SECTION I: APOSTLES
1. Ranks or Classes of Apostles
2. Fourth Class of Apostle: Non-Foundational Apostles
3. Characteristics of the Apostolic Call
4. Qualifications for the Apostolic Ministry
SECTION II: PROPHETS
5. The Office of the Prophet Contrasted
In Old and New Testaments
6. What Is a New Testament Prophet?
7. Prophets Are Not To Guide and Direct
New Testament Believers
8. Performing in the Flesh vs. Ministering in the Spirit
9. Foretelling Versus Forthtelling
10. God Does Not Put Novices In Positions of Authority
SECTION III: PASTORS
11. Church Government
12. The Pastor and the Local Church
13. Different Church Structures
14. Ministerial Accountability
Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, is getting His Body ready for His soon return. That’s why it is vital for those who are called to the ministry to function in their proper place in the Body of Christ.
Some controversy has arisen in our day about the roles of the apostle and prophet in the Body of Christ. Some believers purport that these offices do not even exist today. Others take a radical viewpoint concerning the authority these offices hold in the local church over the pastor and over believers in general.
This book is a scriptural look at the offices of the apostle, prophet, and pastor as they are to function in the Body of Christ today. These offices have never been taken out of the Body of Christ, but I believe God wants to bring biblical balance to this area of teaching.
SECTION I APOSTLES
Chapter 1 Ranks or Classes o f Apostles
. . . When he [Jesus] ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and GAVE GIFTS UNTO MEN. . . . And he [Jesus] GAVE some, APOSTLES; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.
— Ephesians 4:8,11
And God HATH SET SOME IN THE CHURCH, first APOSTLES, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
— 1 Corinthians 12:28
Ministry Gifts: A Divine Call
Five ministry gifts are mentioned in Ephesians 4:11. A ministry gift is resident within a person who is called by God to the full-time ministry to stand in one of these five ministry offices: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher.
Some people say that all the ministry gifts operate in the Church today except the offices of the apostle and the prophet. But where in Scripture does it say that God ever took those offices out of the Church or that the Church no longer needs these ministry gifts?
Paul wrote this epistle to the Ephesians many years after the Church had its beginnings. So if God had taken the offices of the apostle and prophet out of the Church, Paul would have said, “God gave evangelists and pastors and teachers to the Church.” But he didn’t say that. God gave all five ministry gifts to the Church, and they have never ceased functioning. They are all in operation even in our day.
The Bible tells us why and for how long the ministry gifts were given to the Church.
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect [spiritually mature] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
These verses tell us three reasons ministry gifts were given to the Church:
1. For the perfecting of the saints.
2. For the work of the ministry.
3. For the edifying of the Body of Christ.
Actually, the Greek indicates that the meaning is “perfecting of the saints so the saints can do the work of the ministry, resulting in the edification of the Body of Christ.”
Another translation says that God gave the fivefold ministry gifts “in order to get His holy people ready to serve as workers” (The New Testament in the Language of Today, William F. Beck). The Godspeed translation says God gave ministry gifts to the Church so the saints can “reach mature manhood, and reach that measure of development found in Christ.”
How long will ministry gifts be in the Church? Ephesians 4:13 says, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect [spiritually mature] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
Don’t let the words “perfecting” and “perfect” in verses 12 and 13 throw you.
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