One fold and one shepherd
There is only one fold and one shepherd, or one body of believers that faithfully follow the true Shepherd Jesus Christ.
John 10:11-12 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep
Seventeen times in the New Testament the word shepherd is used. This word shepherd is always used in the singular when referring to Christ.
There is only one verse in all of the New Testament where the word shepherd, is translated to pastors (Eph 4:11). The problem with this translation is significant.
This subtle yet deceptive change, wherein the word pastors is inserted in place of the shepherd, creates a deadly precedence. This sets up albeit falsely, the justification for a hierarchy, allowing certain men to have authority over others.
One fold and one shepherd- His name is Christ
Christ is the Good Shepherd, the verse below should make it clear, because there truly is only one shepherd.
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
The verse that we are going to discuss here is imperative to understand; although the established Christian religion truly wishes you would not.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Below is the Strong’s breakdown of this verse for your perusal.
And <G2532> he gave <G1325> some <G3303>, apostles <G652>; and <G1161> some, prophets <G4396>; and <G1161> some, evangelists <G2099>; and <G1161> some, pastors <G4166> and <G2532> teachers <G1320>Eph 4:11
There are four words in this verse that need to be carefully analyzed.
- The first one relating to the one fold and one shepherd is the word and (G 1161).
The word and, is used five times in Ephesians 4:11.The second, third and fourth use of the word and, are used correctly, as a continuative.
- The second one relating to the one fold and one shepherd is the word also or indeed (G 2532). Here it is also translated as the word and, which is incorrect.
The first and fifth use of the word and, is used incorrectly. In these two instances either the word indeed, or also, should be used instead of the word and. The reason being is that the Greek word for (G2352) is that of a connector, and therefore the correct word to be used is also or indeed.
- The third one relating to the one fold and one shepherd is the word some (G 3303).
The word some, is actually only used once in this verse and the other three times it is added incorrectly.
- The fourth one relating to the one fold and one shepherd is the word pastors (G 4166).
The correct interpretation of this inserted word pastors, is actually shepherd.
Below we present a more accurate translation of this verse, to better grasp the intended meaning.
Indeed, (God) gave some (to be) apostles, and prophets, and evangelists, and (the) Shepherd (who is) also our teacher. There truly is only one fold and one shepherd, and his name is Christ Jesus.
There Truly Is Only One fold and one shepherd
The other word to take notice of in Eph 4:11, is the word teacher. It is also translated as master, and is a title predominately given to Christ.
Luke 18:18-19 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one,
Only twice is it used in reference to teachers in the church, and in both of these instances God sets the teachers, and not man (1 Cor 12:28-29).
Two other times are where Paul is appointed a teacher by God, unto the nations (1 Tim 2:7; 2 Tim 1:11).
Once is in reference to false teachers, and that is one of the reasons this article is necessary.
2 Tim 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
And the last time this word is used it is translated as masters, and comes with an important warning.
James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters (or teachers), knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. Emphasis added.
If there was to be a hierarchy in the church apart from Christ, He would have mentioned it at least once, but He does not! The reason being, there is only one fold and one shepherd.
As well, anyone claiming to be a teacher ordained of God, would have to be Baptized by the Spirit of God. Otherwise what they taught would be guesswork at best or pure unadulterated deception by design. Actually both are at play today.
The fact is that Christ is the head of His Church (Eph 4:4-15). All men are equal, and no man has any spiritual authority over another.
The body of Christ is one, (or at least it should be) and has many members. However all the members of that body, being many, are one body (1 Cor 12:12; Rom 15:6; 1 Cor 8:5-6; Gal 3:28). Those truly of and in Christ, with one mind and one Spirit are united together in one faith (Phl 1:27).
Matt 20:25-28 Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Jesus makes it pretty clear there was to be no hierarchy. We are called to minister and serve each other, not to serve ourselves, or claim authority over others.
Matt 23:6-7 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
We are not to follow after the traditions of other counterfeit religions. Christ made himself of no reputation and became a servant to many (Phil 2:7). How dare we, lift up and exalt mere mortal men, who are but sinners.
Religions are drunk with spiritual idolatry.
Some of these sins of idolatry are:
- Following false doctrines after the traditions of men.
- Proclaiming self-righteousness, and justification through the old law.
- Seeking the praises of men, instead of the praises of God.
- Obsessed with reputations, and achievements, this is also vanity.
- Placing anyone or anything above God is simply idolatry.
- Becoming lovers of this world, instead of lovers of Christ Jesus.
- Idolizing religious leaders or their writings, and worldly wisdom.
- Expecting Christ to bless us with the things of this world.
- Storing up treasures on earth, and becoming lovers of money.
- Teaching false doctrines, and ignoring the one fold and one shepherd doctrine.
- Calling men father, rabbi or pastor, which is forbidden.
Can men be referred to as Teachers? Possibly! But only if they are truly called and filled with the Holy Spirit. Can men be referred to as Shepherds or Pastors not likely!
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Indeed, God gave some to be apostles, and prophets, and evangelists, and a Shepherd who is also our teacher (Eph 4:11, emphasis added).