|FIVE - FOLD MINISTRY AND THEIR GIFTS
I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:1-2
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Rom 12:3
I need to stress how important it is to put our lives on the altar, trusting the Lord with every thing. As a minister of God, we need to always remember that a servant is not one of pride and arrogence, but of service and humility. When a "minister" begins to think of himself highly, then he no longer is a minister.
We need to keep in mind the verse:
But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. Matt 19:30
This verse is speaking of those in the fore-front loosing their place due to pride, or no longer growing in Christ.. Many of the "newer" Christians are maturing at a faster rate then us more mature ones. We must always be teachable and correctable, no matter the position we hold. Just because some one holds an office in the Church body, does not mean he/she is raised up in the spiritual realm higher then the one sitting in the pew as a prayer warrior. Are we still hungry for more of the Spirit of God? Where is our passion?
Because a person has a title does not mean he/she is in fact filling that position. We all need to keep focused on the Lord and not on self or others. Many times a man or woman sitting in the pew will have more wisdom and anointing then the one in the pulpit.
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one menbers one of another. Rom 12:5
No one person is more important then another. We all are of one body. My weaknesses are your weakneses and visa virsa, as well as my strengths are your strengths and yours mine. We are all in this together and we need to help each other as we stand before the Lord.
This is not to say there are not those put in the position of leadership, given the anointing and authority to help each of us grow and mature, as well as keeping us safe from false teaching. We need to note those in leadership and respect them, but not follow them blindly as so many do. They are still flesh and blood and given to error as everyone else is.
Ok lets begin our search of the Word and see what the gifts are and how they fit in with the ministry.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors; and some, teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;
These ministries have been given to help equip the body so they may minister effectively, as well as mature in the Lord. Every person called of God to minister is also given the spiritual gifts needed for that particular job. I have written out the indivdual gifts in a previous page as noted on the index page.
Taking them one by one:
APOSTLE: The Greek word is apostolos : This is one sent forth
apostole : A sending. a mission, an ambassador of the Gospel, to found and uphold churches with supernatural power to work miracles. No error in the inspired public or private teaching. Luke 9:1-2
There is a move today in many churches, claiming a new anointing and commission, they say the Lord is raising up apostles; and many pastors claim to have this office. We must line this all up with the scriptures.
To the best of my memory I have not met any apostles in our travels. There is the teaching that they no longer exist, but the scriptures given for this office being over is not conclusive. We must be very careful of false shepherds coming into the flock distorting the Word of God...
Apostles are equipped to hold any of the other four ministries if necessary. They must possess the gifts of "miracles, prophecy, faith, discerning of spirits, word of knowledge and word of wisdom". They would be able to preach and teach with an anointing. They would be gifted in building the church, this would be a major part of the gift ministry of the Apostle.
PROPHET: Greek word is prophetes : An inspired speaker, spokesman for God. Telling forth divine councils of God. A proclaimer of Divine messages; corrects moral and religious abuses. Proclaims the great moral and gospel truths, one whom God speaks thrrugh, the Spirit of God rests on. Preaches and teaches by inspiration, gives guidance and Divine revelations; tells future and past events, counsels, confirms and exhorts.
protrepo : To turn forward, propel, to urge forward, encourage.
paraineo : To recommend, to advise, warn.
Exhort: Greek word parakaleo: Call on/entreat to pursue some course of conduct always for the future.
He or she will speak boldly and often speak in ways not given to tenderness, they often don't realize how blunt they can be. He will warn, comfort, encourage, correct, teach, exposing sin and proclaiming righteousness, fighting against worldliness and lukewarmness in God's people. Because of the message of righteousness, the true prophet of God will be met with much rejection and persecution from the churches as well as in the demonic forces. Like all ministers the words of the prophet are not to be taken as infallible.
Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 1 Cor 14:29-32
A prophet can hold the "word" for the appropriate time, the word doesn't need to blurted out right when given, and the spirit of the prophet needs to be one of love.
When a church does not welcome the prophet, and meets him or her with rejection they will suffer the fate of error in the body. The Lord sends the prophet to the churches and that is not to be taken lightly.
The prophet of God is equiped much like the apostle. They must have the gifts of "miracles, faith, word of wisdom and word of knowledge, prophecy, interpretation, discerning of spirits". The apostle and the prophet must have the power gifts as well as the spoken gifts.
The prophet is able to pastor a church if needed, although the messages will be one of repentence and judgment, they are not the best choice for pastors.. They are able to evangelize and teach as well as preach on inspiration. This is not to say they don't prepare and study, they have a deep love for the word of God, but the Holy Spirit will move them to deliver as the Lord wills.
The apostle and the prophet are gifted in spiritual warfare and deliverance, this being a part of the miracle and faith gifts.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matt 7:15-20
There are false fruits, but they last only a short time. This is part of Godly judging... not critical judging which is forbidden. We need to keep our eyes open and know what is going on around us, lining everything up with the Word of God. Take what is being said and line it up with the Word, including what I am teaching on this site.. we need to know the word of God and the heart of the Lord in order not to be decieved.
It's important to keep in mind as well, that a person may have these gifts and not hold these offices, but they must have the gifts to hold these offices.
EVANGLIST: Greek word is euangelistes: a messenger of good, a preacher of the gospel; to proclaim glad tidings, good news. Missionaries are evanglists.
And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Ceasarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evanglist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. Acts 21:8
The evangelist is necessary for the churches; having the anointing in the message of salvation. the evangelist will have the gifts of "miracles, healings, and deliverances from evil spirits, as well as gifted in helping withthe infilling of the Holy Spirit. The churches that deny this ministry will soon dry up and die from a lack of new converts. These people will share the good news where ever they go.. looking for places to share.
Pastor: Greek word is poimen: A shepherd, one who tends herds or flocks; not just one who feeds them, but guides them as well. This is a service committed to elders [overseers or bishops].
In Palistine and the eastern countries, the shepherds go before the sheep, inducing them to follow by calling to them.
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice. Jn 10:4
Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and
Aaron Ps 77:20
These shepherds also lead them..
And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me; and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.. Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant; and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
Take heed therefore unto yourselvees, 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. Acts 20:28
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the suffering of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but of a ready mind. Neither be ye lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock. 1 Pet 5:1-3
A shepherd of God is to lead not beat the sheep and abuse them, but lead and show the way, by example. In Greece the shepherds actually name their sheep and the sheep learn to respond to their own names, and will run to their shepherds when called. These sheep will not run to another person calling to them, but only to their own shepherd. Much like we do with the Lord. We learn to hear and know His voice over that of the enemy. [Jn 10:1-16]
Jesus is our true Shepherd, but He has many shepherds that work for Him, all ministries are considered shepherds. Before going any further on this, lets look at the Teacher:
Teacher: Greek for teacher: didaskalos: Teachers of Christ, teach truth to the body of Christ.
kalodidaskaios: A teacher that is good.
pseudodidaskalos: A false teacher [2 Peter 2:1]
Teachers have a special gift to open up the Word of God, explaining it clearly, inorder to build the church body up. They have been given a real hunger for more of the Word and will find themselves teaching at any given time to anyone willing to listen.
Teachers are to protect the purity of the Word protecting it from false teachings. Not everyone thinking they can teach are indeed teachers ordained by the Lord.
Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment. James 3:1
But he who did not know and did things worthy of a beating shall be beaten with few [lashes], for everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required; and of him to whom men entrust much, they will require and demand all the more. Luke 12:48
If we profess to have one of these offices, then we best be very careful about what we do; this being a very serious commission.
A person may possess more then one of these callings, such as a "prophet/evangelist; pastor/teacher, etc..
The Lord is the one to ordain and lead us to the place of ministry, He has called us to. I'm not saying a person shouldn't be ordained by man, but not everyone called is to go that route.
I pray this has brought a bit of light to some of you. May the Lord lead each of you to the place He has called you to fill.
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