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The Five-fold Ministry God's Divine Order Assigned To The Church Part I Of IV

18.04.2018, Daniel Glimm


Note:
The following message is the first part of a teaching that consists of four parts and will be published further in the near future.
It is recommended to read the message chronologically.
 
The Transformation

The people of God find themselves in a new form of transformation at this time. Therefore, it might be helpful and necessary to understand this transformation within the body of Christ, because it is related to an inner renewal process and the quality of His new creation in divine order (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).
 
2 Corinthians 5:17:
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

This is also connected with the correct understanding of the respective ministers within the five-fold ministry (see Ephesians 4:11-14).
 
Ephesians 4:11-14:
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 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.
14 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.

When it comes to the five-fold ministry, it is wise to ask oneself the following questions first:
  1. How did God want His church to look like over time?
and
  1. How should it be structured to serve its goals (note: independent of current mind-sets and socio-cultural changes)?
Disorder Because Of A Lack Of Knowledge

In essence, this message is basically not about emphasizing and upholding what already works well within churches around the world. Rather, it should point out what is currently in need of substantial change in this phase of transformation.

It should also be underlined that this message is clearly not addressed to any position (note: group of people) but to the larger image of a functional and effectively working church acting as one body (note: organism) worldwide. This also means that this change includes all saints (note: followers of Christ).

Because of a lack of knowledge referring to the true purpose of the ministers of the five-fold ministry within the church of Christ, which has been going on for a long time, there is currently disorder. There are overburdened leaders who perform too many tasks that could be better assigned. There is still an insufficient understanding of the body of Christ as the “one new man” (see Ephesians 2:13-16) including a kingdom mindset and excluding worldly influences.
 
Ephesians 2:13-16:
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups (note: Jews and Gentiles) one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

It is also evident in many communities that believers do not face up to their responsibilities to the extent the Word of God teaches and therefore many do not reflect the full potential of wielding authority in society. The fact that there are movements around the world that are striving for unity at all costs, which clearly ignores biblical standards, is regrettable. Due to the justified expressions of reservations about current developments of this kind within the body of Christ, which increasingly corrupt the purity of the word and deliberately alter God's standards – with a humanistic approach – true unity is hardly recognizable by people outside.

In the past, there have also been repeated situations and developments in which saints with lack of understanding of the spiritual gifts have practiced themselves and numerous expulsions have resulted in numerous damages to persons. In some cases of helplessness or lack of knowledge, church leaders have “excluded” the spiritual gifts (note: also anointings/mantles) by not tolerating them or finally trying to direct them to “controllable” levels in meetings. Movements of spiritual revival were strongly criticized and some men and women of God were denounced, unnecessarily causing much confusion among people who were to be reached by revivals.

In short, as the worldwide body of Christ, we are still in a change related to the new wine and the new wine skin that is needed (see Mark 2:22). The continual aversion of many people concerning traditional and ecclesiastical religion as such, especially in Europe, is a phenomenon of our time. Millions of believers consider this time in history the last days and ask for the “archetypal form” of church described in the Bible, which according to the New Testament moves in power.

It is astonishing to see that the structure of traditional procedures prevails to this day, which is largely based on councils and ecclesiastical organization, not on the Holy Scriptures. Finally, we are invited to “conquer” wrong foundations and to bring a stop to religiosity (note: self-righteousness).

The body of Christ may turn with great steps to its root, Israel as the precious olive tree, and thus regain the purity that some have lost in lacking knowledge and spiritual arrogance (see Romans 11:17-24).
 
Romans 11:17-24:
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.”
20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble.
21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
 
This turning would result in giving back the perfect guidance of His body to the head (note: Jesus Christ as the only Redeemer and Lamb of God). Accordingly, there may not be perfect churches as such, but most of the people can agree that the head of the church, Jesus Christ, wants to lead in perfection and exert authority. So, this present disorder can be counteracted by understanding of the five-fold ministry according to Ephesians 4:11-14, so that there is a proper order according to the will of God within the body of Christ.

It can be clearly seen that up to now the body of Christ had an established understanding of the ministry of the evangelist, shepherd (note: pastor) and teacher. At present, there is still a growing hunger for a deeper understanding of the offices of the apostle and the prophet. This understanding will lead to the body of Christ experiencing an increase in being sent with a prophetic perspective.

The Face Of The Lion And The Eagle

This perspective to be expected is connected with the face of God in the form of the lion and the flying eagle (see Revelation 4:6-7). It also includes that the Spirit of God intensifies the Fear of the Lord within His people and leads to an increasing of wisdom and knowledge of the depths of God.
 
Revelation 4:6-7:
6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.
7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.

The character traits of the lion and the eagle are related to the royalty of God in the spirit realm as well as to the one in the earthly realm, because the lion corresponds to the “king of the land animals” and the eagle to the “king of the air”.

The Rediscovery Of The Office Of The Apostle And Prophet

It is therefore important at this time that we, as the body of Christ, rediscover the ministry of the apostle and the prophet in the way that Jesus Christ as head has the greatest understanding of how His church is supposed to function as a body.

According to the Word of God, the ministry of the shepherd (note: pastor) is placed in fourth place in God's order of the church. The church was built for several centuries on the error that apostles and prophets no longer existed. Due to this misconception, shepherds (note: pastors) were put in their position and bishops were continued to be appointed to the leadership of churches instead of apostles. One consequence of this is that the church has lost supernatural power over the centuries.

The Order Of God In Relation To The Office Of The Apostle And Prophet

The apostle Paul makes clear in 1 Corinthians 12:28-29 what God's order should look like in relation to the position of the ministry of the apostle and prophet in the church.
 
1 Corinthians 12:28-29:
28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

God induced Paul through His Spirit to mention the apostle and prophet several times as the first minister of God in His letters. This naming is significant and a sure sign for it, that Paul expressly meant what he wrote and could be convinced that the order came from the Lord Himself (see 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11).

One of the reasons why Paul had chosen this order is simply because the apostle and the prophet are to be comprehended as founding ministers (see Ephesians 2:19-21).
 
Ephesians 2:19-21:
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

Their ministry begins with a message that is received directly from the mouth of the Lord and would succeed in drawing the followers of Christ to establish them as church (note: a community of saints in the region) in the respective region. (note: This message is based on a teaching by Paula A. Price, Ph. D. from the book “Divine Order for Spiritual Dominance”; pages 5-12)
 
Amen and Amen.
 
In His Wisdom,
 
Daniel Glimm
 
For part II of the message please click here.




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