The Followers of Men, or of Christ
Paul the apostle stated in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (KJV). In the modern church system today, many of the ecclesiastical men will use this as "proof" as a means to gain followers to support their ministries.
Can these men use verses that seem to convey that they are deemed as “God’s intermediaries” to be followed?
Take a moment for a few seconds and think about all the religious men throughout history who have said that they are “of Christ,” and the masses who followed after them have ended up drinking their brand of "Kool-Aid."
What about all the religious sects and denominations that can be traced back to a particular man, or woman who claimed they were “of Christ?”
How many today do the same thing?
It is a sad fact that the majority of people who profess Jesus Christ follow after a particular religious person, group, or organization where they don’t take much responsibility to think for themselves. All of their road maps have been preconceived and tailor-made made by men for them to follow.
Does Scripture not say that we are to be "followers?"
Here are some more “proof” texts that we are to "follow,"
Wherefore I beseech you, be ye FOLLOWERS OF ME. – 1 Corinthians 4:16
Brethren, be FOLLOWERS TOGETHER OF ME, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. – Philippians 3:17
And ye became FOLLOWERS OF US, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: - 1 Thessalonians 1:6
For yourselves know how ye ought to FOLLOW US: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; - 2 Thessalonians 3:7
Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to FOLLOW US. – 2 Thessalonians 3:9
It seems a pretty obvious notion to many that they are to follow certain religious men and their "ministries."
The Scripture verses seem to indicate this, does it not?
Unfortunately, most of the world has bought into this deception that they are to "follow" men because they have not rightly divided the word.
They are not able to discern the difference between "following" Jesus Christ, or “following" man on earth.
This article will attempt to clarify the concept of the word “follow” from Scripture and make four distinctions derived from the Greek that is imperative to be understood when reading the New Testament. Without a firm grasp of the term "follow," many will be deceived into making religious elite men as their mediators between them and God, rather than Jesus Christ who is the ONLY way to the Father.
I suggest following along by finding an online lexicon, interlinear Bible, or a concordance to delineate for yourself the proper meaning of "follow" as we are to understand it.
The first meaning of “follow” comes from the Greek word “dioko,” which means to seek after, or endeavor earnestly to acquire something. It would also mean to pursue something good and virtuous. Here are some verses that portray this:
Let us therefore FOLLOW (diōkōmen) after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. – Romans 14:19
FOLLOW after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. – 1 Corinthians 14:1
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and FOLLOW after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. – 1 Timothy 6:11
FOLLOW peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: - Hebrews 12:14
From reading these few verses in the context of the Greek meaning, we should understand that what we are to "follow" (pursue) is something of virtue, not a particular religious individual person. The examples given are thing like peace, love, holiness, godliness, etc. Additionally, “dioko” is implied in a negative manner when one is pursuing ("following") man.
And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor FOLLOW them. – Luke 17:23
The second meaning of “follow” derived from the Greek is “mimeomai,” which means to imitate, or be an imitator of someone. If you refer back to the verses in the introduction of the article, this was Paul’s intention when writing his letters to the ekklesia. Here are some more to examine:
That ye be not slothful, but FOLLOWERS (mimētai) of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. – Hebrews 6:12
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith FOLLOW, considering the end of their conversation. – Hebrews 13:7
How many times have you heard a church leader use this above verse in Hebrews to use his unbiblical hierarchical title to lord himself over others?
And who is he that will harm you, if ye be FOLLOWERS of that which is good? – 1 Peter 3:13
Beloved, FOLLOW not that which is evil, but that which is good. – 3 John 1:11
In the verses pertaining to Paul, he was not making any demands to “follow” him, or be “ruled” by him, but he was exhorting the ekklesia to imitate his example as he imitated Jesus Christ.
Following From Behind
The third term for “follow” derived from the Greek is “opiso,” which means getting behind, or following from behind, going off to follow someone, or joining someone’s group. It also can be deemed as going after someone, or something. The phrase, “Follow the Leader” may come to mind. This word fits perfectly for the human tendency to want to follow men who desire to gain "followers" by enticing them to back the agenda of some corporate, military, political, or religious entity.
But chiefly them that WALK AFTER (opisō) the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. – 2 Peter 2:10
Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and GOING AFTER strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. – Jude 1:7
For some are already turned aside AFTER Satan. – 1 Timothy 5:15
After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people AFTER him: - Acts 5:37
We can see from these few verses that the connotation is negative when we join some leader of a group and “follow” after him. Whether it is “good,” or “bad” in intention, it is not appropriate unless we are solely following Jesus Christ.
And Jesus said unto them, Come ye AFTER me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. – Mark 1:17
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come AFTER me, cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:27
Walk with Me
The final and fourth definition of “follow” is “akoloutheo,” which means to accompany someone. Jesus used this term often when speaking to his followers.
But Jesus said unto him, FOLLOW (Akolouthei) me; and let the dead bury their dead. – Matthew 8:22
And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, FOLLOW me. And he arose, and FOLLOWED him. – Matthew 9:9
And straightway they forsook their nets, and FOLLOWED him. – Mark 1:8
And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples FOLLOW him. – Mark 6:1
If any man serve me, let him FOLLOW me – John 12:26
It should be clear that Jesus Christ was not asking his disciples to join some political group, or man-made agenda, but was asking them to walk with him (accompany) by “following” in his footsteps. He was not saying, “Get behind me,” but inviting them to walk with him in the same way before his Father. The following words expressed by Jesus will take a whole new meaning when we understand what he saying, “Follow me.”
But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep FOLLOW (akolouthei) him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will NOT FOLLOW, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” – John 10:2-5
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they FOLLOW me. – John 10:27
If we are Jesus Christ’s true sheep, then we should be accompanying him in spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom. This is not about getting behind the religious big wigs within the institutionalized church system that make their demands of their dutiful minions, but “following” (akolouthei) Jesus Christ instead. Scripture takes on a whole new light while exposing the corrupt interpretations and hierarchical agenda of the man-made church system.
You Need to Follow Jesus Christ
To follow Jesus Christ means to understand his words.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come AFTER (opisō) me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and FOLLOW (akoloutheitō) me. – Matthew 16:24
Jesus Christ was not saying to get behind him to back up some cause out of human tendency, but to deny ourselves and accompany (walk with) him.
Can you see the difference?
Our Father in heaven does not want a bunch of mindless pew-warming minions getting behind a salaried official called “pastor” to promote his name and agenda, but He wants us to be with him (accompanying) at his side through His Son. Jesus Christ called us “brethren” for a reason. We are to be co-heirs with him as sons and daughters of the Father also.
Don't Follow a Man
You don’t have to look too far to see the crusading of the mindless religious automatons that have been programmed to gather support for their prestigious leader. Of course they may seem “good,” “right” and “noble,” but God sees their carnal zeal as making the Gospel null and void.
Even Paul did not say “follow me" as carnal men interpret his writing, but men have gone ahead and made themselves as salaried elitist leaders who are entitled to make all the decisions and responsibility on behalf of the people for God. Paul did not say for everyone to get behind him as he went about proclaiming his own religious agenda. He was saying to “follow” (imitate) his good example as he followed Jesus' example.
When we “follow” man, problems can arise quickly. Paul addressed this in his letters to the Corinth ekklesia. They were split on the issue of “follow,” or “get behind.” Their behavior was that of little babies who could not understand the deep spiritual matters that Paul wanted to share with them. They were caught up in following after men who were causing division.
For you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal?” – 1 Corinthians 3:3-4
Can you see what these people were doing in the “get behind” me sense?
Today, we have thousands of religious sects and denominations called “Christianity.” Carnality is the foundation of their institutional system. “Get behind us,” or be deemed a “heretic.”
For the mind that is SET ON THE FLESH is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are IN THE FLESH cannot please God. – Romans 8:7
“Following” after religious men are carnal endeavours. It is solely Jesus Christ who we are to follow as fellow workers (servants) among our brethren (ekklesia). When our focus is not on Jesus Christ, then man will take precedence leading to carnality, shallow spirituality and a contentious spirit. The modern church system is a carnal antichrist entity as they “follow” their own seminary bred hirelings. They talk out of both sides of their mouth saying that they "follow" Jesus Christ, but in practice extol themselves and their “ministries.” Paul called it for what it was back then, and still applies today as CARNAL!
When man follow other man, rather than solely upon Jesus Christ, they will remain carnal and sinful and will never develop knowing the deeper things of God.
In the Old Testament, we see what happened to the Israelite’s when they did not want to deal directly with God. They preferred to follow Moses rather than have God speak directly to them.
Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, “YOU SPEAK TO US, AND WE WILL LISTEN; BUT DO NOT LET GOD SPEAK TO US, LEST WE DIE.” – Exodus 20:18-19
- The Call of God in His Seven Thunders - Part 1
There is a sense of urgency, as God is speaking to His people in these last days. The seven thunders of God are vital and relevant to His plan for His people.
I wrote a series of articles called, The Call of God in His Seven Thunders that gets into more detail of what happens when people prefer to follow men instead of God. We must understand that there is a sense of urgency in the last days to throw out the man-made religious agendas through religious carnal men, but instead seek a face-to-face meeting with God through His Son Jesus Christ. If we don’t, we are in big trouble.
God told Samuel what would happen when men put other men between themselves and God.
And you shall cry out in that day because of YOUR KING which you shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day” -1 Samuel 8:18
The church system of today is no different. They are more comfortable following man and his government instead of God’s. This is idolatry.
When people start following man instead of God, they set up idols in their hearts. Jesus and the Apostles were not in the mentality of “follow,” but that of walking with, or accompanying them.
The leaders of “Churchianity” will be shamed for encouraging carnal behaviors by allowing people to be respecters of men. They boast about their growth, numbers and what they are doing for the accolades of men in the agenda of their man-made organizations. Their marketing tactic are, “Look at us and all the great things we are doing in our name, come join us!” All you got to do is ask, “Who is your leader?” to one of their automatons and you will get some mere man’s name.
And whoever does not take his cross and FOLLOW (akolouthei) AFTER (opiso) me is not worthy of me. – Matthew 10:38
Stop following men, the only ONE we are to follow is Jesus Christ.
We are to work out individually our salvation with fear and trembling.
Are you sitting back in a pew and letting others do it for you?
Whose voice do you hear?
Your salvation is your own responsibility before God. Who you “follow” will determine your fate.
Who are you "following?"See results without voting
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they FOLLOW me. – John 10:27
- The Deception of the Respecter of Persons within the Church System
There is deception within the institutional Church system that is accepted by everyone within her ranks giving respect to people based upon their status within their professional and social circles.
- Nicolaitan Deception
There is an error that is within the Church system that should be glaringly obvious, but no one recognizes it. It is like having an elephant in the room, but one one recognizes it’s an elephant.
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