Seventeen times in the New Testament the word shepherd is used. This word shepherd is always used in the singular when referring to Messiah the Savior. Shepherds is also used appropriately in reference to actual sheepherders.
Consider that 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. The reason why is that there is only one fold and one shepherd.
This subtle yet deceptive change, wherein the word shepherd is mistranslated to pastors creates a deadly precedence. This sets up albeit falsely, the justification for a hierarchy, allowing certain men to have authority over others.
Our Savior is not just the Good Shepherd, He is also the only true 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 mainstream Christian pastors would prefer this truth to remain hidden.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors (G4166) and teachers
The correct translation of poimēn (Strong’s G4166) is either shepherd or shepherds. And when the appropriate word is used in Eph 4:11, the verse is a contradiction. The one who is the only true shepherd did not give us other shepherds. And He most certainly did not give us bishops or pastors.
1 Cor 12:28 And Yahweh hath set some in the church, firstly apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues
There truly is only one fold, and one shepherd, who was most assuredly not called Jesus. The kings of the people exercise dominion over over them, but with evangelists and teachers it shall not be so. Let the eldest become as the youngest, and him that is esteemed as the one who serves (Luke 22:25-26).
Our Savior said, you know that the rulers of the nations exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you for whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (Matt 20:25-26).
1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and overseer of your souls
Pastor is Not found in the Bible
Mat 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd
In light of John 10:11-12, John 10:16, 1 Cor 12:28, and Math 25:32, we can be certain that the word pastor is not found in the Bible.
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
The false preachers that call themselves pastors will flee their flocks during the great tribulation period. They also busy now sowing seeds of destruction as their religious organizations have brought forth many heretical doctrines (Mat 7:15, John 10:12, Acts 20:29). The false teachers are also hirelings, in that they work for a wage.
The prize sought after, by an actual spirit-filled laborer of Yahweh, is to live by the very words of the gospel that they preach.
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 our Messiah (Luke 12:12, John 14:26, 1 John 2:27).
Mat 22:16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master (or teacher) we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of Yahweh in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men
Only twice is it used in reference to teachers in the church, and in both of these instances Yahweh sets the teachers, and not man (1 Cor 12:28-29).
Two other times are where Paul is appointed a teacher by Yahweh, unto the nations (1 Tim 2:7; 2 Tim 1:11).
Once is in reference to the false teachers, who now call themselves pastors; this is the primary reason this article was penned.
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
One fold and one Shepherd – Messiah The Savior
If there was to be a hierarchy in the church apart from Messiah, He would have mentioned it at least once, but He does not!
As well, anyone claiming to be a teacher ordained of Yahweh would have to be Baptized with His Holy Spirit. Otherwise what they taught would be guesswork at best or deception by design. Actually, both are in play today. Refer to the study guide entitled the identification of a Christian cult.
The fact is that our Savior, 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 Messiah is one, (or at least it should be) and has many members. However, all who are truly of that body, being many, are of one body (1 Cor 12:12; Rom 15:6; 1 Cor 8:5-6; Gal 3:28). Those truly of and in Messiah, with one mind and one Spirit, are united together in one faith (Eph 4:5, Phl 1:27).
Matt 20:25-28 Ye know that the princes of the Nations 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
Messiah made it pretty clear there was not to be any hierarchy. We are called to minister and serve each other, not ourselves. No man can rightfully claim Spiritual authority over another.
1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God, which is among you with great care for them, not with force but willingly and not for the money but with a willing mind
Matt 23:8-9 But be not ye called Rabbi, for one is your Master, the Messiah, and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth, for one is your Father, which is in heaven
We are not to follow the traditions and doctrines of men. Our Messiah 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 and call them pastors?
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 Yahweh.
- Obsessed with reputations, and achievements, this is also vanity.
- Placing anyone or anything above Yahweh.
- Becoming lovers of this world, instead of lovers of Yahweh.
- Obeying religious leaders or their writings and worldly wisdom.
- Expecting Yahweh 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 Yahweh’s Spirit. Can men be referred to as Shepherds or Pastors – not likely!
The context of first Corinthians chapter twelve is that through Yahweh’s Spirit we are all Baptized into one body. The manifestation of His Spirit is given to all who truly are a part of this assembly (church), and He appoints certain members with Spiritual gifts according to his divine will.
Ephesians chapter four describes a different way of walking according to Yahweh’s calling (Eph 4:1,17).
And he indeed gave apostles; and prophets, and evangelists, also teachers (Eph 4:11).
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind
Yahweh being Messiah and Savior is our Apostle and High priest, to whom we confess our faith in, and pledge our allegiance to. He is the Prophet out of Nazareth that is the most inspiring evangelist, or preacher, the world has ever see. Lastly, as the only true Shepherd, He teaches through His Holy Spirit that dwells within us (Heb 3:1, Mat 4:17, 11:1, 21:11, John 10:16, 14:26, 1 John 2:27).