Chapter 15



We shall attempt to examine the nature of the Christian church in order to determine whether the Christ Apostolic Church government is Biblical. After then we shall examine the present schism in the CAC which began just before 1990 with a view to analyzing the remote and immediate causes and see whether there were weaknesses in the pillars of the church before its schism and also determine whether methods put in place to end the schism are adequate enough. Finally, we shall attempt to prescribe a solution to the schism.


Ecclesiology: What is church?

Church is the ‘collection of people of Christ’. This is quite different from the definition ‘people of God.’ The two can correspond or become synonyms only in this age or dispensation which is easily called the church age. Anyone who wishes to be saved must be a member of that church of Christ which he bought with his own blood. Israel cannot exist as a separate entity now until that church age is over. It is going to be over at exactly the point at which the Temple is to be rebuilt on Mount Moriah and temple worship will resume to Yahweh. The point for the rebuilding of this temple cannot be well dated from eschatological consideration of Rev 12 or any other canonical eschatological data for we cannot say exactly where to temporally locate it. It may be at about the middle of the first part of the seven year tribulation, or much earlier. In any case, the Jews are already poised now to rebuild that Temple, and once they do so, eschatological events may follow. But let us examine first examine the definitions of the church by scholars and later try to find the distinction between Israel and the church.

Nelson’s definition of “church”


A local assembly of believers as well as the redeemed of all the ages who follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.


In the four gospels of the New Testament, the term “church” is found only in Matthew 16:18 and 18:17. This scarcity of usage in the NT corpus that reports on the life and ministry of Jesus is perhaps best explained by the fact that the church as the body of Christ did not begin until the day of PENTECOST after the ASCENSION of Jesus (Ac 1:1-4).

That the church began on the day of Pentecost may be demonstrated in various ways: (1) Christ Himself declared the church to be yet future; (2) it was founded upon the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, and such an accomplished fact was not possible until Pentecost -Gal. 3:23-25; (3) there could be no church until it was fully purchased with Christ's blood (Eph. 1:20).

Nature. The Greek word for church is ekklesia. This word is used 115 times in the New Testament, mostly in the Book of Acts and the writings of the apostle Paul and the general epistles. At least 92 times this word refers to a local congregation. The other references are to the church in general, or all believers everywhere for all ages.

            When the church general is implied, church refers to all who follow Christ, without respect to locality or time. The most general reference to the church occurs in Ephesians 1:22; 3:10-21; 5:23-32. Since the church general refers to all believers of all ages, it will not be complete until after the judgment; and the assembly of all the redeemed in one place will become a reality only after the return of Christ (Heb. 12:23; Rev. 21-22).

            Because the church general will not become a tangible reality until after Christ's return, the greatest emphasis in the New Testament is placed upon the idea of the local church. The local church is the visible operation of the church general in a given time and place.

Commission. Speaking to His followers after His resurrection, Jesus commissioned the church to make disciples and teach them what He had taught (Matt. 28:16). The entire Book of Acts is the story of the early church's struggle to be loyal to this commission. As one reads this book, one is impressed by the reality that Christ, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, continues to direct His church as it carries out its commission.

Activities. The early church met in the Temple and Jewish synagogues, as well as private homes of believers (Ac 5:42). Later, in recognition of Christ's resurrection on the first day of the week, Sunday became the principal time for public worship (1 Cor 16:2). At these public worship services, missionary teachings and outreach in the name of Christ were offered to all within reach.

            In the worship services of early Christians, prayer was offered, not only on the Lord's Day, but on special occasions as well (Acts 12:5), and Scripture was read (James 1:22; 1 Thes. 5:27). The breaking of bread and the sharing of the cup on the Lord's Day were observed as a continuing proclamation of Jesus' death, an anticipation of His return, and a participation in His "body and blood" (1 Cor. 11:20-29). Offerings for the needy were also received (1 Cor. 16:2).[1]

It is obvious from the foregoing that there is “a church” and there is “the church”. The church is the collection of all redeemed people. It is an invisible entity at the present moment. It will merge with all the people of God at the end times when the Messiah will be recognised by the Jews (Zech 13:6f). The local church is a “ church. There are several examples of this kind of church in the NT - Antioch (Acts 13:1), Asia (I Cor 16:19), Babylon (I Pet 5:13); Cenchrea (Rom 16:1), Caesarea (Acts 18:22), Cilicia (Acts 15:41), Corinth (I Cor 1:2), Ephesus (Eph 1:22), Galatia (Gal 1:2), Galilee (Acts 9:31), Jerusalem (Acts 15:4), Joppa (Acts 9:42), Judea (Acts 9:31), Laodicea (Rev 3:14), Pergamon (Rev 2:12), Samaria (Acts 9:31), Sardia (Rev 3:1), Smyrna (Rev 2:8), Syria (Acts 15:41), Thessalonica (I Thes 1:1) and  Thyatira (Rev 2:18).”

Vine’s definition of ‘church’

       1. ekklesia ^1577^, from ek, "out of," and klesis, "a calling" (kaleo, "to call"), was used among the Greeks of a body of citizens "gathered" to discuss the affairs of state, Acts 19:39. In the Sept. it is used to designate the "gathering" of Israel, summoned for any definite purpose, or a "gathering" regarded as representative of the whole nation. In Acts 7:38 it is used of Israel; in 19:32,41, of a riotous mob. It has two applications to companies of Christians, (a) to the whole company of the redeemed throughout the present era, the company of which Christ said, "I will build My Church," Matt. 16:18, and which is further described as "the Church which is His Body," Eph. 1:22; 5:23, (b) in the singular number (e. g., Matt. 18:17, RV marg., "congregation"), to a company consisting of professed believers, e. g., Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:13; 1 Thes. 1:1; 2 Thes. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:5, and in the plural, with reference to churches in a district.

                   There is an apparent exception in the RV of Acts 9:31, where, while the KJV has "churches," the singular seems to point to a district; but the reference is clearly to the church as it was in Jerusalem, from which it had just been scattered, 8:1. Again, in Rom. 16:23, that Gaius was the host of "the whole church," simply suggests that the "assembly" in Corinth had been accustomed to meet in his house, where also Paul was entertained.

       2. paneguris ^3831^, from pan, "all," and agora, "any kind of assembly," denoted, among the Greeks, an assembly of the people in contrast to the council of national leaders, or a "gathering" of the people in honor of a god, or for some public festival, such as the Olympic games. The word is used in Heb. 12:23, coupled with the word "church," as applied to all believers who form the body of Christ.#

       3. plethos ^4128^, "a multitude, the whole number," is translated "assembly" in Acts 23:7, RV.


Holman’s definition of “church”


 Church is the term used in the New Testament most frequently to describe a group of persons professing trust in Jesus Christ, meeting together to worship Him, and seeking to enlist others to become His followers. A basic understanding of the church in the New Testament requires answers to the following four basic questions: What does the word "church" mean? What were the characteristics of the early church's life? How was the church organized? How did the early church grow and expand?


The meaning of the term "church" Church is the English translation of the Greek word ekklesia. The use of the Greek term prior to the emergence of the Christian church is important as two streams of meaning flow from the history of its usage into the New Testament understanding of church. First, the Greek term which basically means "called out" was commonly used to indicate an assembly of citizens of a Greek city and is so used in Acts 19:32, 39. The citizens who were quite conscious of their privileged status over against slaves and noncitizens were called to the assembly by a herald and dealt in their meetings democratically with matters of common concern. When the early Christians understood themselves as constituting a church, no doubt exists that they perceived themselves as called out by God in Jesus Christ for a special purpose and that their status was a privileged one in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:19).

    Second, the Greek term was used more than one hundred times in the Greek translation of the Old Testament in common use in the time of Jesus. The Hebrew term (qahal) meant simply "assembly" and could be used in a variety of ways, referring for example to an assembling of prophets (1 Sam. 19:20), soldiers (Num. 22:4), or the people of God (Deut. 9:10). The use of the term in the Old Testament in referring to the people of God is important for understanding the term "church" in the New Testament. The first Christians were Jews who used the Greek translation of the Old Testament. For them to use a self-designation that was common in the Old Testament for the people of God reveals their understanding of the continuity that links the Old and New Testaments. The early Christians understood themselves as the people of the God who had revealed Himself in the Old Testament (Heb. 1:1-2), as the true children of Israel (Rom. 2:28-29) with Abraham as their father (Rom. 4:1-25), and as the people of the New Covenant prophesied in the Old Testament (Heb. 8:1-13). As a consequence of this broad background of meaning in the Greek and Old Testament worlds, the term "church" is used in the New Testament of a local congregation of called-out Christians, such as the "church of God which is at Corinth"(1 Cor. 1:2), and also of the entire people of God, such as in the affirmation that Christ is "the head over all things to the church, Which is his body" (Eph. 1:22-23).[2]


What is a church?

A church is a group of individuals who have openly declared their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and who decide to worship together anywhere, whether in a building, an ark, an open space, or in the waters. It is just a collection of individuals with like minds towards Jesus Christ.


Imageries of the unified body of Christ.



1. Courts

Ps 65:4

4           Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.   (NIV)

Ps 84:2

2           My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.   (NIV)

Ps 84:10

10         Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.   (NIV)

Ps 92:13

13         planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.   (NIV)

Ps 96:8

8           Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.   (NIV)

Ps 100:4

4           Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.   (NIV)

Ps 116:19

19         in the courts of the house of the LORD-- in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.   (NIV)

Isa 1:12

12         When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts?   (NIV)


Isa 62:9

9           but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary."   (NIV)

Zech 3:7

7           "This is what the LORD Almighty says: `If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.   (NIV)


2.  House of God

Gen 28:17

17         He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."   (NIV)

Gen 28:22

22         and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."   (NIV)

Josh 9:23

23         You are now under a curse: You will never cease to serve as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God."   (NIV)

Judg 18:31

31         They continued to use the idols Micah had made, all the time the house of God was in Shiloh.   (NIV)

Judg 20:18

18         The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God. They said, "Who of us shall go first to fight against the Benjamites?" The LORD replied, "Judah shall go first."   (NIV)

Judg 20:26

26         Then the Israelites, all the people, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the LORD. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the LORD.   (NIV)

Judg 21:2

2           The people went to Bethel, where they sat before God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly.   (NIV)

1 Chr 9:11

11         Azariah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the official in charge of the house of God;   (NIV)

1 Chr 24:5

5           They divided them impartially by drawing lots, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of God among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar.   (NIV)

2 Chr 5:14

14         and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.   (NIV)

2 Chr 22:12

12         He remained hidden with them at the temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.   (NIV)

2 Chr 24:13

13         The men in charge of the work were diligent, and the repairs progressed under them. They rebuilt the temple of God according to its original design and reinforced it.   (NIV)

2 Chr 33:7

7           He took the carved image he had made and put it in God's temple, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, "In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever.   (NIV)

2 Chr 36:19

19         They set fire to God's temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.   (NIV)

Ezra 5:8

8           The king should know that we went to the district of Judah, to the temple of the great God. The people are building it with large stones and placing the timbers in the walls. The work is being carried on with diligence and is making rapid progress under their direction.   (NIV)

Ezra 5:15

15         and he told him, `Take these articles and go and deposit them in the temple in Jerusalem. And rebuild the house of God on its site.'   (NIV)

Ezra 7:20

20         And anything else needed for the temple of your God that you may have occasion to supply, you may provide from the royal treasury.   (NIV)

Ezra 7:23

23         Whatever the God of heaven has prescribed, let it be done with diligence for the temple of the God of heaven. Why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and of his sons?   (NIV)

Neh 6:10

10         One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, "Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you-- by night they are coming to kill you."   (NIV)

Neh 11:11

11         Seraiah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, supervisor in the house of God,   (NIV)

Neh 13:11

11         So I rebuked the officials and asked them, "Why is the house of God neglected?" Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.   (NIV)

Ps 42:4

4           These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.   (NIV)

Ps 52:8

8           But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever.   (NIV)

Ps 55:14

14         with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.   (NIV)


Ps 84:10

10         Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.   (NIV)

Eccl 5:1

1           Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.   (NIV)

Isa 2:3

3           Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.   (NIV)

Hosea 9:8

8           The prophet, along with my God, is the watchman over Ephraim, yet snares await him on all his paths, and hostility in the house of his God.   (NIV)

Joel 1:16

16         Has not the food been cut off before our very eyes-- joy and gladness from the house of our God?   (NIV)

Micah 4:2

2           Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.   (NIV)

Zech 7:2

2           The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, together with their men, to entreat the LORD   (NIV)

Matt 12:4

4           He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread-- which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.   (NIV)

1 Tim 3:15

15         if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.   (NIV)

Heb 10:21

21         and since we have a great priest over the house of God,   (NIV)

1 Pet 4:17

17         For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?   (NIV)


3.  House of the Lord

Exod 23:19

19         "Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God. "Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk.   (NIV)

Exod 34:26

26         "Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God. "Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk."   (NIV)

Deut 23:18

18         You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male prostitute into the house of the LORD your God to pay any vow, because the LORD your God detests them both.   (NIV)

Josh 6:24

24         Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD's house.   (NIV)

Judg 19:18

18         He answered, "We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the LORD. No one has taken me into his house.   (NIV)

1 Sam 1:7

7           This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.   (NIV)

1 Sam 1:24

24         After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh.   (NIV)

2 Sam 12:20

20         Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.   (NIV)

IKing 3:1

1           Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the LORD, and the wall around Jerusalem.   (NIV)

IKing 6:37

37         The foundation of the temple of the LORD was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv.   (NIV)

IKing 7:40

40         He also made the basins and shovels and sprinkling bowls. So Huram finished all the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of the LORD:   (NIV)

IKing 8:10

10         When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD.   (NIV)

IKing 8:63

63         Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to the LORD: twenty-two thousand cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated the temple of the LORD.   (NIV)

IKing 10:5

5           the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed.   (NIV)

II Ki 11:3-4

3           He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the LORD for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.

4           In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the commanders of units of a hundred, the Carites and the guards and had them brought to him at the temple of the LORD. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath at the temple of the LORD. Then he showed them the king's son.   (NIV)

II Ki 11:15

15         Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders of units of a hundred, who were in charge of the troops: "Bring her out between the ranks and put to the sword anyone who follows her." For the priest had said, "She must not be put to death in the temple of the LORD."   (NIV)

II Ki 11:18-19

18         All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. Then Jehoiada the priest posted guards at the temple of the LORD.

19         He took with him the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, the guards and all the people of the land, and together they brought the king down from the temple of the LORD and went into the palace, entering by way of the gate of the guards. The king then took his place on the royal throne,   (NIV)

II Ki 12:4

4           Joash said to the priests, "Collect all the money that is brought as sacred offerings to the temple of the LORD-- the money collected in the census, the money received from personal vows and the money brought voluntarily to the temple.   (NIV)

II Ki 12:9

9           Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid. He placed it beside the altar, on the right side as one enters the temple of the LORD. The priests who guarded the entrance put into the chest all the money that was brought to the temple of the LORD.   (NIV)

II Ki 10:13

13         he met some relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, "Who are you?" They said, "We are relatives of Ahaziah, and we have come down to greet the families of the king and of the queen mother."   (NIV)

II Ki 10:16

16         Jehu said, "Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD." Then he had him ride along in his chariot.   (NIV)

II Ki 16:18

18         He took away the Sabbath canopy that had been built at the temple and removed the royal entryway outside the temple of the LORD, in deference to the king of Assyria.   (NIV)

II Ki 20:8

8           Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, "What will be the sign that the LORD will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the LORD on the third day from now?"   (NIV)

II Ki 23:2

2           He went up to the temple of the LORD with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets-- all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the LORD.   (NIV)

II Ki 23:7

7           He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes, which were in the temple of the LORD and where women did weaving for Asherah.   (NIV)

II Ki 23:11

11         He removed from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-Melech. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.   (NIV)

II Ki 25:9

9           He set fire to the temple of the LORD, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down.   (NIV)

1 Chr 6:31

31         These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the LORD after the ark came to rest there.   (NIV)

1 Chr 22:1

1           Then David said, "The house of the LORD God is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel."   (NIV)

1 Chr 22:11

11         "Now, my son, the LORD be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the LORD your God, as he said you would.   (NIV)

1 Chr 22:14

14         "I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the LORD a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them.   (NIV)

1 Chr 23:4

4           David said, "Of these, twenty-four thousand are to supervise the work of the temple of the LORD and six thousand are to be officials and judges.   (NIV)

1 Chr 26:12

12         These divisions of the gatekeepers, through their chief men, had duties for ministering in the temple of the LORD, just as their relatives had.   (NIV)

2 Chr 8:16

16         All Solomon's work was carried out, from the day the foundation of the temple of the LORD was laid until its completion. So the temple of the LORD was finished.   (NIV)

2 Chr 26:21

21         King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house- leprous, and excluded from the temple of the LORD. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land.   (NIV)

2 Chr 29:5

5           and said: "Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the LORD, the God of your fathers. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary.   (NIV)

2 Chr 29:15

15         When they had assembled their brothers and consecrated themselves, they went in to purify the temple of the LORD, as the king had ordered, following the word of the LORD.   (NIV)

2 Chr 33:15

15         He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the LORD, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city.   (NIV)

2 Chr 34:15

15         Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, "I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD." He gave it to Shaphan.   (NIV)

2 Chr 36:14

14         Furthermore, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful, following all the detestable practices of the nations and defiling the temple of the LORD, which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.   (NIV)

Ezra 7:27

27         Praise be to the LORD, the God of our fathers, who has put it into the king's heart to bring honor to the house of the LORD in Jerusalem in this way   (NIV)

Ps 23:6

6           Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.   (NIV)

Ps 27:4

4           One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.   (NIV)

Ps 92:13

13         planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.   (NIV)

Ps 116:19

19         in the courts of the house of the LORD-- in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.   (NIV)

Ps 118:26

26         Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.   (NIV)

Ps 122:1

1           I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD."   (NIV)

Ps 122:9

9           For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.   (NIV)

Ps 134:1

1           Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD.   (NIV)

Isa 2:2

2           In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.   (NIV)

Isa 37:14

14         Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.   (NIV)

Jer 17:26

26         People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings, incense and thank offerings to the house of the LORD.   (NIV)

Jer 20:1-2

1           When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the chief officer in the temple of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things,

2           he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the LORD's temple.   (NIV)

Jer 26:2

2           "This is what the LORD says: Stand in the courtyard of the LORD's house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word.   (NIV)

Jer 26:7

7           The priests, the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the LORD.   (NIV)

Jer 28:1

1           In the fifth month of that same year, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and all the people:   (NIV)

Jer 5:(All)

1           "Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.

2           Although they say, `As surely as the LORD lives,' still they are swearing falsely."

3           O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.

4           I thought, "These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God.

5           So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God." But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds.

6           Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them, a wolf from the desert will ravage them, a leopard will lie in wait near their towns to tear to pieces any who venture out, for their rebellion is great and their backslidings many.

7           "Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods. I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.

8           They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man's wife.

9           Should I not punish them for this?" declares the LORD. "Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?

10         "Go through her vineyards and ravage them, but do not destroy them completely. Strip off her branches, for these people do not belong to the LORD.

11         The house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me," declares the LORD.

12         They have lied about the LORD; they said, "He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.

13         The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them."

14         Therefore this is what the LORD God Almighty says: "Because the people have spoken these words, I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes.

15         O house of Israel," declares the LORD, "I am bringing a distant nation against you-- an ancient and enduring nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you do not understand.

16         Their quivers are like an open grave; all of them are mighty warriors.

17         They will devour your harvests and food, devour your sons and daughters; they will devour your flocks and herds, devour your vines and fig trees. With the sword they will destroy the fortified cities in which you trust.

18         "Yet even in those days," declares the LORD, "I will not destroy you completely.

19         And when the people ask, `Why has the LORD our God done all this to us?' you will tell them, `As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.'

20         "Announce this to the house of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah:

21         Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear:

22         Should you not fear me?" declares the LORD. "Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.

23         But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away.

24         They do not say to themselves, `Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.'

25         Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good.

26         "Among my people are wicked men who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch men.

27         Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful

28         and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it, they do not defend the rights of the poor.

29         Should I not punish for  (NIV)

Jer 29:26

26         `The LORD has appointed you priest in place of Jehoiada to be in charge of the house of the LORD; you should put any madman who acts like a prophet into the stocks and neck-irons.   (NIV)

Jer 35:2

2           "Go to the Recabite family and invite them to come to one of the side rooms of the house of the LORD and give them wine to drink."   (NIV)

Jer 36:5-6

5           Then Jeremiah told Baruch, "I am restricted; I cannot go to the LORD's temple.

6           So you go to the house of the LORD on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the LORD that you wrote as I dictated. Read them to all the people of Judah who come in from their towns.   (NIV)

Jer 38:14

14         Then King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and had him brought to the third entrance to the temple of the LORD. "I am going to ask you something," the king said to Jeremiah. "Do not hide anything from me."   (NIV)

Jer 41:5

5           eighty men who had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes and cut themselves came from Shechem, Shiloh and Samaria, bringing grain offerings and incense with them to the house of the LORD.   (NIV)

Jer 51:51

51         "We are disgraced, for we have been insulted and shame covers our faces, because foreigners have entered the holy places of the LORD's house."   (NIV)

Lam 2:7

7           The Lord has rejected his altar and abandoned his sanctuary. He has handed over to the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have raised a shout in the house of the LORD as on the day of an appointed feast.   (NIV)

Ezek 44:4

4           Then the man brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple. I looked and saw the glory of the LORD filling the temple of the LORD, and I fell facedown.   (NIV)

Hag 1:2

2           This is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, `The time has not yet come for the LORD's house to be built.'"   (NIV)

Zech 8:9

9           This is what the LORD Almighty says: "You who now hear these words spoken by the prophets who were there when the foundation was laid for the house of the LORD Almighty, let your hands be strong so that the temple may be built.   (NIV)




4.     Church Congregation

Matt 16:18

18         And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.   (NIV)

Matt 18:17

17         If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.   (NIV)

Acts 2:47

47         praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.   (NIV)

1 Cor 11:18

18         In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.   (NIV)

1 Cor 14:19

19         But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.   (NIV)

1 Cor 14:23

23         So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?   (NIV)


1 Cor 14:28

28         If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.   (NIV)

1 Cor 14:33-34

33         For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints,

34         women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.   (NIV)

1 Cor 15:9

9           For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.   (NIV)

Gal 1:13

13         For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.   (NIV)


5.  Body of Christ

Eph 1:22-23

22         And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,

23         which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.   (NIV)

Col 1:24

24         Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.   (NIV)


6.     Bride of Christ

Rev 21:9

9           One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb."   (NIV)


7.  Church of God

Acts 20:28

28         Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.   (NIV)


8.  Church of Living God

1 Tim 3:15

15         if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.   (NIV)


9.  Church of FirstBorn

Heb 12:23

23         to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,   (NIV)


10.  City of the Living God

Heb 12:22

22         But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,   (NIV)


11.  Flock of God

1 Pet 5:2

2           Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-- not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;   (NIV)


12.  Family in Heaven and Earth

Eph 3:15

15         from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.   (NIV)


13.  Fold of Christ

John 10:16

16         I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.   (NIV)


14. Golden Candlestick

Rev 1:20

20         The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.   (NIV)


15.  God’s building

1 Cor 3:9

9           For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.   (NIV)


16. God’s husbandry

1 Cor 3:9

9           For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.   (NIV)


17.  God’s Heritage

Joel 3:2

2           I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.   (NIV)

1 Pet 5:3

3           not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.   (NIV)


18  Habitation of God

Eph 2:22

22         And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.   (NIV)


19  Heavenly Jerusalem

Gal 4:26

26         But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.   (NIV)

Heb 12:22

22         But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,   (NIV)


20.  Holy City

Rev 21:2

2           I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.   (NIV)


21   House of God

1 Tim 3:15

15         if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.   (NIV)


Heb 10:21

21         and since we have a great priest over the house of God,   (NIV)


22.  House of Christ

Heb 3:6

6           But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.   (NIV)


23.  Household of God

Eph 2:19

19         Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,   (NIV)


24.   Israel of God

Gal 6:16

16         Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.   (NIV)


25.  Kingdom of God

Matt 6:33

33         But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.   (NIV)

Matt 12:28

28         But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.   (NIV)

Matt 19:24

24         Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."   (NIV)


Matt 21:31

31         "Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.   (NIV)


26.  Kingdom of Heaven

Matt 3:2

2           and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."   (NIV)

Matt 4:17

17         From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."   (NIV)

Matt 10:7

7           As you go, preach this message: `The kingdom of heaven is near.'   (NIV)

Matt 5:3

3           "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.   (NIV)

Matt 5:10

10         Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.   (NIV)

Matt 5:19-20

19         Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20         For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.   (NIV)


27.  My Kingdom

John 18:36

36         Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would Zech 12: 10-14. (NIV)

fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."   (NIV)


28.  Lamb’s Bride

Eph 5:22-32

22         Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

23         For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

24         Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25         Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

26         to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,

27         and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

28         In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

29         After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church--

30         for we are members of his body.

31         "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

32         This is a profound mystery-- but I am talking about Christ and the church.   (NIV)


Rev 22:17

17         The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.   (NIV)


29.  Lamb’s wife

Rev 19:7-9

7           Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

8           Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

9           Then the angel said to me, "Write: `Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God."   (NIV)

Rev 21:9

9           One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb."   (NIV)


30.  Mount Zion

Heb 12:22

22         But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,   (NIV)


31.  New Jerusalem

Rev 21:2

2           I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.   (NIV)


32.  Pillar and Ground of the Truth

1 Tim 3:15

15         if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.   (NIV)


33.  Spiritual House

1 Pet 2:5

5           you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.   (NIV)


34.  Temple of God

1 Cor 3:16-17

16         Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?

17         If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.   (NIV)


35.  Temple of the living God

2 Cor 6:16

16         What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."   (NIV)


36. Vineyard

Jer 12:10

10         Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard and trample down my field; they will turn my pleasant field into a desolate wasteland.   (NIV)

Matt 21:41

41         "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."   (NIV)


We can therefore identify a total of 36 imageries of the Church used in the NT. OT imageries have been avoided in order not to create confusion in its interpretation. Any function to be interpreted analogousy must be shown to be of similar genre. That rule f hermeneutics makes us wary of calling “ekklesia” the same thing as congregation of the people of God in the OT. This lead us tot h next section. Is the church just a company of God’s people or it has a separate connotation? In our introduction, we defined the church as a company of the people of Christ and not necessarily the people of God, for this is the Church age and the age of inaugurated eschatology in which Christology holds sway as opposed to the Israelitic age of Yahweh. When this age passes away with the rapture of the church, then the church would have disappeared. The people of God would now be the Jews and remnants of those, who in obedience to the preaching of the angels, have not bowed to the antichrist. They will be the persecuted lot until Christ returns when they will then


look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

11         On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

12         The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives,

13         the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives,

14         and all the rest of the clans and their wives. Zer 12:10-14



Soteriology Of Church


Only the redeemed can be members of the church of Christ. No other person can be a member. For they are His sheep that He bought with His blood (Jn 14). No one else can snatch them away from Him. Those who came before him were thieves and robbers and they included such people like Buddha, Zoroaster, etc. All who either claim to be “God” or “Saviour”

The very first usurpation of the name of God came from ancient Babylon with the machination of the Semiramis, who insisted that Nimrod be worshipped as “God”. This worship later led to the adulation of Baal as reported in several parts of the Bible. Nimrod was considered the a God of the universe who made the Flood of Noah, and promised the seed to come (protoevangelium- Gen 3:15).  The very first seed therefore was from Babylon (i.e. Tammuz-Ez 8:14).  This was later followed by several seeds from India who all claimed to be “God” or sons of God. Amongst those who used the title God or sons of God or Saviour of the world while on earth (or living) were the following-

Abdrushin (1875-1941) who is said to have been the last Saviour to proclaim the will of the Almighty before the day of judgment, in order to save those who would believe and follow his message.[3] Zoroaster claimed to be the incarnation of the Creator Ahumramazda. He was born by a virgin. And he lived many years before Christ in Persia.[4] Lao-Tzu lived in ancient China in the 16 the century. Ogamisama is a woman who is living in Japan and recognized as the only begotten daughter of God. Bhagawan Soaham of India is recognized as Lord and Saviour of this age.[5] Sri Krishna[6] who is the progenitor of the modern sect Hare Krishna lived on earth about 2600 B.C. HE said of himself


Fools deride me when I descend in the human form. They do not know my transcendental nature and my supreme dominion over all that be.[7]


Ramachandra, known as Lord Rama in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He lived in ancient India long before the birth of Christ. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is also known as Lord Sri Caitanya who was born in Bengal in 1486 A.D. Swami  Prabhupad was born in 1896 as Abhay Char De in Calcutta India and died in 1977. Rabi Trinita was born in 1990 by a 22 year old virgin in Zaire. He is presently being worshipped as the long awaited Messiah. Kapila Dev was also born of virgin in ancient India Buddha was born in 623 B.C., some years after the death of Isaiah (681 B.C.) who had prophesied that the virgin will conceive and give birth to the child Immanuel. Also, Bhudda was born of virgin.  According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1989 Book of the year, there are about 300 million people who worship Bhudda as God in the world.

We have been able to demonstrate using historical data, that there have been since the time of Nimrod-Semiramis, those who wish to proclaim themselves Saviour of the world and therefore able to deliver man from the serpent as put up in the protoevagelium (Gen 3:15). These people have called themselves God, Saviour of the world etc. But what is the basis of their revelationary epistemology? Are they to be syncretized with Jesus Christ? Are they God?


God Of Israel

The God of Israel first appeared to us when He called Abraham (Gen 12:1-7).  But He never gave His name to Abraham or to Isaac his son. But He revealed His name to Jacob when He said ‘I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac.’ (Gen 28:13).  He was later to be addressed as the God of the nation of Israel after He appeared to Moses in the burning bush and described Himself as the “I am who I am”. Ex 3:14.  He further said to Moses


Say to the Israelites, The Lord, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob- has sent me to you. This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. Ex 3:15.


The Lord made this appearance to Moses in the burning bush at about 1446 B.C., a thousand years after Sri Krishna died.  God obviously must have known there were many “Gods” impersonating Him. For Him to mention the name he would like to be known by from generation to generation was to identify Himself and dissociate His person from those of impersonators.


Eschatology Of Church

The church is to be raptured at the end times and this will mark the end of the Church age. The beginning or resumption of the Israelitic age is marked by the dramatic deliverance of the child in Rev 12.


Rev 12:1-6

1   And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2   And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

3   And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

 4  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

5   And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

6   And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.



It is the prophecy of that child that Isaiah sang so eloquently about in chapter 54 of his book. This text can be quite easily interpreted by a parallel one in 4 Ezra 9:43-10:1, 44-49.


Your servant was barren and had no child, though I lived with my husband thirty years….And after thirty years God…gave me a son….But it happened that when my son entered his wedding chamber, he fell down and dies….This woman whom you saw,…is Zion. And as for her telling you that she was barren for thirty years, it is because there were three thousand years in the world before any offering was offered in it. After three thousand years Solomon built the city, and offered offerings; then it was that the barren woman bore a son….And for her saying to you,  “When my son entered his wedding chamber he died,” and that misfortune and overtaken her, that was the destruction which befell Jerusalem. 4 Ezra 9:43-10:1, 44-49.


The apocalyptic text corresponds well with our present text in the Revelation with similar symbols. Indeed, John may have used it because the book (4 Ezra) was popular with his original audience. It is clear from the text that the male-child is the Temple of Solomon. The woman in labour will deliver in the last days just as in the days of Solomon. She will deliver the Temple and the ‘people of the ruler who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary’ (Dan 11:26). Although the last statement most probably refers more to Titus who in 70 A.D. destroyed both Jerusalem and the Temple this may be forerunner of what will happen at the end times after the Jerusalem Temple is rebuilt with the demolition of the Muslim mosque presently in the site of the former Solomon’s Temple.



Isa 66:6-10

6   Hear that uproar from the city, hear that noise from the temple! It is the sound of the LORD repaying his enemies all they deserve.

7   "Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son.

8   Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.

9   Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the LORD. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God.

10 "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her.



Although the NIV text places a paragraph between verses 6 and 7 in the above text, the two are actually linked hermeneutically with 7 interpreting 6. First Isaiah talks of Temple then he switches to a woman going into labour and delivering in one day. The temple was rebuilt or rededicated (or both) in one day. The children also function here as those who worship at the temple and rejoice (of course) over Jerusalem. All these coincide with the ejection of Satan from heaven (Rev 12:7-17) with great wrath for which he will persecute the woman and her child. Hear the narrative.


Rev 12:13-17

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.



This can only prove that the tribulation was great on the woman (Jerusalem-Israel) and her child (Temple of Worship).

            The people of God will resume at the end times. They would be mainly the Jews including a few God fearers who have not worshipped the beast, but certainly not Christians, for they have been raptured. The church is gone!


Introduction to Church Government


What is church government or administration? This can be answered following Grudem

Churches today have many different forms of government. The Roman Catholic Church has a worldwide government under the authority of the Pope. Episcopalian churches have bishops with regional authority, and archbishops over them. Presbyterian churches grant regional authority to presbyteries and national authority to general assemblies. On the other hand, Baptist churches and many other independent churches have no formal governing authority beyond the local congregation, and affiliation with denominations is on a voluntary basis. Within local churches, Baptists often have a single pastor with a board of deacons, but some have a board of elders as well. Presbyterians have a board of elders and Episcopalians have a vestry. Other churches simply have a church board.

Is there a New Testament pattern for church government? Is any one form of church government to be preferred over another?[8]


Origin Of Church Government


First, the Greek term which basically means "called out" was commonly used to indicate an assembly of citizens of a Greek city and is so used in Acts 19:32, 39. The citizens who were quite conscious of their privileged status over against slaves and noncitizens were called to the assembly by a herald and dealt in their meetings democratically with matters of common concern.[9]

If we examine the origin of the word church ekklhsia we see clearly that the original term was used in Greek for a privileged group which was more or less democratic.[10]  Hence it is same to assume that the original concept of church administration had something similar to the democratic political institutions of Hellenistic society of the early Christians. Aside from the Apostolic authority, there was no other authority that was considered good enough to provide autocratic management. This is a sharp departure from the OT model of priests and Levites, who were given the law and were supposed to carry out the law to the letter. In other words, the priests in the OT were not a democratic priesthood that exercised authority through the will of the people, or an autocratic one, who imposed will on the community. Rather the priest himself had to be guided by the letter of the Mosaic laws that would govern his activities, whether they be sacrifices, prayer, feasts and observances of Holy days such as the Sabbath.  In that tradition, the Rabbis emerged after the disbandment of the Temple. In the new Rabbinic Judaism, the law was followed to the letter, without of course the rites associated with the Temple since there was no longer any Temple. But the new company of God’s people was different. They had no laws to follow for has not the prophet said quite clearly?


This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it in their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord, because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. Jer 31:33-34.


We know this applies to the company of God’s children (the church) at east in part because the writer of Hebrew cited it in Heb 10:15-16. Hence how do we deal with God’s people without laws and codes of conduct? How do we govern them.? What does the Bible say about this? This is what concerns us in this article.


Styles Of Church Government

There are presently known four main methods of Church Government

Papal system, Episcopal system, Presbyterian system and the Congregationalist system

Papal system: This is the style followed by the Roman Catholic Church and it involves a single individual) the Pope who is considered to have Apostolic succession, from Peter and who can talk about divine laws and even change them, when he talks ex cathedra. He alone can determine what the mind of God is and how to govern the church. The reformers in the 16th century attacked this doctrine seriously since it was not derived from the Bible. They set up their won churches, but they were soon to realise that it was not going to be that easy for the church government style is not directly commanded in the Bible. Hence many reformers followed their own traditions. In most cases, a strong theologian starts a church (e.g. Martin Luther, John Wesley) and he behaved almost similar to the Pope and then he dies only to be replaced by a more democratic personality. But the autocratic order had been laid down. The new personality derives his own power from appealing to what he considers the opinion of his predecessor in matters of doctrine or even church government. There are many examples of this- in Reformed theology (John Calvin- although he never really started a church but his extensive theology lived after him), Lutheran churches (Martin Luther), Methodists, (John Wesley) etc. Only a few remain completely democratic.

            The Papal system (organogram) consists of the following

1. Pope 2. Cardinal Vicar of Diocese of Rome. .3. College of Cardinals. 4. Synod of Bishops. 5. Statistical Office. 6. Congregations. 7.  Council for the laity 8. Tribunals. 9. Offices e.g. Office for Economic Questions, or Relief Work etc. 10. Commissions and Committees. 11. Papal Household, 12. Secretary of State of the Vatican, 13. Secretariat of State 14. Vatican City State administration , 15. Council for Public Affairs of the Church, 16. Nuncatures, 17. Secretariats, 18. Pontifical Commission for the Family. 19. Office of Culture. 20. Pontifical Commissions for justice and Peace. 21. Cor unum. 22. Cultural Bodies.[11]

The Roman Catholics trace the succession of Apostleship through the Bishops of Rome who were much later called the Pope from Peter as follows

St Peter (38-67), St Linus (67-76), St Cletus (76-88), St Clement (88-97), St Evaristus (97-105), St Alexander  I (105-11%), St Sixtus (115-125), St Telephorus (125-136), St Hyginus (136-140).[12] But the fallacy of this kind of arrangement is quite obvious. If Peter died in 67 AD, and other apostles were still alive, including John the Beloved apostle, who may not have died until AD 120-probably to140, who are these people who claim Papal or even Apostolic succession. They are obviously the false ones mentioned by Paul in his diatribe of 2 Cor 11.

Episcopalian system: In the Episcopalian system, the method of governance is by the use of Bishops, who have roles very different from the NT roles. In the NT, the Bishops were more less elders or overseers (deacons). But as time went on, Bishops became the sole authority of a city. Hence we have the Bishop of Smyrna who was Polycarp and was said to have been the  direct successor to John the Apostle who himself seemed to have had his headquarters of Apostleship of Asia minor close to this city, but more in Ephesus.

The Bishops were then under the directive of the Archbishop who could just be one or several. The Bishops control the rectors who were the officers in charge of the local churches.

Presbyterian system: The Presbyterian system uses elders as we understand it today and as it was used in NT times are in charge of the church. They elect the Pastor of the church while congregation elects elders. The elders are elected to a “session”. The Pastor of the church is one of the elders. The session has governing authority over the local church. It can fire or hire a pastor. The session is answerable to the congregation.  The General Assembly replaces the Archbishop or the Pope or Founder. The Presbytery is the regional governing body which the session reports to. The session is the local elders board of the church. The congregation remains the entire members of the church.

Congregationalist model: In this mode the congregation takes over the role of the session or presbyters.

There can be 5 divisions. According to Grudem[13]

1.     Single elder. In this model only one elder is appointed by the congregation who will serve as Pastor. He is answerable to a Deacon’s Board. This is most current amongst Baptist churches

2.     Plural elders: This model appoints many elders, although it has a Pastor. The congregation appoints both elders and pastor.

3.     Corporate Board: In this method there are no elders but a corporate Board, and a single Pastor. It is the commonest method found amongst Pentecostal independent churches

4.     Pure democracy: Everything must be sanctioned by the congregation. No church elders and no permanent pastor.

5.     No Government but the Holy Spirit: Subjective feelings are used for running this kind of church with the Holy Spirit taking the blame.

Pentecostalist model: Peel talks about the Apostolic Church from Wales as follows


It believes in the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is outpoured in the last days, and differs from similar churches in its government which is based on the orders of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors of the New Testament; emphasis is laid on the visionary guidance of the ‘prophetic ministry’, and divine healing is preached and practiced. It is of course, strongly fundamentalist.


Biblical Prescription on Church Government

I.  Discipline In The Church /Polity

Deut 17:8-13

8   If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge-- whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults-- take them to the place the LORD your God will choose.

9   Go to the priests, who are Levites, and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict.

10 You must act according to the decisions they give you at the place the LORD will choose. Be careful to do everything they direct you to do.

11 Act according to the law they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left.

12 The man who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the LORD your God must be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel.

13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.   (NIV)


Matt 16:19

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."   (NIV)


Luke 9:46-48

46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.

47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him.

48 Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all-- he is the greatest."   (NIV)


Luke 22:24-30

24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.

26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.

27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials.

29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me,

30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.   (NIV)


John 20:23

23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."   (NIV)


Acts 1:15

15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)   (NIV)


Acts 1:23-26

23 So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.

24 Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen

25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs."

26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.   (NIV)


Acts 6:2-3

2   So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.

3   Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them   (NIV)


Acts 6:5-6

5   This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

6   They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.   (NIV)


Acts 11:22

22 News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.   (NIV)


Acts 11:29-30

29 The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea.

30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.   (NIV)


Acts 13:1

1   In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.   (NIV)


Acts 13:3

3   So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.   (NIV)


Acts 13:5

5   When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.   (NIV)


Acts 14:23

23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.   (NIV)


Acts 15:1-31

1   Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved."

2   This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.

3   The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad.

4   When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

5   Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."

6   The apostles and elders met to consider this question.

7   After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.

8   God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.

9   He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.

10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?

11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."

12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.

13 When they finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me.

14 Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself.

15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

16 "`After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it,

17 that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things'

18 that have been known for ages.

19 "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.

20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

21 For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."

22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers.

23 With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.

24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.

25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul--

26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.

28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:

29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

30 The men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter.

31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message.   (NIV)


Acts 16:4-5

4   As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.

5   So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.   (NIV)


Acts 20:17

17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.   (NIV)


Acts 20:28

28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.   (NIV)


1 Cor 7:17

17 Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.   (NIV)


1 Cor 11:2

2   I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.   (NIV)


1 Cor 11:33-34

33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other.

34 If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions.   (NIV)


1 Cor 12:5

5   There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.   (NIV)


1 Cor 12:28

28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.   (NIV)


1 Cor 14:26

26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.   (NIV)


1 Cor 14:33

33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints,   (NIV)


1 Cor 14:40

40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.   (NIV)


1 Cor 16:3

3   Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.   (NIV)


1 Cor 16:16

16 to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it.   (NIV)


2 Cor 2:2-11

2   For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved?

3   I wrote as I did so that when I came I should not be distressed by those who ought to make me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy.

4   For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.

5   If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent-- not to put it too severely.

6   The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him.

7   Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.

8   I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.

9   The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.

10 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven-- if there was anything to forgive-- I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake,

11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.   (NIV)


Gal 2:9-10

9   James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews.

10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.   (NIV)


Eph 4:11-12

11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,

12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up   (NIV)


Phil 1:1

1   Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:   (NIV)


1 Tim 3:1-13

1   Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.

2   Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

3   not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

4   He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.

5   (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)

6   He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.

7   He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.

8   Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.

9   They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.

10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

11 In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

12 A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.

13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.   (NIV)


1 Tim 4:14

14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.   (NIV)


1 Tim 5:1

1   Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers,   (NIV)


1 Tim 5:22

22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.   (NIV)


2 Tim 1:6

6   For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.   (NIV)


Titus 1:5

5   The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.   (NIV)


Heb 13:17

17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.   (NIV)


Heb 13:24

24 Greet all your leaders and all God's people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.   (NIV)


James 5:14-15

14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.

15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.   (NIV)


1 Pet 5:1-3

1   To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed:

2   Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-- not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;

3   not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.   (NIV)


3 Jn 1:9-10

9   I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.

10 So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.   (NIV)


Jude 1:22-23

22 Be merciful to those who doubt;

23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-- hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.   (NIV)


It is clear from all the above what offices should be held in the church and what each individual officer should do.
Congregation: Firstly the congregation, following the OT model is supposed to hold their church officers in reverence knowing well that God helped them to select them. Selection process should be democratic. That model is seen clearly seen in the Apostles method in Jerusalem Council and in Antioch. The leader must be a servant of all. Leaders must fast and pray constantly for God’s guidance which they should never take for granted.

Church officers: There are evangelists, Pastors, Apostles, Bishops or overseers, deacons, teachers, preachers and those with the gifts of administration

1 Cor 12:28

28        And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.   (NIV)


It is said today that we do not see these charismatic gifts being manifested in the church; only the administrative gifts are emphasized. But Paul makes the hierarchy very clear. The Apostles must come first, followed by the prophets, then teachers, before the miracle worker, then gifts of healing, and followed by helpers (e.g. ushers etc) and then those with administrative gifts. The categories of workers which are trained must be trained along the lines of administrative gifts and not for charismatic talents which are from above. Where these are not available, we use the administrative and helper talents only.


Ii.  Rules Of Discipline In Churches

Old Testament Model

Gen 17:14

14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."   (NIV)


Exod 12:15

15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.   (NIV)


Exod 30:33

33 Whoever makes perfume like it and whoever puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off from his people.'"   (NIV)


Exod 30:37-38

37 Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the LORD.

38 Whoever makes any like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off from his people."   (NIV)


Lev 7:27

27 If anyone eats blood, that person must be cut off from his people.'"   (NIV)


Lev 17:8-9

8   "Say to them: `Any Israelite or any alien living among them who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice

9   and does not bring it to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting to sacrifice it to the LORD-- that man must be cut off from his people.   (NIV)


Lev 19:5-8

5   "`When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the LORD, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf.

6   It shall be eaten on the day you sacrifice it or on the next day; anything left over until the third day must be burned up.

7   If any of it is eaten on the third day, it is impure and will not be accepted.

8   Whoever eats it will be held responsible because he has desecrated what is holy to the LORD; that person must be cut off from his people.   (NIV)


Lev 20:18

18 "`If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period and has sexual relations with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them must be cut off from their people.   (NIV)


Lev 22:3

3   "Say to them: `For the generations to come, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean and yet comes near the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the LORD, that person must be cut off from my presence. I am the LORD.   (NIV)


Num 9:13

13 But if a man who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, that person must be cut off from his people because he did not present the LORD's offering at the appointed time. That man will bear the consequences of his sin.   (NIV)


Num 15:31

31 Because he has despised the LORD's word and broken his commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him.'"   (NIV)


Num 19:13

13 Whoever touches the dead body of anyone and fails to purify himself defiles the LORD's tabernacle. That person must be cut off from Israel. Because the water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on him, he is unclean; his uncleanness remains on him.   (NIV)


Num 19:20

20 But if a person who is unclean does not purify himself, he must be cut off from the community, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the LORD. The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on him, and he is unclean.   (NIV)


Deut 13:12-18

12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in

13 that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods you have not known),

14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you,

15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock.

16 Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. It is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt.

17 None of those condemned things shall be found in your hands, so that the LORD will turn from his fierce anger; he will show you mercy, have compassion on you, and increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your forefathers,

18 because you obey the LORD your God, keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.   (NIV)


Deut 17:2-13

2   If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant,

3   and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars of the sky,

4   and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,

5   take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.

6   On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.

7   The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you.

8   If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge-- whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults-- take them to the place the LORD your God will choose.

9   Go to the priests, who are Levites, and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict.

10 You must act according to the decisions they give you at the place the LORD will choose. Be careful to do everything they direct you to do.

11 Act according to the law they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left.

12 The man who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the LORD your God must be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel.

13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.   (NIV)


Deut 19:16-21

16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime,

17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time.

18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother,

19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you.

20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you.

21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.   (NIV)


Deut 21:1-9

1   If a man is found slain, lying in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him,

2   your elders and judges shall go out and measure the distance from the body to the neighboring towns.

3   Then the elders of the town nearest the body shall take a heifer that has never been worked and has never worn a yoke

4   and lead her down to a valley that has not been plowed or planted and where there is a flowing stream. There in the valley they are to break the heifer's neck.

5   The priests, the sons of Levi, shall step forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the name of the LORD and to decide all cases of dispute and assault.

6   Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley,

7   and they shall declare: "Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done.

8   Accept this atonement for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, O LORD, and do not hold your people guilty of the blood of an innocent man." And the bloodshed will be atoned for.

9   So you will purge from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, since you have done what is right in the eyes of the LORD.   (NIV)


Deut 21:18-21

18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him,

19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.

20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard."

21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.   (NIV)


Deut 22:13-29

13 If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her

14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, "I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,"

15 then the girl's father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate.

16 The girl's father will say to the elders, "I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her.

17 Now he has slandered her and said, `I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.' But here is the proof of my daughter's virginity." Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town,

18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him.

19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the girl's father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.

20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found,

21 she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you.

22 If a man is found sleeping with another man's wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.

23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her,

24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death-- the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

25 But if out in the country a man happens to meet a girl pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die.

26 Do nothing to the girl; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders his neighbor,

27 for the man found the girl out in the country, and though the betrothed girl screamed, there was no one to rescue her.

28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered,

29 he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.   (NIV)


Ezra 10:1-44

1   While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites-- men, women and children-- gathered around him. They too wept bitterly.

2   Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, said to Ezra, "We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel.

3   Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law.

4   Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it."

5   So Ezra rose up and put the leading priests and Levites and all Israel under oath to do what had been suggested. And they took the oath.

6   Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. While he was there, he ate no food and drank no water, because he continued to mourn over the unfaithfulness of the exiles.

7   A proclamation was then issued throughout Judah and Jerusalem for all the exiles to assemble in Jerusalem.

8   Anyone who failed to appear within three days would forfeit all his property, in accordance with the decision of the officials and elders, and would himself be expelled from the assembly of the exiles.

9   Within the three days, all the men of Judah and Benjamin had gathered in Jerusalem. And on the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the people were sitting in the square before the house of God, greatly distressed by the occasion and because of the rain.

10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, "You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel's guilt.

11 Now make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives."

12 The whole assembly responded with a loud voice: "You are right! We must do as you say.

13 But there are many people here and it is the rainy season; so we cannot stand outside. Besides, this matter cannot be taken care of in a day or two, because we have sinned greatly in this thing.

14 Let our officials act for the whole assembly. Then let everyone in our towns who has married a foreign woman come at a set time, along with the elders and judges of each town, until the fierce anger of our God in this matter is turned away from us."

15 Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah, supported by Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite, opposed this.

16 So the exiles did as was proposed. Ezra the priest selected men who were family heads, one from each family division, and all of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to investigate the cases,

17 and by the first day of the first month they finished dealing with all the men who had married foreign women.

18 Among the descendants of the priests, the following had married foreign women: From the descendants of Jeshua son of Jozadak, and his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib and Gedaliah.

19 (They all gave their hands in pledge to put away their wives, and for their guilt they each presented a ram from the flock as a guilt offering.)

20 From the descendants of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah.

21 From the descendants of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel and Uzziah.

22 From the descendants of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad and Elasah.

23 Among the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (that is, Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah and Eliezer.

24 From the singers: Eliashib. From the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem and Uri.

25 And among the other Israelites: From the descendants of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malkijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malkijah and Benaiah.

26 From the descendants of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth and Elijah.

27 From the descendants of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad and Aziza.

28 From the of and   (NIV)


New Testament model


Matt 16:19

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."   (NIV)


Matt 18:15-18

15 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'

17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

18 "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.   (NIV)


John 9:22

22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.   (NIV)


John 9:34-35

34 To this they replied, "You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!" And they threw him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"   (NIV)


John 16:2

2   They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.   (NIV)


John 20:23

23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."   (NIV)


Rom 14:1

1   Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.   (NIV)


Rom 15:1-3

1   We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.

2   Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

3   For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."   (NIV)


Rom 16:17

17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.   (NIV)


1 Cor 4:19

19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.   (NIV)


1 Cor 4:21

21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?   (NIV)


1 Cor 5:1-2

1   It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife.

2   And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?   (NIV)


1 Cor 5:4-7

4   When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present,

5   hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

6   Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?

7   Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast-- as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.   (NIV)


1 Cor 5:11-13

11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

13 God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."   (NIV)


1 Cor 16:22

22 If anyone does not love the Lord-- a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!   (NIV)


2 Cor 2:6-8

6   The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him.

7   Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.

8   I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.   (NIV)


2 Cor 2:10-11

10 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven-- if there was anything to forgive-- I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake,

11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.   (NIV)


2 Cor 6:14-15

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?   (NIV)


2 Cor 7:8

8   Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it-- I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while--   (NIV)


2 Cor 10:1-11

1   By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you-- I, Paul, who am "timid" when face to face with you, but "bold" when away!

2   I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.

3   For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

4   The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

5   We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

6   And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

7   You are looking only on the surface of things. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he.

8   For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it.

9   I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters.

10 For some say, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing."

11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.   (NIV)


2 Cor 13:1-2

1   This will be my third visit to you. "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."

2   I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others,   (NIV)


2 Cor 13:10

10 This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority-- the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.   (NIV)


Gal 5:10

10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.   (NIV)


Gal 5:12

12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!   (NIV)


Gal 6:1

1   Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.   (NIV)


1Thes 5:14

14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.   (NIV)


II Th 3:6

6   In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.   (NIV)


II Th 3:14-15

14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed.

15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.   (NIV)


1 Tim 1:19-20

19 holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.

20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.   (NIV)


1 Tim 5:1-2

1   Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers,

2   older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.   (NIV)


1 Tim 5:19-20

19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.

20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.   (NIV)


1 Tim 6:3-5

3   If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,

4   he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions

5   and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.   (NIV)


2 Tim 4:2

2   Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-- with great patience and careful instruction.   (NIV)


Titus 1:13

13 This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith   (NIV)


Titus 2:15

15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.   (NIV)


Titus 3:10-11

10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.

11 You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.   (NIV)


II Jn 1:10-11

10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.

11 Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.   (NIV)


Jude 1:22-23

22 Be merciful to those who doubt;

23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-- hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.   (NIV)


Rev 22:19

19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.   (NIV)


Discipline in the church of God is very strict and the workers are given extra ordinary power of discipline.


III.  Biblical Prescription For Apostles[14]

Luke 6:13

13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;   (KJV)


Rev 18:20

20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.   (KJV)


Are there any more apostles? Although several people consider the post of Apostles gone for ever, I do not agree. The testimony of the NT is too strong for us to accept that proposition. Take for example

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors an teacher, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Eph 4:11-13.


I believe some are apostles today if we use the ordinary meaning of the word -“messenger” and they are given talents of the apostle as defined by Paul himself


2 Cor 12:11-13

11 I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the "super-apostles," even though I am nothing.

12 The things that mark an apostle-- signs, wonders and miracles-- were done among you with great perseverance.

13 How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!



But before then Paul had enumerated his sufferings not as apostle but as a minister of Christ. We shall consider the credentials for these below. Suffice it to say at the moment that God gives the gift of Apostleship as he gives the gifts of prophecy or miracle working but it is a gift of humility. Just as Paul demonstrated, being amongst the first of the fruits of God, their own kind of Apostleship is different from any other type when used loosely to mean “messenger”. But God still sends His messengers. No one however has a right to call himself/herself Apostle even if he is doing wonders, just like it will be immodest to address oneself as “miracle -worker” But nothing stops others from doing so. In this vein, some have called William Carey (missionary to India) Apostle. But it will be wrong of William Carey himself to call himself an apostle. It is clear that God sent him to India. That country owes much to that man of God. He was an apostle!- a trail blazer.[15]

IV.   Biblical Prescription For Elders[16]

1 Tim 5:17

17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.   (KJV)


1 Pet 5:1

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:   (KJV)


It is very biblical to have elders and to have them function very prominently in church administration.

V.   Biblical Prescription For Evangelists

Eph 4:11

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;   (KJV)


2 Tim 4:5

5   But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.   (KJV)


Vi.   Biblical Prescription For Overseers

Acts 20:28

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.   (KJV)


Vii.  Biblical Prescription For Pastors

Jer 3:15

15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.   (KJV)


John 21:16-18

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.   (KJV)


Eph 4:11

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;   (KJV)


Viii.  Biblical Prescription For Preachers

Rom 10:14

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?   (KJV)


1 Tim 2:7

7   Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.   (KJV)


Isa 30:20

20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:   (KJV)


Eph 4:11

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;   (KJV)


Ix.  Shepherd Model  From OT

Jer 23:4

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.   (KJV)


X.   Servants Model Of Church Leadership

2 Cor 4:5

5   For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.   (KJV)


2 Cor 11:23-33

23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.

24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.

25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,

26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.

27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.

32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me.

33 But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.



Right model of Church Government?

All church governments are scriptural so long as no one usurps the role of the Holy Spirit. But the apostolic model appears to be closer to the NT model then others. This model followed by the CAC and hence CAC model is just right. But church government that substitutes itself for the divine guidance of the church is no government at all. It will be foolhardy to conclude that church government is provided by the NT. It is not so. Although a democratic model of minimal control is desirable, it is not compulsory. The democratic model functioned very prominently in the Graeco-Roman world because that was the polity of that world which was carried into the church. A benevolent dictatorship which depends solely on God would be just as good. But such must be careful to also try to listen to the opinion of the people and to fear God. After all the most excellent polity model prescribed in the Bible is the Davidic monarchy.


History of CAC Schism

The modern schism in the CAC began around 1990 when some youths/elders together with the very famous Women’s group in the church called ‘The Good Women’s Association’ formed a coalition to demand adherence to the church rules and regulation.[17] This coalition informed the church hierarchy that many were not following the rules of engagement in the church thereby bringing the name of the church and God into disrepute. The best example given by this coalition was the well known ministry of Prophet T.O. Obadare, the blind preacher who has made a great name through his ministry- WOSEM  (World Soul-winning Evangelistic Ministry) which was thought to be an International interdenominational ministry working under the CAC and therefore completely against the rules and regulations of its parent church. It gave an ultimatum to Obadare and his WOSEM to either disband the ministry or be expelled from the church. Since Obadare had no intention of disbanding what he believed God established through him, he and his ministry were disbanded from the CAC. This action sparked a series of court action, instituted by Obadare himself to dissuade the CAC from expelling him, and further suspension, this time of clergy. By then anyone above the age of 75 were to retire. It was now necessary to select trustees and church hierarchy that were younger and not retired. This led to the two factions that we now have in the CAC today with one faction on the side of the old hierarchy of the church and the other on the side of the new. It is still the situation till today. Also, certain other ministries were been earmarked for dismissal from the CAC.

While examining all that led to this avoidable crisis the following can be deduced


·                    The Church hierarchy allowed itself to be hijacked by the laity. That is incorrect.

·                    No matter how serious the matter is, it is wrong for the laity to take the government of the church into its hands. That way it opens itself to curses from God himself who protects his own church with his blood. It is not easy to set up any church, but very easy to destroy it! There is no where in the entire world where the laity dictates to the clergy. It is the other way round. There is no way the laity would have enough insight and inspiration to resolve crisis on its own or take the law of the church into its hands. The best it can do is report and let the clergy authorities examine their Bible, call a synod if necessary, and tackle the problem with prayer, and spiritual maturity which the laity can never possess. That was the supreme mistake!

·                    The Church’s hierarchy should not have allowed the laity to push it so far as expelling Obadare and his WOSEM. It should have preached tolerance.

·                    Obadare erred in not agreeing with the church regulation. It is clear in the Bible to submit to church authority which is the parent body. It was the same thing that made Orekoya, one of the early prophets in the Church, meet his untimely death in 1932[18]. It is dangerous.

·                    Obadare erred in taking the Church to court. It is clearly unbiblical (1 Cor 6:1-2). He has since withdrawn all his cases from court.

·                    It is wrong to assume all ministries are against the church. It is wrong to expel all ministries from the church. Only ministries which are obviously anti-church in its activities or indeed supported by church but independent, should be axed. Ministries are means of evangelism and expansion of the frontiers of the church. Why destroy the machine of the church and expose yourself to ridicule?


Role of Bethel in CAC

This has been aptly summarized by the Chairman of the Bethel District called special district through the vision of Joanah. It is corrective, stabilizing, modernizing and non partisan. Bethel has always been the modern arm of the CAC. It converted church worship to English Language from vernacular as far back as 1991 in Ife. It should be encouraged to stay in the CAC and continue its role. Most of the educated, the intelligentsia, professionals in the CAC today have their roots in Bethel.


Pamperism of CAC

CAC has been over pampered by God. I cannot remember any church in church history which has received such stupendous pamperism as the CAC. Revelatory messages are numerous. Challenges are seen everyday. God talks to his people and shows the way. Miracles abound, visions are everywhere; serious outpouring of the Holy Spirit. More people have been baptized in the Holy Spirit than you find in all the churches of Nigeria which are pentecostalist, combined. And more importantly the great revivals with sign and wonders following, even before the Kathrene Kulman days in USA of the 40s and 50s, Babalola, Orekoya etc revivals have healed more and done more miracles than those reported for any other God’s general in the post-Apostolic age.[19] Then what else does this over pampered church want? Obviously schism is what it really wants and that is what its going to get if care is not taken. The church has resisted modernization[20] and still lives in the 1930s of the revival days, when there were very few educated members, no University graduates and no College alumnae but a few trained elementary school teachers. How can a church date its history to 1930 and yet has not penetrated Nigeria to any large extent so much so that its first mission abroad was in 1974, 40 years after its first revival? What does this kind of church then hope to gain from persecuting or ejecting those who wish to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through their own rank and file? What does the CAC want from God? CAC should be reminded that just a single man called Pastor A.E. Adeboye turned the fortunes of his own African Independent Church round so much so that today that church is to be reckoned with within the Council of churches, not only in Nigeria but worldwide- The Redeemed Christian Church of God with its miracle nights recording more than 1 million persons per month. This is just one example!  Perhaps it is the ordo salutis, which has been practiced backwards that has been the general bane of the CAC since a lot carry unconfessed sins about while professing spiritual gifts.

CAC is over-pampered and God may decide to look elsewhere if the chuch oes not repent. If the CAC does not go on its knees but live in its past, which is nothing to write home about or show off to anyone, then the glory will depart from it forever. It will then become like the older established churches with considerably hierarchy and organization but no Holy Spirit. It is time for the CAC to look inwards and repent as an entire body or else in the next 10 years it would be worse than Cherubim and Seraphim in its number of splinter groups found within its ranks. The centre will then hold no more. One thing is sure. The practice of asking for Holy Spirit baptism and gifts without first genuinely becoming born again should STOP. There are many pastors and prophets within the rank and file of the CAC who are obviously not born again. The New Testament teaching must be followed in which Pastors, Prophets, Bishops etc must be appointed based on their merit of righteousness rather than gifts of the Spirit. This is the only Biblical way of ensuring a step forward in this 21st century with aggressive evangelism.[21]







Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology, London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1941.

Brunner, Emil. The Christian Doctrine of Creation and Redemption. Dogmatics vol. III,

transl. Olive Wyon. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1952.

Buswell OliverA Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion. Vols 1-2.  1963.

Calvin, John, Institute of the Christian Religion, Books 1-III. Transl. Henry Beveridge.

Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing,1997, last edition by Calvin 1545.

Ferguson, Sinclair B. and Wright, David F. eds. New Dictionary of Theology. Leceister: IVP

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Leicester: IVP. 1994.

Mbata-Williams, L. Obinna. The Papacy And the Authority of the Church, Kano:

Capricorn 25  Limited, 1998.

Peel, J.D.Y. Aladura: A Religious Movement Among the Yoruba. Oxford University

Press/ International Africa Institute. 1968.

Songer, Harold S. Church, In Holman Bible Dictionary, Holman Publishers, Inc. 1994.




[1] From Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary,

1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

[2] Harold S. Songer, Holman Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Publishers, FairCom Corporation, 1984.

[3]Uzorma, Iyke, p. 25.

[4]Aquarian Gospel, chapter 10 verses 20-22 says ‘In the course of time a lofty soul, whom men called Zarathustra (Zoroaster) came in flesh. He saw the Causeless Spirit, high and lifted up; he saw the weakness of all man appointed gods. He spoke and all Persia heard; and when he said, One God, one people and one shrine, the altars of the idols fell, and Persia was redeemed.

[5]There are several ‘Gods’ in Hindu religion. Although majority believe that ‘God’ is the material universe that we see many believe he is anthropomorphic. The Visnavas, a Hindu sect, are however opposed to the concept that God is ultimately formless. They categorize that God is eternally existing as a man, and that this anthropomorphic God is none but Lord Sri Krishna. The Visnavas also believe that this God (Krishna) can manifest on earth as a man, hence we are told that such men as Vyase, Rama, Kapila, Caitanya, and Krishna to mention but a few, are manifestation of God. Uzorma, I, p. 17. 1994a.

[6]The International Society for Hare Krishna consciousness say of Krishna-‘God’- God does not create just the material universe. He has His own transcendental variegated realm in which He engages in pastimes for His own satisfaction. God is the supreme enjoyer, and innumerable spirit souls on the highest platform of consciousness live with Him and directly associate with Him. They serve the Lord constantly without selfish interests. The Lord reciprocrates with them by serving them in turn, and thus both the Lord and His devotees experience varieties of spiritual pleasure that far surpass any material pleasure. The nature of these exchanges constitutes a science in itself. Origins, p. 64.

[7]Bhagavad Gita 9:11. Other useful quotations include- I am the seed-giving father of all living entities- Bhagavad Gita 14:4, and From me come knowledge, remembrance, and forgetfulness. Bhagavad Gita 15:15.  Brahma Samhita says Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead....He has no other origin, and he is the prime cause of all causes. It is therefore no wonder that modern day Society for Hare Krishna Consciousness aver that Krishna is the true God. He (Krishna) lived 2,500 years before Christ and said the above even before the promise was prophesied though Isaiah (740-681 B.C.) In Is 7:14.

[8] Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 904.

[9] Harold S Songer, Ibid.

[10] Harold S Songer, Ibid.  Songer has this to say on church organisation- ‘Organization of the New Testament churches A striking feature of the organization of the early churches is that every member of the church was seen as having a gift for service which was to be used cooperatively for the benefit of all (Rom. 12:1-8; 1 Pet. 4:10). Paul used the imagery of the human body to illustrate this unique feature of the church's life, stressing that every Christian has a necessary function and a responsibility to function with an awareness of his or her share in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-31).

    In the context of this strong belief that every member has a ministry, certain persons were designated to fulfill specific tasks in relation to the functioning of the church such as apostles, bishops, elders, and deacons. As these offices are examined, it is important to remember that the organization of the early churches was not necessarily the same in every locality. A large church would need more organizational structure than a small one, and the presence of an apostle or his designated representative would cause the other leaders in a given church to be seen in a different light. In addition to these variables, the church was in a period of rapid growth; and as it responded to the needs of ministry, roles or offices, such as the appointment of the seven in Acts 6:1-7, were created to enable the church to fulfill its ministry in Christ.’

[11] L.Obinna William-Mbata, pp. 24-27.

[12] Ibid, pp 28-29

[13] Grudem, pp 928-936.

[14] "Apostle" usually designated one appointed as the authorized representative of Jesus Christ, and the term in the New Testament is most frequently applied to one of the Twelve (Acts 1:15-26) or to Paul (Gal. 1:1-24). The term was occasionally used in a wider sense to indicate the validity and importance of one of the early church's leaders, such as James (Gal. 1:19) or Barnabas (Acts 14:4; compare Rom. 16:7); but there is no hint in the New Testament that an apostle could appoint a person to succeed himself and establish a continuing line. The office is, in fact, seen as foundational in the church's history and not as continuing (Eph. 2:20).’ Harold S Songer, Holman Bible Dictionary, Electronic.

[15] ‘At the outset it must be made clear that the answers to these questions depend on what one means by the word apostle. Today some people use the word apostle in a very broad sense, to refer to an effective church planter, or to a significant missionary pioneer (“William Carey was an apostle to India,” for example). If we use the word apostle in this broad sense, everyone would agree that there are still apostles today - for there are certainly effective missionaries and church planters today.’ Grudem, p. 906.

[16] Bishops and elders had quite similar responsibilities; and Paul, addressing the elders in Acts 20:17, stated that they were bishops or overseers (v. 28). Usually, however, the term "bishop" is in the singular (1 Tim. 3:1), and the term "elders" is plural (Jas. 5:14) as a specific church is addressed. The responsibilities of a bishop are described in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:7-9. He is described as representing the church in a way which would suggest that each church had one designated leader who functioned much in the way a contemporary pastor does.

    Deacons were required to be exemplary Christians like bishops (1 Tim. 3:8-13). Since their duties are not specified and they are usually listed with the bishops, it is usually assumed that deacons devoted themselves to the larger work of the local church, assisting in whatever ways were most appropriate to the local congregation of Christians as the seven did in Acts (6:1-7). Harold S Songer, Ibid.


[17] 7.  The immediate cause of the present controversy

On September 15, 1990, a group of young and educated CAC Ministers and Elders known as eh “Christ’s Initiative Forum for CAC” celebrated its first anniversary. In a speech delivered at the occasion, the Forum made mention of some important issues affecting the life of the church foremost of which is “dangerous trend posed by the creation of Ministries within our Church” the Christ’s Initiative Forum described the trend as alien to the establishment of the Church and potent in divisive tendency. The Forum further pointed out that the departed Fathers  Apostle Ayo Babalola, Oba I.B. Akinyele, Pastors D.O. Odubanjo, S.B. Odusona, A.A. Hanson, J.A. Medaiyese and others dead or alive established no ministries within the Church in order to create commercial empires for themselves. The Forum’s address also touched other matters including finance, banking and retirement of Trustees within the C.A.C.

On Thursday, 27th September 1990, during the CAC annual Pastor’s Conference held at Ilesha, the Forum repeated the contents of its anniversary address, urging the CAC leaders to take immediate action with particular reference to WOSEM.

As the matter dragged on in spite of several meetings held by the Peace Panel, the Elders and the Good Women Association leaders brought the following points to the Leaders of the Church for consideration:

a.        That all serving ministers, including the President, who are above 75 years regardless of their status of positions should retire from active service.

b.       That the General Executive Council should replace the Supreme Executive Council in the administration of the Church

c.        That the World Soul-Winning Evangelistic Ministry (WOSEM) and similar independent Ministries, should henceforth cease to operate within the Christ Apostolic Church

d.       That the appointment of a Pastor as the Mission’s General Treasurer should be discontinued, and also that the General Secretary should not be one of the Trustees of the Church.

e.        That the CAC authority should commission a few people to compare and contrast the existing draft constitution of the Church and make a final constitution ready for use within the CAC.

On Monday, 21st January 1991, he Peace Panel’s meeting with the representative of the various Ministries in CAC ended in a Stalemate  when the Director of the World Soul-winning Evangelistic Ministry (WOSEM), Prophet T.O. Obadare, refused to testify before the Peace panel because of the case at the Law Court.

The Peace Panel decided there and then that if WOSEM could not be interviewed it would be unfair to interview other Ministries and Associations invited to the meeting. With this latest development, it became clear that the way to peace was not her insight and that unless the CAC leaders took a decisive action, the matter would continue to degenerate and the good name of the Church would continue to be dragged in the mud. This was confirmed by the meeting of the CAC Supreme Council with the CAC Elders’ representatives and leaders of the Good Women Association on January 23, 1991, which ended in a deadlock.

9. Expulsion of WOSEM

Meanwhile, another meeting with the Elders’ representative and leaders of the God Women Association was held on January 28, 1991.

After an exhaustive discussion on the controversy and the need for speedy restoration of peace to Christ Apostolic Church, the CAC President, Pastor J.B. Orogun summarized the decision as follows

a.        that the World Soul-winning Evangelistic Ministry (WOSEM) headed by Prophet T.O. Obadare should leave CAC and operate as an independent and interdenominational Ministry with immediate effect.

b.       That the decision which exempted the Trustees of CAC from retirement after attaining the age of 75 years be regarded as revoked.

c.        That the other points for consideration would be look into as soon as possible.

10. Reactions

In reaction to the expulsion of WOSEM from CAC, clandestine meetings were held by Prophet T.O. Obadare and some key members of WOSEM with some members of the CAC Supreme Executive Council in order to render the decision null and void. Consequently, Pastors J.O. Adegoroye and N.E. Udofia were suspended from office. However, Prophet T.O. Obadare, Pastor N.E. Udofia and Pastor J.O. Adegoroye resorted to law courts to contest their expulsion and suspension. Prophet T.O. Obadare is claiming N5million for wrongful expulsion while Pastors J.O. Adegoroye and N.E. Udofia are claiming N1million each for wrongful suspension. Moreover, the General Secretariat closed down on the orders of the CAC President was forcibly opened by Pastor N.E. Udofia. The General Secretariat has since been closed down again with the exception of only the Treasury Department. In the case instituted by Christ’s Initiative Forum, only Prophet T.O. Obadare and Pastor N.E. Udofia remain as defendants while the name of the CAC President and those of the other member of the Supreme Executive Council affected have been struck out of the list of defendants.

11. Propaganda and Blackmail

At present, a lot of falsehood, misinformation, propaganda and blackmail is being used by WOSEM and its sympathizers to conceal the truth, to win sympathy and to confuse members of the Christ Apostolic Church and the General Public. One of such propaganda and blackmail is that all decisions, and actions taken against the World Soulwinning Evangelistic Ministry, Prophet T.O. Obadare, Pastor N.E. Udofia and Pastor J.O. Adegoroye were unilaterally taken by the CAC President, Pastor J.B. Orogun, and not by the CAC Supreme Executive Council.

This is far from the truth. We want to make it abundantly clear that all the decisions taken have the blessings and support of majority of members of the Supreme Executive Council. The pronouncements made by the President should not be mistaken for a one-man show but a corporate decision of the Church’s highest ruling body. 14 out of the 19 members of the Supreme Executive Council are with the CAC President in all the actions he had taken to restore sanity and cohesion into the Christ Apostolic Church.’ Genesis of the On-going Re-organisation in the Christ Apostolic Church. Lagos: CAC Publicity Department, 1991, pp12-18.

[18] Peel said of Orekoya ‘On his way back to Lagos from Ilesha, Orekoya lodged with a member of the Ibadan congregation at Oke Bola, Ibadan, where he was recognized and a second revival broke out there, which lasted into November’ p 92.Oreoya died in 1932 from a fire accident and he confessed before his death that his sin of disobedience in the church was his bane.

[19]Ademakinwa is said to have reported the following cures in one of  the revivals of religion in Ibadan in the early days of the church-‘pregnancy without giving birth-202, bellyache 87, miscarriage 49, witchcraft 41, backache 161, blindness 24, women’s sicknesses 24, raised from the dead 22, infertility 11, hunchbacked 15, coughing 22, gonorrhoea 19, rashes and blemishes 11, etc, in all 2,538 cures’ See Peel, notes pp. 92-93. Ibid.

[20] I visited the church in diaspora London (CAC Seven Sisters London) on two occasions. I studied the liturgy, worship methodology, preaching, prayers, and fellowship of the members.

The service starts initially by a Sunday school which may last up to one hour form 9.00-10.00am.  During this Sunday school, a Bible study is conducted which is taken from the prepared Bible Study of the Church from their Headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. This study is prepared in English Language.  The members who attend the Sunday Schools (about 90% of all membership) take part in studying the Bible as contained in the Sunday School manual. In the first occasion, the Sunday School Bible study was on “Love”. What an apt theme? And the text used was I Cor 13. Again, what an apt text for a church that has spent its formative years espousing the gifts of the Spirit? The members split into groups and tried to define what was agape love, erotic love, philadelphos (brotherly love etc). My own group concluded that agape love was the most supreme sacrifice which God has given unto mankind and He (God) expects such also from the faithfuls more than spiritual gifts. Following the Sunday school lead, the Preacher (who was a visiting pastor from another parish in London) also preached the same sermon on love.  He emphasized that members were known to be very hateful to each other, unable to help each other when in need, and in most cases, being all immigrants, very jealous of each other. He admonished them, as Christians, to abandon their jealousies and hold hands together to assist each other, especially in their businesses.  The worship included singing and dancing with drumming etc The kind you expect to see in a traditional CAC in Yoruba land in Nigeria. Strangely, there was an absence of any form of glossolia, prosperity preaching, charismatic displays or ‘slaying in the spirit’. The service ended about 12.00 pm and every one went their way after announcements that the mens’ and the women’s fellowships should meet for a short while to discuss certain issues.


[21] 1 Timothy 3:3-13 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.