The Government of the CHURCH according to the New Testament
Five Fold ministry is a nick name not found in scripture. Just like rapture is a reference to an event.
You will find New Testament reference to the office of Prophet 154 times, Apostle 54 times, Evangelist 2 times
Pastor 1 time.
HEBREWS 13: 8 says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. What has actually changed? The law has been fulfilled by Jesus himself.
EPHESIANS 2: 19,20 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
EPHESIANS 4: 11,12 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
1 CORINTHIANS 12: 28 And God has placed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of various kinds of tongues
EPHESIANS 3:4-6 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy Apostles and Prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
MALACHI 4: 5,6 See, I will send the Prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with destruction.
MATTHEW 16: 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock of revelation I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Luke 11:49 Because of this, God in His wisdom said."I will send them Prophets and Apostles."
AMOS 3:7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealed his secret unto his servants the Prophets
ISAIAH 40: 3 A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord[a];
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God
Man made traditions nullify the word of God. Made up rules and structures with excuses prevent freedom. God has the answer and Jesus said what it was.
MARK 7: 1-13 “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?” He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God to observe[c] your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother, ‘and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. ‘But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother (Financial) is Corban (that is, devoted to God) then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. Thus, you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
MATTHEW 23: 25-39 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside, are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So, you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started! “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore, I am sending you Prophets and sages and Teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so, upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the Prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord
So, God has appointed some in the church for his own use first Apostles second Prophets thirdly
Teachers then wonder workers then those with ability to those who heal the sick helpers administrators speakers in unknown tongues
Revelation 18:20 separates Apostles and Prophets from the bride of Christ.
A few points God appoints the people not man God puts the title not man
What’s a benefit to having these people?
Ephesians 4: 12-14 God’s intention was the perfecting and full equipping of saints (his consecrated people) That they should do the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church)
Ephesians 4: 13 states that the goal is that we be united like in Acts 1:14 where they are united in prayer and discussing Apostle’s doctrine and waiting for the promise that Jesus gave the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 4:14 says that we be no longer like children tossed to and fro by wind of doctrine
This reminds me of Hebrews 5:11-14 pretty much God doesn’t want us to be children on milk so with our appointed men by god we won’t
Mark 7: 7-9 States that when we follow the ways and commandments of men, we nullify the commandments and Kingdom of God. So, the Holy Spirit is grieved and thus no signs and wonders. Having the offices set up by God and following that keeps us following the commandments of God.
So what do these roles look like?
Apostle: Equip the saints for ministry. Anointed one to establish the New Testament Church. They are confirmed by signs and wonders. They appoint and anoint those who work in the local church. Established sound doctrine in the Church, reveal mysteries, bring God's wisdom.
Prophet: Equip the saints for ministry. No indication the role of a Prophet has changed from the Old Testament. They are to hear the word of The Lord for the church. They are to warn and sometimes expose. They are the two lamp stands found in revelations calling down fire and stopping the rain. They are the ones God speaks to before He does anything on the earth. In the church setting, they are the ones commissioned to speak and reveal mysteries
Evangelist:Equip the saints for ministry. Anointed preacher and commissioned by God outside the Church to spread the Gospel.
Pastor: Equip the saints for ministry. Cares for the flock(believers). Also referred to as an overseer. The first to chase a wandering sheep. They are called to serve and care for people.
Teacher: Equip the saints for ministry. One who expounds on the written word
There are more however it should be noted that Jesus was foretelling an action God the Father revealed by wisdom. The sending of the Prophet and the Apostle. in the New Testament they tended to work together. They are the primary governmental role established by God.
Example of an Apostle
Unfortunately I do not have a confirmed example of an Apostle. The Prophets are sent first and after that the Apostles will begin to appear on the scene. They will be impossible to miss. Signs and Wonders are ear marks of their ministry. Without those I would be suspect of anyone claiming the office of an Apostle. Generally Apostles are assigned to areas by God. When the Prophets arise collectively it should pull the Apostles into the area or cause them to rise up in the area they already are in.
Example of the role of a Prophet
The Prophets are in the church to warn and expose. This calling can save countless lives and heartaches.
Example of positive results.
A Prophet was given a vision of a man that was called to a military position. He revealed the position and what it included. The Prophet also revealed that one of the purposes of this mans job would be to create a defense against a weapon that had not yet been seen.
This man was not able to complete this vision since He was not an officer nor a pilot. Since that time, he became an officer and a pilot. He was assigned to an aircraft that will enable Him to do exactly what was seen in the vision.
Example of negative results.
In popular church in Jacksonville FL, an elder was approached by a Prophet with a dream. The elder was told his business had been robbed. The Prophet revealed how the elder had been robbed and who robbed Him. As it turned out, every part of that dream was true. It had happened, just as stated by the Prophet. The elder recovered his equipment because of the Prophet. Remember their role is to hear God for the church to provide protection and correction.
Shortly after that, the same Prophet told the same elder, God had shown him that the Pastor's wife was being inappropriate with one of the other elders in the church. The elder told the Prophet that He(the Prophet) was missing it and that God had placed the Pastor and His wife over this ministry. He then stated that if God wanted to speak to the elders, (the church leadership) God would speak to them directly.
All the big name preachers of the day would go to speak at this ministry. Thousands of people had gotten saved over the years. Unfortunately, the word revealed from the Prophet was true and eventually broke the church up. Thousands walked from the faith after this incident was made public. All of that would have been avoided had the elder recognized God's authority in the church instead of the made up traditions of man.
Instead, they(the pastor and his wife) brought in new elders and started all over again. Naming the people is not the point. I have observed that confronting the self appointed leaders in the current set up of the church is futile. I am not sure why people do not want the help that God himself is providing. Think of the damage to all the new believers that could have been avoided.
The number one problem in the church today is the sin among the leadership. Prophets are rarely welcome since they expose sin in leadership for the benefit of the entire church.
This is not being written for them. You and I are obligated to respond to God when He speaks. Whether through the written word or through one of His Prophets or to you directly. God is setting up the government of the church now, for the last days.
Volumes could be written on the confrontation between Prophets and the self appointed. When I say self appointed I mean they establish themselves as appointed by God to run the whole church. They have NO scripture and NO backing by God. Shortly you will see the veil torn and the government of God become the accepted norm.
It should be noted that Jesus warned against false Prophets and false Teachers. When a Prophet reveals a mystery, that same Prophet is subjected to other Prophets. They should be able to either confirm or reject the message. At no time will a mystery revealed contradict the Bible. it is after all the same God speaking. If it does contradict the Bible, that person should be challenged by the other Prophets.
He is using His wisdom in doing this! (Apostle and Prophets)
Example of a Pastor
I recently had a conversation with a long time friend. His name is Rich. I thanked him for the influence he had on my son's over the years. he just smiled. I have watched him mentor young men through his work through friendship, online etc. Mostly those from broken homes(the fatherless).
Rich has a title. It is youth pastor. I asked him what that means to him. He said "really nothing." He said the church he attended recognized his passion and gave him the title. I asked Rich how many young men he had mentored over the years. He said a little over 3500.
Rich does not get paid and does not care to. Rich attends a very small church. The large number of kids He ministered to is derived from His own efforts going and finding them. He genuinely cares for people, in this case young men into young adult hood. In Rich said, most teenagers are knuckle heads and He did not want them to make the same mistakes He did. That is his mission statement.
There are a lot of Richs out there. This one man had almost as much influence with people as that Mega Church from Jacksonville. With God all things are possible.
James 1:27 " Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. "
Example of a Teacher
Teachers can be Apostles, Prophets, Pastors or just the calling of a teacher. They are able to follow themes and see parallels in the word of God that most others cannot.
I have a friend, Rob, that taught Math at a College. Rob also felt called to teach the Bible. Whenever Rob teaches, people rave about the teaching and cannot wait for the next meeting. Rob is able to take mysteries revealed by Prophets and explain them scripturally. He can help others understand the Bible like no one else.
He is simply gifted.
It should be noted that Jesus warned against false teachers. They are easy to spot. Nothing fully lines up to the Bible. They use one or two isolated scriptures to create a doctrine that the majority of scriptures contend with.