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Compiled by JS LOWTHER
A Community of Election and Order
(cont. from Why Can’t We Have Community?)
Lawful Elders, Overseers and Judges
The text of Titus has reveled a clear look at the intention of the Epistle as it was summarized in the introduction of Tit_1:1-5 :
1. that the truth in this epistle that is after godliness is only profitable to those who have the faith of God’s elect, In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
2. And this particular godly truth was needed to be expressed directly by Paul through Titus in Crete, that he should set in order the things that are out of order (in need of correction) particularly in regards to the ordaining of elders in every city, as Paul had appointed Titus in a prior situation.
And so we may ask the question of why?
Why was this order needed?
why were these things in need of a correction of order?
Why did Paul the Apostle feel the need from the Holy Spirit to direct the Churches of Crete to have Eldership and order ?
And from Where was this Order to come?
We saw that the Eldership of Titus was similar in regards to terminology of the qualifying of the Elders of families with in the tribes of Israel in the Law,
In Deu 1:10 The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.
Deu 1:11 (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!)
Deu 1:12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?
Deu 1:13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.
Deu 1:14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.
Deu 1:15 So I took the chief (H7218 Rosh ) of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads (H7218 Rosh ) over you, captains (שׂרי/Sari H8269 / -archos G5506) over thousands, and captains (שׂרי/Sari H8269 / -archos G5506) over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.
Deu 1:16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.
Deu 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
The Greek LXX moves the terms of Headship or -Archos to the numbers being commanded itself, where as the Hebrew seems to indicate a prior arrangement of that Headship, but it is clear that in the reconciliations of both readings we have the Appointment of men taken from the Tribes by the tribes prior ordained organic family order to be Leaders and Heads of the people from thousand’s to ten’s.
Both text agree that 3 major factors were to be exercised in the ‘taking’ of men by the tribes themselves.
Thus an Election or Voting system of order was needed to be exercised in the choice made and taken on this matter to be presented before Moses.
How do we know this is so?
Because Moses prerequisite was for the tribe “to take”
3. and known 4. men”
This bear within its Command the command to utilize judgment on who to select and place in the candidacy.
Within this system the candidates must be men known to be wise and understanding, this makes a random choice by lot or some form of sign irrelevant to the context here in stated, rather the next level of discernment is either left to Moses in the ordination, or as the final decision to be ratified by the proclamation of Moses to assure the a witness existed as to the tribes particular choices of leadership.
This is the same as we find Titus teaching the Cretans, yet in the Epistle to Titus, Paul starts his ordering of the Law from the most basic level which is prior implied in the family language of the Laws concerning this ordination by Moses over Israel after leaving Egypt.
The terminology of Tribes is fundamentally family language, as it is the term Head or ‘RoSh’ in Hebrew, ‘Arch’ in Greek that indicates Headship authority over the family structure.
Applied in Crete:
So, due to the need to structure these families of the common faith properly, according to the truth of godliness, according to what is good and righteous according to the good works of the Law, that which is contrary to the law must be cast down and abandoned. The non-lawful community and society- must be cast down from the God ordained family desiring to build the Church proper as a working community within the liberty of the law.
Therefore, we see a contrast in the witness of YHWH in His Law vs. the witness of the Cretan society in the Epimenides Paradox:
YHWH’s Law says: “1. wise, 2. understanding, 3. and known 4. men”
The poet prophet Epimenides of Crete says The Cretans are 1. always liars, 2. evil beasts, 3. slow bellies. and 4. known to be so.
Now Contrast this with the words of Jethro Moses father-in-law in the same context from Exo 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people
1. able men, 2. such as fear God, 3. men of truth, 4. hating covetousness
which almost has the ability to offer a point for point contradiction of societal norms as well.
Seemingly, there are no major difference in Titus and other books in the NT Era from that which is inspired in the Law and recorded under Moses both societies needed better order of the family structure than what nature can organically produce due to the fall of man, and perpetuated in the scatting of Israel’s tribes, a particular correction was needed in Crete that was focused upon the sin nature particular to that which was propagated in the up-bringing of the Cretan Elder.
While the Law is spoken from Jethro to Moses in Exodus 18, it is endorsed and thus proclaimed as part of the Eternal Law of God as God’s own word. This system on its surface seems as if it were added to the Law for the tribes of Israel at this time of Israel becoming a Royal Priesthood and Holy Nation, the Kingdom of God as revealed from Heaven in fact in Ex 19 next as the system of National Government leads to the codification on Mt. Sinai as well as all laws ratified, proclaimed and reveled in the wilderness under Moses and contained in the Pentateuch.
This is an important aspect of the law to notice as Exodus speaks as if it were from Jethro’s suggestion but as we see the system of Elders, officers and Judges inculcated and used throughout the law is the proof to this system being the revelation of the authoritative word of God rather than a man made suggestion of government.
What we are seeing rather is that which is seen in every Law of the Eternal God YHWH, the need to ‘set in order the things that are wanting” in the family society of fallen men who had lost the spiritual image of God’s Law upon the heart and mind as they were initially created to have as their faculties of reason and logic. As it is in the case of all prophets sent to a people as it is recorded in holy writ, the recognition of YHWH’s endorsement of this council given to Moses (perhaps as a reminder more so) by Jethro shows not that God agrees with Jethro and Moses decision of Government and thus ordains the choice of man, but rather quite the contrary, it was that men of God had been moved by the Holy Spirit and given revelation by God into his Truth according to godliness, and that therefore this portion of Holy Law was rather determined by God to be revealed to Jethro to Moses, as it is seen to be the under-pinning of the Judicial system of Kingdom Government on earth from henceforth, as a foundation derived of men could not be strong enough hold the weight of the Theocracy as it is expected to do in the system of its order seen throughout the perfect law.
Thus these the most basic Apostolic principles of Law are laid out in Crete to expound and explain the meaning of the simple terms of law we have seen summarized by Jethro: Exo_18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people
1. able men,
2. such as fear God,
3. men of truth,
4. hating covetousness
and more simply said, but not differently understood and applied in Deu_1:13
2. and understanding,
3. and known among your tribes,
and I will make them rulers over you.
And so in correspondence to this order we have the Men to be looked over as “If any be blameless” which directly corresponds to the concept of the selection from the people and tribe, as one who no one has a valid witness of what the Law requires of his position. That is he is ‘not- called out ‘ in breach of his standing as qualified. There is no witness that sounds out against him
1. the husband of one wife with faithful children not accused of riot/ a destructive life or debauchery or unruly / in subordination.
And so of this selection a man was next to be found the qualities of an Over-seer or Bishop
Because a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God;
not soon angry,
not given to wine,
not given to filthy lucre / shameful money
But a lover of hospitality,
a lover of good men,
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught,
able by sound doctrine both to exhort
and to convince the gainsayers (anti-word speakers).
All points we have discussed, but what is a Bishop? What is an over-seer job in this family church? What is he expected to do or what is he needed to do for the Church according to the Law?
We know what the need of a bishop is in Crete by the prior observed context, but this term Over-seer is a prior loaded term within the Septuagint reading of the Law, the law as it would be read in Crete and in the Greek speaking world. The term Episcope is not an unknown title, and so let me ask you?
If there was a book in the Bible called the Book of the Head’s of Israel, wouldn’t you at least consider what it said in regards to headship? And that is what we have, the book of Numbers is the Numbering of the Heads of the people, and it is the book that best shows how this concept of Oversight was lawfully done, how it was ordained according to the Law of God, as we see being done in Crete to a people who have been alienated from the commonwealth of Israel.
Well that is exactly what we have in A Lawful comparison of the Greek word Episcope is truly a study of the Hebrew word PeQuD generally used in the Hebrew in place of the Greek episcope which is what happens in the numbering process arithmoi G706 is the Greek word chosen to represent the arithmetic or numbering of the people by over sight, the heads who were there over seers.
Num 1:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,
Num 1:2 Take ye the sum (lit. Heads) of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls;
Num_1:3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number (PeQuD)H6485 /επισκεψασθεG1980 them by their armies.
Num_1:4 And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one Head of the house of his fathers.
Num 1:5 And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur.
Num 1:6 Of Simeon; Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.
Num 1:7 Of Judah; Nahshon the son of Amminadab.
Num 1:8 Of Issachar; Nethaneel the son of Zuar.
Num 1:9 Of Zebulun; Eliab the son of Helon.
Num 1:10 Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim; Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.
Num 1:11 Of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gideoni.
Num 1:12 Of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.
Num 1:13 Of Asher; Pagiel the son of Ocran.
Num 1:14 Of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Deuel.
Num 1:15 Of Naphtali; Ahira the son of Enan.
Num 1:16 These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel.
Num_1:16 These are the selected ones G1945.1 of the congregation, rulersG758 of the tribes according to their patrimony; commanders of thousands in Israel they are.
Num 1:17 And Moses and Aaron took these men which are expressed by their names:
Num 1:18 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.
Num 1:19 As the LORD commanded Moses, so he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai.
Num 1:19 In this manner the LORD gave ordersG4929 to Moses, and they were numberedG1980 in the wilderness of Sinai.
Num 1:20 And the children of Reuben, Israel’s eldest son, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
Num 1:21 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Reuben,
Num 1:22 Of the children of Simeon,
Num 1:23 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Simeon,
Num 1:25 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Gad,
Num 1:26 Of the children of Judah, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
Num 1:43 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Naphtali, were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.
Num 1:44 These are those that were numbered, which Moses and Aaron numbered, and the princes of Israel, being twelve men: each one was for the house of his fathers.
Num 1:45 So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel;
Num 1:46 Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.
Num 1:47 But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them.
Num 1:48 For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying,
Num 1:49 Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel:
Num 1:50 But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle.
Num 1:51 And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
Num 1:52 And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, throughout their hosts.
Num 1:53 But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony.
Num 1:54 And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.
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