The Five-fold Ministry – God's Divine Order Assigned To The Church – Part IV Of IV –
01.05.2018, Daniel Glimm
The following message is the fourth 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 Apostolic-Prophetic Coalition
The concept of an apostolic-prophetic coalition implies an agreement based on the agreement that apostles and prophets unite and collaborate to bring the fullness of God's strength, character and wisdom to the saints. Such a cooperation usually develops from the recognition and connection of the leading prophet with the apostle he or she is “aligned” with (note: by an inner testimony).
As a matter of course, preceding prophets present the apostles for whom their mantles were sent by God to pave the way for them. From Abraham, the prophet who paved the way for Moses the Shaliach (note: type of apostle in the Tenakh – Hebrew Bible) up to John the Baptist, who was sent to prepare the way for Jesus (see Mark 1:3). In the pattern of the New Testament, after Philip the Evangelist had evangelized an area, the apostles and prophets stepped in to teach and consolidate new believers in God's truth (see Acts 8:4-24). The initial arrangement of “two apostles” (see Mark 6:7) has been changed to form and send a more effective team for this present time (note: apostle and prophet, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ).
The messages of the apostles and prophets are revelations which are spread or continued by the three other ministers of the five-fold ministry (note: evangelist, shepherd, teacher) in the church.
The ministry of the apostle and the prophet are destined to distribute active revelation received by God among the other three ministers of the church in order to provide an imprint for the whole body of Christ. Each of the three mentioned ministers (note: evangelist, shepherd, teacher) spreads his part of the apostolic and prophetic revelations within the ministry which their mantle emphasizes or covers.
The evangelist uses revelation to convince souls to recognize Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The shepherd uses revelation to encourage the flock for attending and being part of the church.
The teacher uses revelation to train saints and consolidate them in the kingdom culture of the Lord.
However, what all three of these last-mentioned ministers of the five-fold ministry are lacking is the legitimacy of the Lord's immediate consultation in the realm of authority to which apostles and prophets are entitled. This is why they are the first-mentioned ministers, because they are assigned to release God's fresh revelations.
The Three First-mentioned Ministers According to 1 Corinthians 12:28
It is important to note, in comprehension of the field of the five-fold ministry, that three offices in the body of Christ have been given special attention by God, which are the apostle, the prophet and the teacher according to 1 Corinthians 12:28, named by Paul in a particular order.
1 Corinthians 12:28:
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.
In 1 Corinthians 12, it is God, the Heavenly Father, who appoints (note: places) the chosen persons into their office. If you look at Ephesians 4:11-14, you can see that it speaks of Jesus, who has given the officers of the five-fold ministry as gifts to the church or made them available to the church for various reasons. The Greek word for “gave” used in Ephesians 4:11 is the word “didōmi”, which means “handing over, granting, lending, providing”. This means that it is Jesus Christ who gives the offices to the chosen saints in His sanctified church (note: the bride of Christ) as a gift and asks them to enter into their offices and to mature in them. Among other things, Numbers 18:7 makes this clear.
7 But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary is to be put to death.”
In relation to the three first-mentioned ministries (note: apostles, prophets, teachers) in accordance to 1 Corinthians 12:28 which are associated with the five-fold ministry, the word “placed” is used, which is called “tithēmi” in Greek and means “appointed, instructed, ordained”. This means that it is God, the Heavenly Father, who leads people into the ministries and it is Jesus Christ who hands them over to the church.
It is therefore no coincidence that Ephesians 2:20-23 partially obscures the three first-positioned offices of 1 Corinthians 12:28, because they form the foundation of the church, which allows the bride of Christ to move forward in God's plan being secured. The church as the bridal structure may receive stronger and more supernatural influence and greater authority in the heavenly world as well as to use it in accordance to Revelation 21:2.
… 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.
22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
The Supernatural “Statics” In The Bride Of Christ
Since Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of His bride and supports the necessary “statics” of the growing spiritual “building complex” according to Ephesians 4:15-16, it should be noted that the cornerstone position is equal to the power of the teacher as one minister in the body of Christ, because in the New Testament Jesus is also called “Rabbi”, which means “teacher/master”.
15 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.
16 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.
There is a close reference to the importance of the teacher in the body of Christ. Believers who hold the office of the teacher in the body of Christ are primarily not people who merely know much of the Word of God or have much knowledge about God, but are able to unlock the Word of God by the anointing. Their anointing flows together with their knowledge, in order to make it accessible to the people they serve, like Jesus described the scribes (note: teachers of the law) who really recognized and accepted Him (see Matthew 13:52 i.c.w. John 3:2).
52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
It is, among other things, the believers who are in the office of the teacher in the church and who give the necessary balance through the revelatory power of the written word of God, as well as who contribute to the fact that the body of Christ is seen to be globally uplifted in power.
The task of the teacher in the body of Christ can be compared to the small human toe, which contributes to a balanced walk of man as an important part in the upright standing, or also to be considered as a small finger, which is of great importance in the grasping (note: snatching) of things (see Matthew 11:12).
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it.
The Task Of The Officers In The Five-fold Ministry
The officers of the five-fold ministry in the body of Christ have the mission to bring the people of God into full spiritual maturity for ministry, so that they do not become insecure or unstable by the influence of different teachings and doctrines (see Ephesians 4:11-14).
The establishment of spiritual maturity in the life of believers by the officers of the five-fold ministry has the effect that they (note: believers) are aware with whom they want to move forward spiritually on their path with Jesus Christ or under which competent spiritual leadership they are supposed to stay. Furthermore, it is the task of the officers of the five-fold ministry that believers recognize which spiritual calling, gift and anointing they are equipped with in order to position themselves accordingly.
It is wise for saints to submit to and to align with the anointing or spiritual influence by which they can get encouraged in their spiritual life according to their calling.
The Necessity For Spiritual Development
When believers have grown out of the infantile phase due to their spiritual maturity increased, they should go to the place where spiritual leaders are willing to continue to support them in their maturity progress by taking responsibility (see 1 Corinthians 13:11).
1 Corinthians 13:11:
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
However, if believers, despite their spiritual maturity being increased, wish to remain in a field of the beginning teachings, this may cause frustration for them, which may even lead to division within their respective fellowship (note: church, ministry place). That is not in the interest of God! Therefore, the respective believers should think about asking God where their next spiritual dwelling place is and be willing to change the place according to God's direction.
A Possible Change Of Location
That process can be associated with the change of location and possibly also with moving. Adverse circumstances in the life of a saint are usually determined by God, so that changes of a course of action or changes of the place can be involved, similar as Abraham lived (see Genesis 11:31 i.c.w. Genesis 12:1.10).
31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.
1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. …
10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe.
Only the return and turning to the required recognition of the offices in the five-fold ministry, which entails the ordination (note: appointment) to the five-fold offices by proven servants of God (note: men and women), can lead to the comprehensive restoration of the church.
The result of this turning process will be that believers can be appropriately prepared and instructed to be effective in their given authority under a higher authority (note: spiritual covering). This process of necessary collaboration between the officers, as well as individual leadership teams and saints in the body of Christ, will bring back true unity (note: based on biblical standards) that will be recognized by people in the world, as it is recorded in Acts.
It is too self-evident to mention that evangelists are not primarily responsible for the effective growth of churches, but each individual follower of Jesus Christ, who testifies in his assigned environment, shares the Gospel and lives out Jesus Christ accordingly (note: according to the commission to Mark 16 i.c.w. Matthew 24).
What is essential, however, is the attained maturity of the church according to Ephesians 4, which implies an order and maintenance of order that is not based on human “wisdom” or strategy, but ultimately follows the concept of submission to the order of authorization by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The presence of God will be revealed to an unprecedented extent and human souls will be able to find their place in the kingdom of God if the head has an effective and obedient body of subordinate joints.
(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,