The Five-fold Ministry – God's Divine Order Assigned To The Church – Part III Of IV –
26.04.2018, Daniel Glimm
The following message is the third 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 Office Of The Shepherd (note: Pastor)
The ministry mantle of the shepherd is not very different from that of the evangelist as it also refers to the life of people. Shepherds see their main task in placing and caring for people in the church.
The ministry mantles of the shepherds find their validity in people's lives by focusing mainly on the local church. It is important to them that the local church is filled with believers and mature co-workers.
Furthermore, the functions in the ministry mantle of the shepherd are designed to house and support people in the church. Once people have become “members”, the focus of shepherds extends to focusing passionately on local churches and gatherings to keep believers in the house of God.
Sometimes, in their ministry mantle, they tend to establish the saints rather in the local congregation than in God's kingdom position. For example, if the evangelist is concerned for the mission field in the world and it can be difficult for him to reflect on the affairs of the administration of church and its resources, the shepherds' point of views may be narrow by being focused on their regional (note: local) church, so that they are not capable to establish the basic apostolic insight or understanding of the supernatural influence of eternity in the kingdom.
Shepherds provide a valuable service in the personal development of the assigned believers. There is this danger that within the heart of shepherds this can lead to an inappropriate desire to want to have more and more “members”, because they can be inclined to see their own purpose of ministering only in the amount of people.
A shepherd who does not run a church is without function and thus serves more in the position of a servant. Within the congregation, shepherds literally represent the “caretakers” with all their tasks and duties. Because of their focus on that inner work in the house of God, shepherds have a limited view of the world, which means that their ministry mantle as shepherds can be recognized and confirmed by it.
Shepherds seldom take risks to allow preaching that is challenging, such as apostles and prophets do, because it could cause their followers (note: flock) to turn away and therein to “lose” what true shepherds would be afraid of (note: sometimes with the wrong assumption that the number of members can decrease).
The Office Of The Teacher
For the teacher, the principle that no new convert (note: student) is supposed to have or lead a ministry is valid. Accordingly, the focus of a teacher's attention is not primarily on shepherding, as in the case of the shepherd (note: pastor), but rather on education and understanding of Scripture.
Teachers are recognized when they have disciples who are willing to study and learn the Word of God from them.
Just as a shepherd is responsible for spiritual care within a local church to ensure the growth of believers, the teacher helps and supports in assisting (note: in his ministry mantle) by following the focus of care in terms of academic education.
The sharp perception of teachers is always in search of information (note: also smattering of knowledge), which can deprive a young or uneducated new believer of the reward of the covenant in Jesus Christ.
Teachers are meant to provide protection against the enemy by using the Word and the knowledge of the truth of the Word of God. They do this by recognizing and rejecting conscious disinterest because they are aware that this indifference is the source of destruction, disfavor and impoverishment for believers. A true teacher despises such disinterest and can thus relentlessly appear in his mission to eliminate it.
Teachers are also watchful and eager to prevent or reduce mistakes and the associated consequences in the life of believers. They comprehend their mission as supporting to the growing of maturity in Christ by training saints in the unchangeable truth of the Word of God.
Occasionally, teachers who are inevitably analytical may take a very critical and one-sided approach to their views on new believers. An often disturbing attitude towards changes or new developments within the body of Christ is also an elementary component of the nature of the ministry of a teacher.
The Occurrence Of The Apostles and Prophets
Apostles and prophets receive revelations and insights from the Lord in order to hand over their fresh “manna” (note: revelatory Word of God) to the body of Christ. Their revelations correspond to those received by the prophets of God in the Tenakh (note: Hebrew Bible) and by all the apostles of the New Testament.
Apostles and prophets are the first ministers to be initiated and integrated into the Holy Word of the Creator and into the eternal world of the Lord. Both ministers recognize the mission of the church to reflect the eternal kingdom of the Lord. That is why they are experienced in the supernatural like the appearing of angels as well as the citizens of the kingdom of God and receive as highest ranking ministers directly and incisively the Lord's revelations.
They can see the new converts and the church as a whole, or with a primarily holistic approach. This is a completely different view and approach as of the other ministers of the five-fold ministry in the body of Christ. Their attitude concerning ministry is therefore oriented towards the representation of the eternal kingdom of God, just as the moon reflects the light of the sun to shine in the darkness.
The body of Christ on earth is destined to serve the Lord like a huge satellite of His eternal reign. It works with God's spiritual world and its institutions as inflows reflecting the activities of the invisible. Apostles and prophets reveal the hidden facets, powers and sovereignty of eternity. They reveal these principles and make them accessible to the saints, so that believers grow in their insight. This valuable work contributes to the recognition of God's heavenly design from eternity, which implies eternal life (note: immortality) for humans (note: mortals).
The main purpose of the church (note: saints all over the world), to which the apostles and prophets lead, is also to enlighten the darkened human mind with the wisdom of God. Furthermore, apostles and prophets minister to those who are unsaved, to see them connect themselves as far as possible with their eternal form as children of light and not as descendants of the supernatural darkness in which they live.
The calling of the apostles and prophets is being commissioned by God to sanctify the eternal body of men (note: the inner man => soul and spirit), which the Lord has prepared for an eternal existence and this process will be achieved by uniting the saints with His reign in Christ.
Apostles and prophets begin to fully grasp the reasons of the Lord in order to advance the people of God towards its eternal destiny. They emotionally understand this enormous value of destiny as a long-awaited companion of eternity.
The apostles have been given the ability by God's grace to stand on a higher level of knowledge than other ministers in the church. They act as revealing ministers of Christ, so that the secrets of the hidden realms of God can increasingly be revealed to those who are part of the Body of Christ.
It is the apostles to whom, according to the Word of God, the privilege and duty are ascribed as stewards of the mysteries of God (see 1 Corinthians 4:1-2), which presupposes fidelity and integrity.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2:
1 This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.
2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
The apostles get initiated into the secret/silent ministry of the invisible world of the Lord to receive knowledge in order to share it with the body of Christ. Furthermore, apostles can bring the truth of the Lord into the hearts and souls of believers by clearly addressing every area of life, whether directly or indirectly, in order to help them progress in their daily life in Christ.
Apostles and prophets give the church the understanding of having authority to save souls and challenge saints to transform themselves into the image and likeness of Christ. This is based on God's unadulterated Word. Inaccurate and incoherent sermons or teachings are not usually typical of apostles and prophets. They know only too well how serious and glorious the Lord is in His nature.
The nature of the inauguration (note: ordination) of these two officers of the Lord makes them live as initiates in His kingdom. That is why it is such a privilege for them to serve men personally according to the Word of Truth which is put into their mouths by God. Their ministry can be found to be effective as the people they serve therein find comfort and conviction by God-given wisdom.
Apostles and prophets learn not only from their divine intimacy that heaven and hell are real, but also how God's holiness prevents the LORD from giving eternal life to those who reject or block his order (note: proud/arrogant heart attitude). Sometimes this is quite hard for those concerned, and experience shows that only mature saints can stand it. These mature saints are submitted to the reign of God without needing any traditional, gentle revelation or soft and superficial explanation. True apostles and prophets are therefore not always welcome, because of the fact that there are servants in the church who want to rely on a rather soft revelation. This can sometimes be related to the mindset of convincing people of God's love (note: in this context “cheap grace”).
Apostles and prophets understand what it means to say that God's will is done and know what God expects from His people, that is to say to surrender uncompromisingly to His will. They also understand the duty of the church to the sovereignty of the Lord. That means trusting and obeying. Aaron's loss of his two presumptuous sons in Leviticus 10:1-3 makes this clear.
1 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command.
2 So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.
3 Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said: “ ‘Among those who approach me I will be proved holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.’ ” Aaron remained silent.
Apostles and prophets are also prepared to recognize the limits of the freedom of salvation that the Lord allows, and proclaim to His people the danger of recklessness in the form of presumption and arrogance. Their messages are not often expressed in terms that comfort the flesh (note: flatter), but they seem to occasionally choose phrases and expressions that serve to create an inner shaking.
Dauntlessness and sometimes frank honesty permeate their messages. The penetrating insight of these ministers connects with the uncomfortable meaning of delivering bound “souls”. Their messages can cause the increasing of an inner aversion in order to reveal hidden rebellion in the hearts of the people of God (note: believers). Their ministry exposes believers with dispositions or patterns of inner resistance to holiness who prefer more convenient sermons by tendency.
God is truth, and His apostles and prophets are bound by a peculiar limitation within the assignment to express this truth, even if it is obvious that it will be ignored or attacked. It is mainly through these two ministers that the church can receive its fresh streams of wisdom and its portion in the unfolding of God's mysteries and revelations for its generations.
Apostles and prophets receive messages and revelatory teaching from God and bring it into the hands of the church so that it can be added to its present and former “theology” (note: emphasis) and move on to the next level of anointed development. This progress in the body of Christ can only come from new revelations (note: fresh manna). (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,
For part IV of the message please click here.