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Sustaining Prayer Through The Five-Fold Ministry Part 1

Sustaining Prayer Through The Five-Fold Ministry Part 1

Biblical Praxis of Mission Course – 8a

 

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The whole ministry of the Holy Spirit, including the gifts distributed to men for the building up the Body, is meant to establish the Church in maturity so that it may function with one accord unto its destiny in the coming Kingdom.
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SUSTAINING PRAYER THROUGH THE FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY

INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW

INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW

A.    As a sojourning nation awaiting the consummation of the covenants, the Church is called to seek the Lord, prepare in holiness, and testify to all the nations concerning the coming Kingdom of our Lord Jesus the Messiah.  Moreover, God has given us a deposit of his Spirit to assure us of the certainty of such things and empower a witness of them.

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves (Gk. anastrephō) with fear throughout the time of your exile. (ESV 1 Peter 1:13-17)

Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.  14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that,  15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves (Gk. anastrephō) in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. (NIV 1 Timothy 3:13-15)

  • <390> avnastre,fw anastrepho {an-as-tref’-o}

Meaning:  1) to turn upside down 2) to turn back 3) to turn hither and thither, to turn one’s self about, sojourn dwell in a place 4) metaph. to conduct one’s self, behave one’s self, live

Origin:  from 303 [Gk. ana] and 4762 [Gk. strepho, “to turn”]; TDNT – 7:715,1093; v

Usage:  AV – return 2, have conversation 2, live 2, abide 1, overthrow 1, behave (one’s) self 1, be used 1, pass 1; 11[1]

B.    Considering the state of the human heart and the persistence of darkness on the earth, God has deemed discipline necessary to sustain a repentant and believing heart—internally through a fasted lifestyle and externally through trials and tribulations.  Moreover, in order to remain faithful, the human heart demands a continual feeding of the Holy Spirit, who testifies to the age to come.

When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come3 Give us each day our daily bread4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us 5 Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread9 So I say to you: Ask and it (i.e. bread) will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (NIV Luke 11:2-13)

C.   The gifts of the Holy Spirit have thus been given by God to strengthen the Assembly in the place of prayer and faithful sojourning.  More specifically, gifts are given to individuals within the Church to bless and encourage the whole in repentance and belief in the age to come.  Unfortunately, when emphasized today the five-fold ministry is generally interpreted under the banner of dominionism rather than sojourning.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.  7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?  30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?  31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. (NIV 1 Corinthians 12:4-31)


[1] Acts 5:22; 15:16; 2 Co. 1:12; Eph. 2:3; 1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 10:33; 13:18; 1 Pet. 1:17; 2 Pet. 2:18.

THE FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

THE FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

A.    Thus, the purpose of the “five-fold ministry” (cf. Eph. 4:11) is to administrate the gifts of the Holy Spirit unto leading the church in righteousness and watchful prayer, unto empowerment in the grace of God, unto maturity and faithfulness in our calling, unto our inheritance in the Kingdom.

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,  2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,  3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.  7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high, he led captive a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (cf. Ps. 68:18) 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;  13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith (concerning the Kingdom and resurrection), and of the knowledge of the Son of God (as Messiah), to a mature man (in our calling), to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ (cf. Phil. 1:27; Col. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:12; etc.). (NASB Ephesians 4:1-13)

  • until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ (i.e. the righteousness of the coming Kingdom). (NLT Ephesians 4:13)
  • For you know how, like a father with his children,  12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. (ESV 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
  • For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,  11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully  12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. (NIV Colossians 1:9-12)

B.    Since the five-fold ministry is an expression of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it is ultimately meant to testify to the age to come.  Thus, like all the other gifts of the Holy Spirit, the five-fold ministry is meant to shepherd and establish the Church in its calling in the age to come.

This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord (in his resurrection), was confirmed to us by those who heard him.  4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (NIV Hebrews 2:3-5)

But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. (ESV John 15:26-27)

C.   The Lord has chosen to establish various ministries within his Body by the Holy Spirit, each designed to spur the Church on to maturity in its calling and destiny in the coming Kingdom.  Paul groups these ministries into five general categories:

He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers12 for the equipping of the saints (NASB Ephesians 4:11-12)

1.    Apostles

a)    The idea of apostleship was not a new concept to those in first century Judaism.  Apostleship simply embodies the idea of governmental appointment or anointing—i.e. those sent as representatives of a king or lord.[1]

  • <652> avpo,stoloj apostolos {ap-os’-tol-os}

Meaning:  1) a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders 1a) specifically applied to the twelve apostles of Christ 1b) in a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers 1b1) of Barnabas 1b2) of Timothy and Silvanus

Origin:  from 649; TDNT – 1:407,67; n m

Usage:  AV – apostle 78, messenger 2, he that is sent 1; 81.

  • <649> avposte,llw apostellō {ap-os-tel’-lo}

Meaning:  1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed 2) to send away, dismiss 2a) to allow one to depart, that he may be in a state of liberty 2b) to order one to depart, send off 2c) to drive away

Origin:  from 575 [Gk. apo; “of separation”] and 4724 [Gk. stello; “to set, place, arrange…”]; TDNT – 1:398,67; v

Usage:  AV – send 110, send forth 15, send away 4, send out 2, misc 2; 133.

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle (Gk. apostolos) and high priest whom we confess.  2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. (NIV Hebrews 3:1-2)

When Jacob went into Egypt, and the Egyptians oppressed them, then your fathers cried out to the LORD and the LORD sent (Gk. apostellō LXX) Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. (ESV 1 Samuel 12:8)

Korah son of Izhar became insolent  2 and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council.  3 They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD’s assembly?”  4 When Moses heard this, he fell facedown.  5 Then he said to Korah and all his followers 8 “Now listen, you Levites!  9 Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the LORD’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? 15 Then Moses became very angry and said to the LORD, “Do not accept their offering. I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, nor have I wronged any of them.” 19 When Korah had gathered all his followers in opposition to them at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, the glory of the LORD appeared to the entire assembly 28 Then Moses said, “This is how you will know that the LORD has sent me (Gk. apostellō LXX) to do all these things and that it was not my idea”  31 As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart  32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them (NIV Numbers 16:1-33)

b)    Those in the New Testament simply assumed the idea of Old Testament apostleship, only applied to a new era of redemptive history when grace and mercy has been fully displayed and extended to the nations.

Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve– designating them apostles–that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. (NIV Mark 3:13-15)

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me (Gk. apostellō), even so I am sending you (Gk. pempō).”  22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (ESV John 20:21-22)

In those days Peter stood up among the brothers 17 “he (Judas) was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry (Gk. diakonia) 22 one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen  25 to take the place in this ministry (Gk. diakonia) and apostleship (Gk. apostolē) from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”  26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias (ESV Acts 1:15-26)

  • <1248> diakoni,a diakonia {dee-ak-on-ee’-ah}

Meaning:  1) service, ministering, esp. of those who execute the commands of others 2) of those who by the command of God proclaim and promote religion among men 2a) of the office of Moses 2b) of the office of the apostles and its administration 2c) of the office of prophets, evangelists, elders etc. 3) the ministration of those who render to others the offices of Christian affection…

Origin:  from 1249; TDNT – 2:87,152; n f

Usage:  AV – ministry 16, ministration 6, ministering 3, misc 9; 34

c)    Thus, those in the New Testament view their apostleship as a governmental responsibility in serving the Body of Christ.  Apostleship is not a privilege to be exploited in this age for the riches, honor and long-life of the commissioned servant.

I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing.  12 The things that mark an apostle— signs, wonders and miracles– were done among you with great perseverance  13 How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong! 17 Did I exploit you through any of the men I sent you?  18 I urged Titus to go to you and I sent our brother with him. Titus did not exploit you, did he? Did we not act in the same spirit and follow the same course?  19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening. (NIV 2 Corinthians 12:11-19)

  • Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God (commissioned by God ESV). (NIV 2 Corinthians 2:17)

For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men 11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;  13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.  14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children 15 For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel (cf. leader of the household). (ESV 1 Corinthians 4:9-16)

d)    Apostles are thus the “foundation” of the Church—accountable to the Lord, the “cornerstone”—leading the saints in righteousness and holiness until the consummation of the Kingdom.[2]

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens (i.e. Gentiles), but fellow citizens with God’s people (i.e. Jews) and members of God’s household (sojourning unto the Kingdom)20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (serving the whole house), with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord (awaiting the messianic consummation)22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit (cf. resurrection). (NIV Ephesians 2:19-22)

2.    Prophets

a)    Old Testament and New, prophets have always been fundamentally defined as those who foresee the restoration of all things by means of the Messianic Seed.

  • <4396> profh,thj prophētēs {prof-ay’-tace}

Meaning:  1) in Greek writings, an interpreter of oracles or of other hidden things 2) one who, moved by the Spirit of God and hence his organ or spokesman, solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially concerning future events, and in particular such as relate to the cause and kingdom of God and to human salvation…

Origin:  from a compound of 4253 [Gk. pro; “before”] and 5346 [Gk. phēmi; “to declare; to say”]; TDNT – 6:781,952; n m

Usage:  AV – prophet 149; 149.

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade— kept in heaven for you,  5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,  11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. (NIV 1 Peter 1:3-11)

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (NIV Luke 24:25)

b)    The prophetic ministry is thus simply assumed in the New Testament to be complementary to that of the prophetic ministry in the Old Testament.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,  11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.  19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.[3]  20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.  21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God (concerning the eternal kingdom of the Christ) as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them– bringing swift destruction on themselves.  2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute (concerning the Kingdom and resurrection)3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. (NIV 2 Peter 1:10-2:3)

c)    Like the ministry of an apostle, the ministry of the prophet is raised up by the Holy Spirit to strengthen and encourage the Church in its destiny and calling.  Without the self-sacrificial spirit of the One whom we serve, the prophet’s words are spoken in vain.

And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues 31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.  13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy 3 everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. (NIV 1 Corinthians 12:28-14:4)

3.    Evangelists

a)    The ministry of the evangelist (cf. Gk. euaggelizō) is likewise assumed to be carried over from the Old Testament as one whom the Spirit empowers to make known the good news of the coming Kingdom and Messiah (cf. Hb. basar, Is. 40:9; 52:7; 60:6; 61:1; etc.).

  • <2099> euvaggelisth,j euaggelistēs {yoo-ang-ghel-is-tace’}

Meaning:  1) a bringer of good tidings, an evangelist 2) the name given to the NT heralds of salvation through Christ who are not apostles

Origin:  from 2097 [Gk. euaggelizō]; TDNT – 2:736,267; n m

Usage:  AV – evangelist 3; 3 [Acts 21:8; Eph. 4:11; 2 Tim. 4:5]

Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news (Hb. basar, Gk. euaggelizō LXX), Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news (Hb. basar, Gk. euaggelizō LXX); Lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”  10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him and His recompense before Him. (NASB Isaiah 40:9-10)

Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for the uncircumcised and the unclean will no longer come into you.  2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion 7 How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news (Hb. basar, Gk. euaggelizō LXX), who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 10 The LORD has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God. (NASB Isaiah 52:1-10)

b)    Thus, the term “evangelist” is only used three times in the NT (Acts 21:8; Eph. 4:11; 2 Tim. 4:5), yet it is universally assumed to be a central aspect of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.[4]

that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:  9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them15 And how can they preach unless they are sent (Gk. apostellō)? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news (Gk. euaggelizō)!” (cf. Is. 52:7) (NIV Romans 10:8-15)

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:  2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage– with great patience and careful instruction.  3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist (Gk. euaggelistēs), discharge all the duties of your ministry. (NIV 2 Timothy 4:1-5)

c)    Jesus models the ministry of the evangelist, which the apostles also emulate.  Like the other ministries of the Holy Spirit, the preaching of the good news of the Kingdom is meant to strengthen the Body of Christ and shake the world which embraces the antichrist spirit.

Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news (Gk. euaggelizō) of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. (NIV Luke 8:1-2)

You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news (Gk. euaggelizō) of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all 39 We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.  43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (NIV Acts 10:36-43)

God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.  14 It was for this He called you through our gospel (Gk. euaggelion), that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.  16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,  17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.  3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord (cf. euaggelion, 3:14) will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you;  2 and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men (NASB 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:2)

4.    Teachers

a)    Like the other ministries of the Holy Spirit, the teaching gift within the Assembly was universally assumed from the Tanakh, which found expression in the first-century “teachers of the Law”.

  • <1320> dida,skaloj didaskalos {did-as’-kal-os}

Meaning:  1) a teacher 2) in the NT one who teaches concerning the things of God, and the duties of man [cf. Jewish religion; John the Baptist; Jesus; apostles; Paul; false teachers]…

Origin:  from 1321 [Gk. didasko; “to teach”]; TDNT – 2:148,161; n m

Usage:  AV – Master (Jesus) 40, teacher 10, master 7, doctor 1; 58.

But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.  9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.  10 Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.  11 The greatest among you will be your servant12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.  13 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.  14 (MT Insertion) 15 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.  (NIV Matthew 23:8-13)

b)    As those who taught the Mosaic Law were suppose to be teaching in such a way that encouraged and strengthened the people in their sojourning (cf. consecration and holiness), so also are teachers in the New Covenant suppose to spur the Body on toward love and good works in preparation for the Kingdom.

Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. (NIV Daniel 11:33-35)

“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish 51 Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied.  52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven (and the delay therein) is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” (NIV Matthew 13:47-52)

c)    During the age of darkness, dwelling in a body of death, the Church desperately needs teaching that sheds light and brings hope, without which the human soul shrivels and dies.

Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge (acknowledgment NIV) of God in the land;  2 there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed 4 Yet let no one contend, and let none accuse, for with you is my contention, O priest5 You shall stumble by day; the prophet also shall stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother.  6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children 9 And it shall be like people, like priest; I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds. (ESV Hosea 4:1-9)

  • The Levites instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there.  They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read. (NIV Nehemiah 8:7-8)
  • Where there is no revelation (vision KJV/NASB/ESV), the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law. (NIV Proverbs 29:18)
  • And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.  Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.  But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. (NIV Acts 6:2-4)

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine2 Teach the older men 3 Likewise, teach the older women 4 Then they can train the younger women 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness  8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,  13 while we wait for the blessed hope— the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,  14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness (NIV Titus 2:1-14)


[1] “A person sent by another; a messenger; envoy. This word is once used as a descriptive designation of Jesus Christ, the Sent of the Father (Heb. 3:1; John 20:21). It is, however, generally used as designating the body of disciples to whom he entrusted the organization of his church and the dissemination of his gospel.” [M.G. Easton, Easton’s Bible Dictionary (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996, c1897).]

[2] Much publicity and hype has been made recently over the supposed restoration of the apostolic ministry, i.e. the “New Apostolic Reformation”—“I needed a name… For a couple of years I experimented with ‘Post denominationalism’. The name I have settled on for the movement is the New Apostolic Reformation.” [C. Peter Wagner, The New Apostolic Churches (Regal Book, 1998), 18.]  This reformation assumes a network of charismatic individuals who assume the right to lead the Body of Christ into its glorious end-times dominionist destiny.  However, the vast majority within this movement are post-millennial in their eschatology, lack a clear context of the resurrection and kingdom for the activity of the Holy Spirit, and thus little stress the centrality of humility, meekness and love as the backbone for the apostolic ministry.

The undergirding ideas about ecclesiology and the Church within the New Apostolic Reformation are informed by Kingdom Now theology, and as such the Church is the manifestation of the Kingdom of God on earth.  This harkens back to its Catholic roots (i.e. “apostolic succession” and the ultimate decision making power of the episcopate which developed in tandem with metaphysical dualism), since the leaders of the Church in practicality are the ultimate governing authority of the Church, rather than the Body relating directly to the Head (resulting in things such as the Shepherding Movement). Jesus rebukes this attitude directly in Mt. 23:8ff, and it is inherently militated against within a messianic worldview, which fosters a relational network within the Body functioning in mutual submission under a common governmental Head enthroned in the heavens above (e.g. Acts 16:6).  This is the only hope for the Church at the end of the age which will grow increasingly dis-integrated under the pressures of the eschatological distress.  Every individual within the whole is to be trained to directly listen to and obey the Holy Spirit for guidance and leadership.

[3] Tim Warner explains, “The Greek word φωσφορος is incorrectly rendered “Daystar” in most translations. The word is NOT φωσφερος – derived from φως (light) and φερω (bearer), as many lexicons have it. It is φωσφορος derived from φως (light) and φορεω (to be clothed with). The English word “phosphorus” (a luminescent element) is the direct transliteration of this Greek word, and has precisely the same meaning. In the masculine singular form, as it appears in 2 Peter 1:19, it literally means, “the One clothed with light.” When Peter wrote, “until that Day dawns, and the One clothed in light arises,” he was referring to the coming of Christ’s Kingdom, and to Jesus as He appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration, “His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.” The “dawning” and “arising” metaphor Peter used is based on Malachi’s prophecy of Christ’s Kingdom (that Day), and the arising of the “Sun of Righteousness,” who is Jesus Christ, (Mal. 4:1-3).” (Tim Warner, “The Coming Millennial Sabbath – Part I: Eschatology of the Creation Week,” Answers in Revelation, 12, n.8; available at http://www.oasischristianchurch.org/air/chiliasm.pdf).

[4] “This title is applied to Philip (Acts 21:8), who appears to have gone from city to city preaching the word (8:4, 40). Judging from the case of Philip, evangelists had neither the authority of an apostle, nor the gift of prophecy, nor the responsibility of pastoral supervision over a portion of the flock. They were itinerant preachers, having it as their special function to carry the gospel to places where it was previously unknown.” [M.G. Easton, Easton’s Bible Dictionary (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996, c1897).]

John John (119 Posts)

John lives in Columbia, SC with his wife, Lydia, and four children. He travels and teaches on the Cross, the return of Jesus, and the Great Commission.


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