The hierarchy of human authority in the Bible is internally paradoxical in a complimentary sense, instead of being self-contradictory and self-destructive.
It is true that there is a top-to-lower leadership structure of first [eyewitness] apostles, then prophets, pastors and teachers, etc. and also ecclesiastical ordering of bishops and overseers, then deacons, and so forth over congregant layity.
Similarly, in American government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" -- whenever you or I vote, and/or even get monthly Social Security checks from Uncle Sam, we are (by default) "working for him" without "our" monies from "him" being taxed.
So, we are thus (in effect, and so to speak) quasi-government agents, officials, rulers, and the like as part of the patriotic "priesthood of all believers:"
First Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen seed, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful works of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
For example, the changing space immediately surrounding the vehicle you drive along the highway is absolutely sovereign, and no city nor county nor state nor federal nor global official nor other citizen has a right to invade nor trespass that always-in-flux immediate area around your moving vehicle.
However, we are also part of the ruled citizens of higher-echelon government officials over us, when we obey traffic laws which even law enforcement police and sheriff and marshalls must obey though under expanded designated parameters depending upon various conditions and circumstances.
Did the Founding Fathers of early America intrinsically intend United States Government to both neither establish anti-Christian religion while not prohibiting the free exercise of genuine Biblical Christian religion?
Yes, they probably did, generally speaking, more or less.
But they also worded the First Amendment to disallow denominationally-narrow-and-restrictive human-government pseudo-theocracy....similar to the Jews-living-under-Roman-government situation described in the New Testament.
That is not to say that many if not all founding fathers did not believe that there someday would be a Divine global dictatorship headed by a physically-returned and supernaturally-powerful Jesus Christ...but such obviously was beyond the scope of their jurisdiction to establish and enforce.
Some things around us - and/or whatever we humans are aware of - are obvious....while some are not obvious.
What is obvious is that the beautiful, magnificent, often intricate, imaginatively-invented, and occasionally painful and lethal and horrifying phenomena and entities we admittedly perceive, clearly were intelligently designed - regardless of deplorable and despicable naysayers who deliberately and dishonestly claim to not notice such intelligent design, or [worse yet] absurdly deny such to be intelligent.
Such admittedly intelligently-designed phenomena and entities (logically structured and operational for well-coordinated interdependent functioning and having accommodatingly inter-related environmental dimensions and shapes and material compositions) were (by logical deductive reasoning) thus created by an Intelligent Designer -- who not merely existed previously to create what [He] created to set everything in perfectly-balanced motion, but (by obviously being superior to what He created and therefore being immortal and supremely powerful) yet is existing and continues to exist.
Moreover, [His] character is obviously one of awesome and remarkably-consistent benevolence rather than Him ever being frighteningly capricious or insanely sadistic....even once.
Consider the rather pleasant and survival-conducive characteristics of our privileged planet and perfectly-proportioned celestial favorabilities.
Any problems and pain we accidently or deliberately impose upon ourselves is not His [direct] fault, because He made the [Garden-of-Eden-Tempter/Dangerous-Central-Eden-Tree] Playing Field as The Ultimate Umpire and the Game Rules for us to either obey or disobey, with the latter option resulting in offending creatures consequentially getting Penalized to various severities and in horrific sundry ways by Him (or at least punished by whatever non-alterable consequences related to created non-movable entities of His which either stupid or defiantly-errant humans have not, do not, and will not cooperatively accommodate to.
We best get out of His way, because He and His created entities are not going to get out of our way:
Job 34:33 Will He then make requital to suit you, because you reject it? For you must choose, and not I; therefore declare what you know.
The reasonably-deduced existence of "God" is therefore obvious and almost goes without saying -- although it behooves the rational among us to consider a proper assessment of and demarcation against deviantly-demented atheists and agnostics denying God's existence:
Psalm 10:4 In the pride of his countenance the wicked does not seek Him; all his thoughts are, "There is no God."
Psalm 14:1 To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable works, there is none who does good.
Psalm 53:1 To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.
Also, the human-senses-perceived real existence of God's created phenomena and entities is likewise obvious.
What, however, is not obvious, by the lack of being inscribed over most of His environmental phenomena and entities, is God's personal identity, His name, His "moral" precepts and directives, plus His prophecies for us humans to behave and adjust our social interactions for not only His pleasure but also for our very survival as a species.
The Qur'an (i.e. "Koran") is claimed by some to represent and contain the words of "god" (specifically, a fabricated boogeyman-type pseudo-deity called "allah").
In stark contrast, the Sacred-66-Canonical-Books Judeo-Christian (i.e. Old-&-New-Testaments) Holy Bible is not simply claimed by others to represent and consist of the words of God the Creator, Savior, and Lord...but that Book of Books itself claims to be the words of God, revealed by "Divine inspiration" to certain chosen Hebrew/Jewish/Israeli male authors:
Genesis 41:25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dream of Pharaoh is one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do [so no one on the planet will starve to death when The Famine comes].
Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Daniel 2:19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Daniel 2:30 But as for me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living has this mystery been revealed to me, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.
Daniel 2:45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A Great God has made known to the king what shall be hereafter. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure."
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Luke 2:26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
Luke 10:21 In that same hour He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yes, Father, for such was Your gracious will.
First Corinthians 2:10 God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
Second Corinthians 4:2 We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's Word, but by the open statement of The Truth we would commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
Ephesians 3:5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
First Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received The Word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is,
Second Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and The Voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,"
18 we heard this Voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain [of Transfiguration].
19 And we have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
20 First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own origin,
21 because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Revelation 22:18 I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,
Revelation 22:19 and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Speaking of the Hebrew/Jewish/Israeli prophet Joseph, the following passage is recorded in Genesis 37:9 of the "The Old Testament" of "The Holy Bible:"
Then [Joseph] dreamed another dream, and he told it to his brothers, and said, "Hey, I have dreamed another dream; and hey, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.
Uranus, the first planet discovered in modern times, was discovered by William Herschel while systematically searching the sky with his telescope on March 13, 1781. It had actually been seen many times before but ignored as simply another star (the earliest recorded sighting was in 1690 when John Flamsteed cataloged it as 34 Tauri). Herschel named it "the Georgium Sidus" (the Georgian Planet) in honor of his patron, the infamous (to Americans) King George III of England; others called it "Herschel". The name "Uranus" was first proposed by Bode in conformity with the other planetary names from classical mythology but didn't come into common use until 1850.
After the discovery of Uranus, it was noticed that its orbit was not as it should be in accordance with Newton's laws. It was therefore predicted that another more distant planet must be influencing the orbit of Uranus. Neptune was first observed by Galle and d'Arrest on 23 September 1846 very near to the locations independently predicted by Adams and Le Verrier from calculations based on the observed positions of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.
More than two centuries earlier, in 1613, Galileo observed Neptune when it happened to be very near Jupiter, but he thought it was just a star.
Pluto was discovered in 1930. Calculations had predicted a planet beyond Neptune, based on the motions of Uranus and Neptune. Clyde W. Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Arizona did a very careful sky survey by which he noticed Pluto. It was classified as the ninth planet shortly after discovering it.
It thus is clear that for most [contemporary] people (who are NOT original eyewitness apostles of Christ), what is stated to be the intentions and instructions of "The LORD" (i.e. God the Creator) in "Scripture" is acquired second-hand knowledge to be analyzed, evaluated, and believed....without those [contemporary] people either having themselves actually seen nor heard The Original Source of "Biblical" words conveying associated Divine ideology and directives...and therefore [perhaps misfortunately to some extent?] have to be content with suppositions, allegations, descriptions and records written by somewhat-sinful-thus-fallible-but-generally-well-intentioned humans assumed to be inerrant-regarding-Scripture eyewitness first-hand-experience human authors.
Such is not uncommon for most people nowadays and in the recent past.
An overwhelming amount of non-imagery tales (pathetically devoid of even trace amounts of photographic or electronic verification) we read about or hear of in alleged "history" books and other [purported] "records" from previous reporters passed on in ancient or near-ancient history[?] are debated as to their authenticity or absence of it.
Even the nightly newscasts we readily and dogmatically accept as [alleged] "fact" or even that which we cautiously question and further investigate somewhat, we ourselves then turn that into second-hand narrations and questionable elaborations of happenings originating from events and occurrences which we ourselves have never seen, heard, nor felt first-hand.
The validity or invalidity of whatever is claimed "holy" Text can partially and individually be ascertained as to whether or not whatever in those texts called "Sacred" is congruent and concordant with observable environmental phenomena and processes which [purported] "Holy" textual wording involves and resides within.
Inspired Biblical Scripture - among other things - even suggestively encourages us adults to walk on our two legs and two feet....rather than trot along like a horse or a dog on all fours:
Ephesians 5:15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise humans but as wise...
Also consider, for instance, the timing of "The Rapture" concerning mindlessly-dogmatic antagonists insisting upon a "Pre-Trib" Rapture as opposed to a "Post-Trib" one.
Note the words: the last trumpet in the following Scripture verse:
First Corinthians 15:51 Hey, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed
First Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
First Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord: that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who are asleep.
First Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first;
First Thessalonians 4:17 then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together [i.e. "Raptured"] with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done [and not done, and/or not simply their "faith through grace alone apart from the Law?"].
Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
Matthew 25:32 Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
Matthew 25:33 and He will place the sheep at His right hand, but the goats at the left.
Matthew 25:46 And they [i.e. the proverbial "goats"] will go away into Eternal Punishment, but the righteous [proverbial "sheep"] into Eternal Life."
There will be NO wicked dead raised in resurrection to be judged in their resurrected bodies when Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming at Armageddon to slay The Beast and The False-prophet antichrists as described in Revelation chapter 19:11-21.
That one-time wicked-persons resurrection along with one-time righteous-persons resurrection combined with THE ONE-time righteous-persons-yet-alive bodily Rapture will only happen after and at the end of Christ's [not Ahmadinejad's imaginary 12th-Imam's] Millennial Reign on planet Earth.
The words: 'last trumpet' in First Corinthians 15:52 mean exactly that: l...a...s...t. Final. No more. That is it and that is all.
The word last is not to be misinterpreted instead as "spear" or "jackal" or "bread" or "alabaster" or "tunic" or anything else. Rest assured that that particular word did not suffer when being transliterated from Greek to English in any reasonable and sensible Bible rendition. It is not "taken out of context." It is not "to be understood figuratively." It is not considered some allegory, or symbol, nor metaphor.
"Last" trumpet does not mean some premature fly-by-for-wimpish-cowards trumpet sound preceding Christ's Millennial Rule on Earth.
"Last" trumpet does not mean any final trumpet sounding at Armageddon at the end of 42 months [not "seven years"] of great tribulation [alluded to in Daniel 7:25, Daniel 12:7, and Revelation 13:5].
It is only after The Millennium that The "Last" Trumpet sounds...when the heavens and earth are "dissolved in fervent heat" with "a loud noise:"
Second Peter 3:10 But The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.
Second Peter 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
Second Peter 3:12 waiting for and speeding up the coming of The Day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will disintegrate with fire!
Then, and only then, will all the dead (especially ALL the wicked dead, along with those righteous dead not raised in that "first resurrection" [spoken of in Revelation 20:4 which reads]:
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones and those who sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the Word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast, nor his image, nor had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
...which both-wicked-and-righteous dead are resurrected to both appear simultaneously at and for The Final Judgment spoken of in Matthew 25, during which the proverbial sheep are forever separated from the proverbial goats as each group goes to their designated perpetual place and condition.
It is at that Final-Judgment-Day time, and that time only, that a "Rapture" (or snatching up-and-away) of yet-alive saints (be they "Jew" or "Greek") will occur.....not before the forty-two-month great tribulation, nor even immediately after that 42-month great tribulation, but instead after the Millennial Reign of Christ:
Daniel 12:1 At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time; but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in The Book.
Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some [i.e. the rightwing "sheep" at the King's right hand] to everlasting life, and some [i.e. the wrongwing "goats" at the King's left hand] to shame and everlasting contempt.
Daniel 12:3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever.
ALL rapture passages in the Old and New Testaments should be qualified and timed by the aforementioned info, whether they occur in the books of Daniel, First Corinthians, Second Thessalonians, or:
Isaiah 26:19 Your dead shall live, their bodies shall rise. Oh dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and on the land of the shades you will let it fall.
And who will do this?
Proverbs 30:4 Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name? Surely you know!
God's call is for and to all humanity and each individual thereof of the past, present, and future, being that:
Job 37:7 He seals up the hand of every human, that all humans may know His work.
Psalm 72:11 May all kings fall down before Him, all nations serve Him!
Isaiah 45:23 By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: 'To Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.'
Isaiah 66:18 For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see My glory.
Jeremiah 3:17 At that time Jerusalem [Israel] shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem [Israel], and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart.
Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for [or: about?] those who persecute you [including Satan?],
Matthew 5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations [whether the ACLU and Antagonists United for Separation of Church/Synagogue/Mosque and State like it or not]; and then the end will come.
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 24:47 ...and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
Romans 3:9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all humans, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin
Romans 14:11 for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God."
Romans 16:26 ...now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith
Philippians 2:10 ...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
Philippians 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
First Timothy 2:3 ...in the sight of God our Savior,
First Timothy 2:4 who desires all humans to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
The Yet-Intimately-Involved-With-Humans Creator's acts-of-God interactions are felt first-hand by everyone on a VERY personal basis. So can be His retribution for ignoring or defying His created phenomena in His environment which people are surrounded by and intricately interwoven within.
Concordantly, His stated Operating-Manual Directives and promises - given through His Biblical Hebrew/Jewish/Israeli spokesmen who authored His Scripture by His Divine Inspiration - are quite applicable to YOU as a holy call and to ALL who happen to exist on His planet Earth -- one proof of which is indicated by this prologue of a New-Testament epistle:
Romans 1:7 "To all God's beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints..."
If you happen to live in or visit Rome, you're the lucky one. Saint Paul's (and God's) greeting applies to you...the reader of the Bible verses following the greeting (and contextually whatever else is contained within Holy Writ)....as well as your offspring (whether they afterwards relocate out of Rome or not):
Deuteronomy 6:7 ...and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 11:19 And you shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
...teaching them to legally discriminate without being sued in court:
Ezekiel 44:23 They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.
But you don't even have to live in or visit Rome:
Jude 1:1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
Jude 1:2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
Guess what? You personally are included in that huge assembly!
Expect to be proselitized.
Better than a door knock, snailmail invite, spam e-mail, or cable-TV-ad commercial solicitation (with or without credit-card ready).
You are "IT."
Be kind, and be fair. Those are "the breaks," and they simply "go with the territory" you were born into without being asked.