To log on that link above, just click on the above main title of this blog ("Was the Church Really Like That?"). So be sure to check that link out. The next question that begs asking is: 'Was this the structure to be found within the early Church of God in Jerusalem, or the churches of God that the apostle's Paul and John planted in Corinth and Asia Minor?' The answer: 'No, it was not.' Their congregations, as best as can be determined by searching the Epistles, were semi-autonomous, all coming under the gentle guidance and oversight of the apostles (Paul and John in Asia Minor and Gentile areas, Peter in Judea). Jerusalem up until 70AD was the central HQ church, but church governmental ties to this 'Mother Church' were very loose. General funds and tithes, except for occasional poor offerings sent to Jerusalem, were kept within each congregation, and obviously assisted in local evangelism, which helped grow these congregations. Pastors were chosen by local church members within each congregation, because it was these very same local members who would best know if the one they were choosing to be their pastor met the guidelines laid out by Paul in 1st Timothy 3:1-7. The word "bishop" found in that passage really meant "overseer" or "pastor" at the time Paul penned 1st Timothy. Compare this with the information found on the above link. Sadly, not only the Catholic Church followed this damaging hierarchal structure for church governance, but the Church of England and many Reformation churches followed it as well. Of recent, even some Sabbatarian Church of God denominations have followed it, much to their own hurt. They should look back to how the early Sabbatarian Churches of God in Rhode Island and New Jersey chose their pastors. In the early 1700s the tiny congregation of a Church of God was forming up in Piscataway, New Jersey. The members of this tiny congregation chose one of their own members, an Edward Dunham. They then sent him north to Newport, Rhode Island to have hands laid on him (his formal ordination), and then he was sent back to pastor the congregation that had chosen him (I would strongly suspect they chose him based on Paul's instructions in 1st Timothy 3:1-7). To see what the early Church was like in the 1st through 4th centuries AD, log onto and read:
Does Jesus want to see the Body of Christ unified, as they were that first Pentecost?
For the answer to that, log onto and read the link below and scroll to the section on Zephaniah 2:1-3:
Be sure to log onto and read those links, you will find them most enlightening, maybe disturbing for some, as it's a paradigm-breaker. Happy Birthday Body of Christ, or Happy Pentecost, (and Happy Shevuot to our Messianic Jewish brothers in Yeshua)!