In the previous parts of this series we examined the establishment of the prophet, as well as the other Fivefold ministry offices within the Church. We also established the fact that the Church Age began with all the Fivefold ministry offices in operation, and that they were all intended by God to be functioning throughout the duration of the Church Age. Unfortunately, however, according to history, that is not at all what transpired.
The account of what did happen is of vital importance in order to understand clearly why a move of God to restore the ministry of the Prophet (as well as the Apostle) into its rightful place of function within the Church became necessary. Without the backdrop of Church history, it is difficult to fully understand the significance of the “times of refreshing” and “periods of restoration” (Ac. 3:19) which have transpired over the last four-hundred-ninety-five years in order to bring restoration of what was lost in the Church less than three hundred years after its inception. The intent of this part of the series is to put this matter of the demise and restoration of the Fivefold Ministry Gifts into its proper perspective within the framework of Church history. Thus, it is only a very simplistic overview of Church history that is presented. For those desiring a more comprehensive study of the subject of Church History, many volumes are readily available in bookstores, libraries, and on the Internet. » Read more
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Fivefold Ministry is a matter frequently alluded to from the pulpit within many Charismatic and other Neo-Pentecostal churches and circles. Notwithstanding, such allusions appear to be little more than oratorical rhetoric, for the most part, because few churches make an earnest attempt to incorporate Fivefold Ministry within their ministry and structure. Certainly, I have never yet seen it in full and proper operation anywhere. Rather, for the most part according to what I have heard and witnessed, Fivefold Ministry and its function remains to be a shadowy and little understood matter to the majority of ministers, not to mention lay believers, including even those claiming to be Charismatic. Oh, some say they believe there is such a thing as Fivefold Ministry, which is more than can be said for the vast majority of so-called “mainline” and Evangelical denominational ministers. However, most Charismatic ministers have what could only be referred to as a cursory understanding of these Ascension Gifts of Christ and how the Bible prescribes they are to function and flow together, and very few of them have incorporated all of those ministry offices into their rightful place of function within the structure of their local church. If they did, the spiritual impact upon their church, in numerous ways, would be exponential. Sadly, most of the classic Pentecostal denominations long ago sided with unscriptural and thoroughly debunked cessation theories posited in the 19th Century and revisited in the 20th Century—to their own detriment and gradual demise—thus proving the case Jesus Himself made that the new wine of fresh spiritual revelation cannot be poured into old wineskins that no longer have the capacity to stretch. » Read more
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Fivefold Ministry is the ongoing surrogate ministry of Christ Himself to the Church—His Betrothed. All legitimate ministry emanates from Jesus Himself and is an extension of His ministry. Unless it emulates His ministry, it’s not legitimate ministry. Jesus’ three-and-a-half-year fleshly ministry is the model for all genuine ministry, and we can see in the Gospel accounts that Jesus functioned in all five of the Fivefold Ministry Offices.
Fivefold Ministry consists of five functions or offices of function: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. The primary scripture enumerating these offices is verse eleven of Ephesians Four. Relationally these offices are horizontal, non-hierarchical, and non-authoritarian (cf., Mk. 10:35-45; 16:19; Lk. 22:69; Ac. 5:31; 7:55,56; Rom. 8:34; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3,13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet. 3:22; Rom. 8:29; Heb. 12:23). These terms are not titles implying authority or entitlement of any kind, but rather terms alluding to specific ministerial functions.
The essence and role of the Fivefold Ministry can only be understood in the context of the Church and Christ’s relationship with it. Above all else, the Church is “the Lamb’s Wife” (Rev. 21:9). Presently, in the natural, the Church is the Betrothed of Christ, since the Marriage Supper of the Lamb has not yet occurred. Yet, in the Spirit, wherein God always speaks of those things that are not as though they already were, the Church is now “The Lamb’s Wife.” » Read more
A newly formed “apostolic network” of self-appointed super-apostles meets clandestinely in Florida to divvy up the nation into apostolic regions, or apostolates, and appoint certain member apostles as the arch-apostles over those territories. » Read more