The 5-Fold Ministry
And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies. ~Romans 8:27-33
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; ~Ephesians 4:11 Think of the five fold ministry as 'The Hand of God' within the Church. It seeks first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness. You will always find His Hand in the church He has called for us to establish.
Maturity comes from a five fold ministry: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; ~Ephesians 4:14 The church is made accountable. In unity, these five ministries work together as the spirit leads for the protection and care of God's people in the Church.
ApostleAccording to the Bible an apostle is an ambassador of the gospel with miraculous powers. Apostles are commissioned by God to speak and to act under, and with His authority.
The apostles must be in the will of God to be able to 'go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature'. The apostles were the leadership throughout the New Testament and they must maintain that quality today. Their teachings must be verified by the Word. The Lord will come to them and call them unto Himself.
Weakened churches say the apostolic age died with the original Twelve. UNTRUE! What about Paul? To say such a thing makes God's word void! Peter spoke in Acts 2:38-39, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." Until God stops calling, the apostolic message and power will not cease! There are many pseudo-apostles today. God warned of them - 'For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; Whose end shall be according to their works.' ~2 Corinthians 11:13-15
Apostles must be blameless. They should possess the power of Peter, have the grace of John and the insight of Paul. And above all else, they should be like Jesus Christ.
We have no lack of 'prophets' today. They are everywhere! .. newsstands and libraries; in the news and even in churches. But so often they don't agree and they're wrong. How can you judge them? Judge the prophets with the words of the Bible. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is not light in them." ~Isaiah 8:20 Jesus warned us to be careful of those coming with wonders and predictions. He said in Matthew 24:24, For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Real prophets receive their call directly from God. Prophets are to speak as given - not adding to nor taking away from for ... every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. ~Proverbs 30:5-6 The Word of the Lord comes to the prophet. God allows the prophets to see by His spirit and to never compromise.
Prophets exalt God's Word not their own glory. They can say, "Thus saith the Lord! When they do; remember what Jesus told us in Matthew 7:20, Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free is the life of a prophet as long as God has called them - they are His mouthpiece. Watch for the signs that the prophet has given. Then you can judge them by their very works' sake. Read John 14.
The evangelist is a gift of God, not only to the saints but to the people of the world. They travel about, preaching to those whom the Holy Ghost has led them to.
An evangelist needs to hear God. God's greatest use of an evangelist comes when their purpose is single-minded toward winning the lost. Let's read Acts 8:26-39. Verses 26 reads; And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. We see here that Philip had his steps ordered by God. Again in verses 27-28 we see that Philip was lead of the Spirit of God to move. He worked with the apostles and with the church, but he was led by God. That is an evangelist! They must be led by the Spirit, but also be in submission of those that God has placed in authority over them. When we read verses 29-31; Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understand thou what thou read? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. Again Philip can be led by the Spirit because he was in the place God wanted him to be. In verse 35 we can read that Philip preached Jesus and finally in verse 39, Philip; having finished his work there was taken by the Spirit of the LORD to his next assignment. Philip was an evangelist. And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. ~Acts 21:8 Evangelists today can use him as an excellent example for conducting themselves today.
Jeremiah also warns against a type of pastor that exists in the churches today. For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered. ~Jeremiah 10:21 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. ~Jeremiah 12:10 Jeremiah also tells us in 22:22 what God has done and will do again to these types of devils. Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. ~Jeremiah 23:1-2
In the book of Luke, chapter 21 verse 15 our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ tells Peter ... Feed my lambs. In verses 16 and 17 He says ... Feed my sheep. That is the mighty call of the Pastor. It is not for the pastor to fleece the flock. It is not for the pastor to burden the flock. The shepherds' responsibility was to feed, lead, tend, and watch over the sheep under his charge.
Follow the words of Proverb 22:6 by training a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. By the Spirit of the Lord ... a child is anyone seeking the will of God for themselves. They become the sheep or lamb. Feed them in truth.
Teachers are to explain biblical truths in a clear, meaningful way. Spirit-filled teachers will direct souls to the Bible. We can't believe something because a certain person taught it. We can only believe because the Bible teaches it. A true teacher calls attention to the truth of God's Word. He is never to be the authority for the truth. The Word of God is the final authority.
When a teacher is explaining biblical truths, his teaching should always be tested by the Bible. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. ~Isaiah 8:20 When the Bereans heard Paul speak, they searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether those things that he spoke were true. And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. ~Acts 17:10-12. The Bible gives special attention to the danger of false teaching. We are warned to test those who seek to pervert the true gospel. In 2 Timothy, chapter 3; verses 1-7 tell us: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. And, we can read in 1st Peter Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. ~1 Peter 2:1-3
The prophet Hosea speaks of God's sorrow over His earthly people, Israel, verse 6 of chapter 4: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." It's just as true today- many of God's people don't know what the Scriptures say about any number of truths. It is important, then, that Christians value greatly the gift of teachers which Christ has given to them. We are thankful that this gift is seen today in good, sound preaching and writings of many faithful men.