"So when they had appointed elders in every church," Acts 14'23.
“The elders who are among you I exhort,
I who am a fellow elder,” 1 Peter 5’1.
"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders ...
and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil
in the name of the Lord.
And the prayer of faith will save the sick,
and the Lord will raise him up,” James 5’14-15.
Kingdom Elders could be described as the God-ordained backbone of the Body of Christ according to the New Covenant Kingdom scriptures of Acts 2'1 to Revelation 3'22.
So what do these inspired scribes say about them and about eldership?
Eldership first came into focus during the Disciples' 10 days of waiting for "the promise of the Father" prior to the Day of Pentecost.
Acts 1’15-17,20 says:
"... in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples
(altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty) and said,
'Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled,
which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas ...
for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry'"...
"... it is written in the book of Psalms … ‘Let another take his oversight’”.
The Apostles were told by the Lord, or it was revealed to them by the Spirit, that they were to be His special servant-overseers for beginning the building of His Ekklesia/Called-Out Ones.
Peter refers to oversight (v20). It comes from the Greek word episcope which means overseeing. Its noun is episcopos which is translated elder.
He also refers to this ministry. The Greek word for ministry (17) is diakonia which means service or to serve (from diakonos which is usually translated minister).
"Ministry" and "oversight" are the two characteristics at the heart of what an elder is.
Peter goes on to say that the one to fulfill the scripture would have to be from among the "men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us".
An overseer was needed who was godly and served the way Jesus did.
The 120 chose Matthias (Acts 1’20-26) who had been with Jesus from the day John declared: "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world," John 1'29.
These first 12 Apostle-Elders would lead the way in “preaching the Kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ,” Acts 28'31.
The Day of Pentecost came, the Father sent the Holy Spirit signifying that Jesus had been glorified (John 7'38). The 120 received the Holy Spirit and with Him came Christ's New Covenant Kingdom of God. The Spirit's arrival changed the realities of everything!
Not the least of these things was elder and eldership. Now it would be all about godliness.
Godliness is the disposition of being aware of the Father's presence and being aware of His will, just as Jesus was. (Refer Kingdom Godliness on the Menu.)
These New Covenant Kingdom apostle-shepherd-overseers were soon very busy. Acts 2'41 says that on that very day "About 3000 souls" were added.
(They were added to all the souls who had believed God and been counted righteous from Abel to the criminal on the cross beside Jesus (Hebrews 11, Luke 23'42).
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