is just too complex for one man to have all the answers.
But then God says that He will provide shepherds who will feed the people the correct food. A group of elders can feed a local church far more effectively with their combined wisdom and experience than one-man-church-head .
The people "shall fear no more". They will not be subject to terror tactics if they disagree. No more will dissenters have to undergo expulsion and having the blood remitted (an unscriptural statement). No longer will they be unwanted just because they dared to disagree.
God rejects the pastors and sets up shepherds. Who are these people?
They will be a minority.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Luke 18 : 7-8
Shepherds always go to the Word.
So shepherds were sent by the angel to the baby Jesus.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psalms 23 : 1
The only real Shepherd is Jesus.
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 10 : 11
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
John 10 : 2
The Door to heaven is Jesus who is the Word. You must only preach the Word. If you establish the truth by running it through the Bible then you are turning people to the Word which is the only Door to heaven. And the focus of the Bible is your dependence on Jesus Christ.
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
John 10 : 5
Human interpretations cannot link Scripture to Scripture. You get your ideas from the quotes. But then you must track those ideas through the Bible. If you do not prove your ideas from Scripture, without having to refer to quotes, then you simply do not know what you are talking about. Then the true believer, who wants to build faith on the written Word, will not follow your opinion.
The fivefold ministry are not the only elders. People claim that there is a new Aaronic priesthood called the fivefold ministry that runs the church. But the Aaronic Priesthood ended at Calvary when Caiaphas the High Priest tore his robe.
The true Melchizadek priesthood consists of every believer which maintains the equality of everyone.
You are as much a part of the priesthood as anybody else.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
1 Peter 2 : 9
No one is between you and Jesus. The elders are simply guides or signposts to point you to Him. You do not hero-worship a signpost. You are grateful for a signpost but you move on to the Person of Jesus Who is THE WAY that the signpost is pointing to.
The fivefold ministry are simply elders who preach. There are other elders involved in the running of the church who do not preach. But they are all elders.
Each has his own function but a function does not make the person more or less important.
I'm going to pray for you right now. I'm going to lay hands upon you. I'm going to ask the minister brothers, so that you see it's not just me. I'm not the only one. Any minister has the right to pray for the sick. Any minister that's godly and God-sent, that's got faith in God, God will hear his prayer just the same as He will anybody. They may not be able to discern and things like that. That don't happen too often. That's right. But that don't make the person doing that any more than anybody else.
"The Way Back" 23 November 1962
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
1 Peter 5 : 5
We are all subject to each other. We are all ruled by Scripture. Whoever finds a relevant Scripture that deals with an issue, we all are then subject to that Scripture. That is how we can all correct each other.
There is no Boss of a local assembly.
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
1 Timothy 5 : 17
Some elders labour in the word and doctrine. They are the fivefold ministry. But there are other elders who are not preachers but they also play a part in ruling the church.
It is the combination of teaching, preaching, and non-preaching elders who rule the church.
Teaching makes us understand Bible verses
The teacher is a special man. He sits back under the anointing of the Spirit and is able to take the Words and put them together by the Holy Spirit, that, the pastor or evangelist either one could not compare with him.
"God Doesn't Call Man to Judgment Without First Warning Him" 24 July 1963
The teacher gets his revelation or understanding from the quotes.
Then he places those ideas into the Scripture and links Scripture to Scripture to prove the idea purely from the Bible.
No quotes are needed to prove the point. The Bible alone must be able to do so.
The other ministries cannot compare with this ability to link the Scriptures together, that a Bible teacher is anointed with.
If the quotes can be proven from the Scripture then these revelations can be guaranteed to be the truth. This is the value of teaching if the pastors and evangelists and other preachers are not too proud to learn doctrine from a teacher.
"Helps". The church is not run by one man. All the people should be involved. Anyone can help and find something useful to do. This ministry is an invitation for people to pitch in and be active.
"Governments" refer to the elders (preachers and non-preachers) who govern the church.
Show unto us the way to walk. Teach us, O Father, God. May we receive it. And if it's contrary to the Word, we know that it's the wrong teacher. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher. He wrote the Word, and He would not teach anything but the Word. And we pray that He'll make it manifest to us this night in our heart. Grant it, God.
"Jehovah Jireh 3" 07 July 1962
You say, "Well, glory to God, the Bible said when the Holy Ghost is come you don't need any teacher; He's the teacher Hisself." Oh, brother. How can you be so little from reading the Scrip... Why did the Holy Ghost set teachers in the church then?
Say, "I don't have to have anybody teach me; the Holy Ghost teaches me."
It does through a teacher. He set teachers in the church.
He said, "Are all teachers, are all apostles, are all gifts of healing?" The Holy Ghost set these things in the church; He operates them all, and each one of them operates orderly.
"Questions and Answers" 15 May 1954
What is it? With God-sent teacher that'll stay right with the Word to the real church, not move one iota no matter what an organization says; they're not connected with it. Prophets; not make-belief, so-called, but a genuine prophet has THUS SAITH THE LORD, and right on the dot every time. That's what He's sent in His church. That's what He said He would do. Believes the Word; not the creed, not the dogma, but the Word... And by doing this, He shows Himself in them by confirming His Word, making the same life that He lived once, live over again, bringing His Word to pass. Oh, my.
"Oneness" 11 February 1962
Which was a New Testament modern-day prophet, a preacher. "Prophesy" means "to foretell, or to tell some personal thing."
In other words, if you read the Bible and start tell... Then that's a teacher. See? But a "prophesy" is "to testify or foretell." All right. Now... And the Spirit of Christ is prophecy.
"I Perceive That Thou Art A Prophet" 14 June 1953
I remember staying a year and six months in this Book of Revelation in the Tabernacle here. That's what I like in teaching. I just love teaching. Oh, my. I think it's wonderful. It gives the basis and settles the church.
And in preaching, now, there's some people that are preachers. They can pick up the Word with inspiration, and sway It out there in places. That's watering the Seeds that the teacher has taught. See?
Now, you got to put some Seed in first, and then water It. And the watering comes from the preaching of the Word.
There's a great vast difference between a teacher and a preacher. See? It's two different gifts of the Spirit altogether, two different gifts. And I humbly say this, but I haven't a gift of either.
"The Seven Church Ages" 12 May 1954
Now, the Urim Thummim has been done away with, in that sense, but This is God's Urim Thummim now, the Bible. If a prophet, or a dreamer, or whatever it is, or a teacher, hasn't based his theory exactly on THUS SAITH THE LORD, I don't believe it. See? Got to come right here, from Genesis to Revelations. Not just in one place, it's got to come through the Bible and tie It exactly together. Yes, sir. It's got to dovetail with the rest of It, and hook It all together. If you don't, you could take one thing and say that that's purgatory and preach Catholicism out of the Bible. But it's got to dovetail completely from Genesis to Revelations, make the picture clear. That's right.
And the Holy Ghost is the One Who develops this picture for you, if you'll just let Him do it. He will lead you into all Light. The Bible said so. Jesus said He would do it.
"The Seal Of God" 14 May 1954
God stays right with His Word. Here's the instructions the Holy Spirit got to teach a child by. He will never leave that for nothing. He will never add one word or take one word away from it. He will stay exactly on that. He will never leave that Bible.
If the Bible said, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever," the Holy Spirit will say the same thing.
Men will say, "Oh, no, you can't teach that. You couldn't get by with it."
The Bible said, "I'm the Lord healeth all thy diseases."
Man say, "Oh, you can't believe that."
The Holy Spirit said, "Amen. It's right."
See? But that's what makes the difference. "Oh, we Presbyterian, we Pentecostal, we Assemblies, we this, we don't believe that."
Why don't you believe it? Because you're listening to men teachers in the stead of God's Teacher, the Holy Spirit. That's exactly right. Stay right with the Word. He will never add nothing to It or take nothing away from It. He will stay right with the instructions. He is God's Teacher.
"Hear Ye Him" 19 May 1957
And many times we substitute so much instead of the Word, especially today. We're substituting phenomenal. We're substituting a lot of other things that shouldn't be.
After all, church is for preaching the Word. Testimonies are fine, and different things that we do is wonderful, but we must give the Word first place because It's for the sinner, and for the people that has the Holy Spirit also.
Jesus said, when Satan tempted Him, He said, "It's written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." See? The Holy Spirit feeds on the Word of God. The Holy... He takes the Word and places it into your heart, and it makes you grow in strength, good Bible exposits. And I love it.
I love to sit and hear a good Bible teacher who takes the Bible and lays It out. Then the Spirit of kindness and meekness with it, where it takes root in good soft ground, and goes to growing.
"A Hidden Life In Christ" 10 November 1955
Now, Moses, when he was called by God, he was a total, complete prophet. When God sends a man to do anything, He completely equips him with everything that he has need of. If God calls a man to be a preacher, He puts something in him to preach with. If He calls him to be a teacher, He puts something in him to teach with. If He calls for him to be a prophet, He puts something in him to see visions and to be a prophet. God always completely equips His man.
"A Total Deliverance" 12 July 1959
A teacher that'll send and tell you just exactly what to do, because himself is anointed with the Holy Ghost. And watch him; he will stay right smack with the Word. Exactly what the Word says, he will say right with It. And God will bless that Word. I don't care where it's at; He will bless it because He promised He would do it. That's right. He will stay.
"Hear Ye Him" 12 July 1960
"God called me to be a teacher." And watch him how he interprets the Word. See? He gets It all mixed up and everything, then you can tell. See?
But then, the thing to do, your position is usually known whether you can do it or not.
"Questions and Answers" 12 January 1961
Recently I was talking to a priest, he said, "Why, you're just another Bible teacher." Said, "You just stay with the Bible."
"The Comforter" 01 October 1961
The first stage, a white horse (See?), he was just a teacher, just an antichrist teacher; he was against the Word of God. And now, how can you be an antichrist?
Anybody that denies that every Word of this--isn't true and to be taught just the same, is an antichrist, 'cause they deny the Word, and He is the Word.
"The Third Seal" 20 March 1963
"Thou hast tried them that say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars."
My, that is a blunt statement. "Thou hast tried them who call themselves apostles." Isn't that presumptuous? What right has a people to try those who call themselves apostles? And how do they try them? Oh, I love this.
Here it is in Galatians 1:8,
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have (already) preached unto you, let him be accursed."
... But God's Word can't change. The Seed came exactly as revealed. Hallelujah. And see what those false apostles were doing. They came with their own word. Those Ephesians knew that Word as Paul had taught it. They were full of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of Paul's hands. They looked those false apostles in the eye and said, "You are not saying what Paul said. You are, therefore, false." Oh, that sets my heart on fire. Get back to the Word! It is not you that really tries the apostle, and prophet and teacher, IT IS THE WORD THAT TRIES THEM.
One of these days there is going to come a prophet to the Laodicean Church Age and you will know if he is the real one sent from God or not. Yes you will, for if he is of God HE WILL BE IN THAT WORD EXACTLY AS GOD GAVE IT TO PAUL. HE WON'T DEVIATE FROM THAT WORD FOR A MOMENT, NOT BY ONE IOTA. In that last age, when there will be many false prophets appearing, watch and see how they keep telling you that if you don't believe them and what they say, you will be lost; but when that LAST DAY PROPHET comes on the scene, if he is truly that prophet, he will be crying out, "Get back to the Word or you are lost." He won't build on a private revelation or interpretation, but on the Word. Amen, and Amen!
Ephesian Church Age - Church Age Book Chapter 3
How pastors made a mess of the 1963 Cloud doctrine
Brother Branham never said that the Cloud of 1963 is the Coming of the Lord. It was photographed hanging high in the sky for 28 minutes just after Sunset by the Tucson Observatory. The Cloud never came down, nor did it go up.
There is no mountain under the Cloud. The Cloud never was at Sunset Mountain.
Brother Branham made a big mistake by thinking that he stood under this cloud.
He knew nothing about the cloud when it appeared. He then got the place and time of the cloud hopelessly wrong.
Message pastors use these wrong quotes to build up fictitious doctrines like "The Lord has come and is in a mystery dimension", "Mercy is over", "The Angel of Revelation 10 came down while brother Branham was on earth", "The shout has happened".
The Cloud was photographed on 28 February 1963. How can this be the Coming of the Lord when he said that the Seventh Seal brings Him back to earth? The Seventh Seal was only preached on 24 March 1963 as well as some comments on 25 March 1963. So which date was the Coming?
The Seventh Seal brings Him back to earth.
"Souls that are in Prison Now" 10 November 1963
Then he also said that the Seventh Seal never opened.
The Seventh Seal hasn't opened yet, you know. That's His Coming.
"The Feast of the Trumpets" 19 July 1964
If the Seventh Seal never opened, then Jesus never came on that day.
And now I'm here in Yuma, Arizona. Hallelujah! I'm identified tonight, here in this Stardust Motel, with a group of people who believes the same thing. "And now we're seated together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Hallelujah! I'm looking for His Coming in glory, some of these days. Identified with Him!
"The Identified Masterpiece of God" 05 December 1964
Two years after the Cloud was photographed and brother Branham was still waiting for the Lord to come.
Message-people seldom mention that two clouds were photographed from the city of Winslow.
The big Cloud was formed by the wings of 7 angels. The smaller smoke cloud that was 20 miles behind it, was formed by a high-altitude rocket that exploded above Vandenberg Airforce Base.
The Cloud was photographed just north of the city of Flagstaff, which is about 200 miles north of Sunset Peak. The Cloud was never at Sunset Peak. The 7 angels that formed the Cloud then, 8 days later, visited brother Branham on 8 March 1963, at Sunset Peak and commissioned him to reveal the 7 Seals, and left. They formed no Cloud as they came invisibly and departed invisibly on 8 March.
Brother Branham was in Tucson when the Cloud was photographed just north of Flagstaff. He knew nothing about the Cloud until some months later. He also knew nothing about the second smoke cloud.
ACTS 2:19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
A normal rain cloud forms from water vapour. "Vapour of smoke" forms a smoke cloud, high in the heaven above.
Peter prophesied of a high-altitude smoke cloud. We need a high-altitude smoke cloud to fulfill this prophecy.
After making many comments about this Cloud that he had never seen, brother Branham, 5 months before he died, finally declared it to be the sign of the Son of man in the heaven.
Message pastors had made a serious mistake.
They mistook the sign for the actual event.
65-0718 TRYING TO DO GOD A SERVICE WITHOUT BEING THE WILL OF GOD
And then in that great observatory, so that the world will be without, they're still wondering what happened. In Tucson, them big observatories took the picture of it up there; still wondering what happened. What is it? They still put in the paper, "Does anybody know anything about what, how it could have happen?" There is no fog up there, there's no air, there's no moisture; thirty miles high in the air. Oh, my!
"There shall be signs in the heaven above. And when these things take place, earthquakes in divers places, then shall appear the sign in the heaven, of the Son of man."
The Cloud was not the Angel of Revelation Chapter 10.
When that Angel, of Revelation the 10th chapter, puts one foot on land and one on the sea, and a rainbow over His head, He swore, "time shall be no more." When that time comes, you'll rise up from among the dead. While the rest of them lay there, you'll go in.
A year after the Cloud and he was still waiting for the Angel to come down and raise the dead in the resurrection.
This mighty Angel has the voice of the resurrection.
65-1127 I HAVE HEARD BUT NOW I SEE
Dear God, in this solemn moment, it's going to be a time like this when there really will be a clap of thunder someday, and the Son of God shall descend from the heavens with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God, the dead in Christ shall rise.
One month before he died and brother Branham was still waiting for the voice of the resurrection from the Archangel. He was also still waiting for the "shout" of the message. The shout was not him revealing the Bible mysteries from Scripture. The shout is when the Bride individuals are able to understand the revelation of the Bible mysteries for themselves, just using the relevant Bible verses.
But what happened? Balaam, he succeeded in weakening Israel. What did he do? He weakened their camp. God let him go and weaken their camp, and it polluted the whole camp. And when some doctrine starts, that's not the Bible Truth, it pollutes the whole camp. Somebody raise up with a different idea, like Korah, and say, "Well, this, that, and the other, and I got a different idea," it pollutes the whole camp. And that's what's done the whole church camp today. That's right.
Teaching as he did, weakening the whole camp for Kadesh-barnea, the Word showdown. When they got to Kadesh-barnea, then, the weakening of the camp. They come back. They had went right after...
Remember, they had eat angels' food. They had the Word of God, every night, made manifest. And they eat the food. They drink from the rock. They did all, seen the miracles. They watched Moses, and seen his word, seen his prophesies, everything.
And then finally when they listened to this false teacher, come in among them and teach wrong, he weakened the camp, and prospered by it.
He might have built a million-dollar buildings. He might have had great denominations. He might have added thousands times thousands, and done great works, and mighty works, and was a prophet. That's alright, but, as long as it's not with the Word of God, you better stay away from it.
God don't change His mind. Stay right with His Word, 'cause that's what's going to come out in the end, the Word, Word by Word. "Whosoever shall take one Word away from It, or add one word to It!" It's got to stay, that Word.
"Does God Ever Change His Mind About His Word" 18 April 1965
The following poster was sent around the world by message pastors just to prove how wrong they can get a doctrine that is built upon selected quotes.
They claimed that the Cloud was the Coming of the Lord on Sunset Mountain.
The Cloud was seen 200 miles north of Sunset Peak near the city of Flagstaff. Their Geography was shockingly bad.
But Sunset Peak is in the great Sonoran Desert.
Jesus said He would not come in a desert.
MATTHEW 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth:
Pastors desperately making up dramatic unscriptural doctrines to impress the brainwashed church-goers as to how clever they are.
Pastors must stick to pastoral care and counseling of those who have personal problems.
Understanding the truth of the deeper Bible mysteries is just not their calling.
Remember Balaam and how he weakened Israel with his fake news but he prospered financially. We have the same problem today.