The Government of the CHURCH according to the New Testament
Five Fold ministry is a reference to a group of ministers found in scripture. Similar to rapture which is a reference to an event found in scripture.
You will find New Testament references 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.
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
MATTHEW 23: 25-39 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore, I am sending you Prophets and sages and Teachers.
Benefits of an active Five Fold Ministry in the Church!
Ephesians 4: 11-15
So Christ himself gave the Apostles, the Prophets, the Evangelists, the Pastors and Teachers, (WHY) to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
1. To Equip
2. Build up
3. Bring Unity
4. Become Mature and Whole
5. Speak Truth in Love
8. Joined to the body supernaturally held together
10. Grows and builds itself up in Love. by each part doing its work.
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.
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 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. They alone challenge each other to uncover God’s plan for the church. They DO NOT submit their position to any other position.
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 one appointed 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 as established by Jesus Christ.
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 in the Church. They will be impossible to miss. Signs and Wonders are byproduct 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: 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 and where the stolen merchandise was. 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 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. The prophet responded by saying”He just did”.
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. Many church members walked from the faith after this incident was made public. Even those in leadership fell away. All of that could have been avoided had the elder recognized God’s authority established by Jesus Christ in the church. instead, they followed the traditions of men.
The left over leadership (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 Jesus Christ is providing. Think of the damage to all the new believers that would be 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 appointed by Jesus Christ and the self appointed. When I say self appointed I mean they establish themselves as appointed by God to run the church. They have NO scripture and NO backing by God.
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 written Bible. It is, after all, the same God speaking. If it does contradict the Bible, that person should be challenged by the other Prophets.
1 Corinthians 14:37 If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command
He is using His wisdom in doing this! (Apostle and Prophets)
Example of an Evangelist
Many years ago I witnessed the transformation of a young lady by the name of Sandy. Sandy got saved and shortly after experienced a horrible vision of hell she could not forget. Because of this experience her concern for the lost became all consuming. Even today, Sandy has her children on the streets with her evangelizing. No fan fair or support. She will not stop Her quest to see the lost come to know Jesus like she does.
We meet with Sandy and her husband occasionally. Usually at a restaurant. We don’t leave there without one or two people hearing the gospel.
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. 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 pastors like Rich 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 nu-defiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself un-spotted 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 scripturaly. He can help others understand the Bible.
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.
Five Fold Ministry