Misuse of the Fivefold Ministry.
Matt S. July 15th 2017 Part 3 (False teachings/heresy series)
I have had to think hard about the content of this article, as I know that I may cop a bit of flack from those that see this area beyond questioning, however I have reason to believe that there is a “misuse” of these roles and I will attempt to explain my reasons. I am going to keep saying this, but we are now living in an age of deception, and satan will do anything to cause people to reject Jesus, have them harbor false beliefs that will corrupt the individual person and those around them. The devil will stop at nothing to lead people away from the Gospel and the saving, redeeming, loving, grace filled message that it imparts.
PLEASE BE VERY CLEAR IN YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT, IF YOU DON”T UNDERSTAND IT, PLEASE EMAIL ME AND I WILL BE HAPPY TO EXPLAIN IT.
“There is a war going on for the hearts and minds of every human on earth, a war that started at the very beginnings of human history and will not finish until satan is finally and fully defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ.”
So what is the Fivefold Ministry and where does the Bible identify it?
Ephesians 4:11 talks about Jesus appointing some as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. The debate going on amongst some Christians, is whether apostles and prophets are still relevant as an active ministry group (some even exclude the Pastoral role now also, some combine the Pastoral and Teaching role which may be quite legitimate from my perspective).
The debate that surrounds these areas of ministry, is whether or not they are still relevant today. I think most Christians would agree that Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers are still very much relevant. Why? Because we need those that continue to spread the Gospel, those that lead and organise the Church and those that teach the Church, take any of those out and you have trouble. There may be some debate as to the fulfillment of the roles of the Apostle and Prophet. Maybe there are some apostle type duties to perform and certainly the gift of prophecy may have a useful place in the body of Christ, but, is it essential that we have self appointed Apostles and Prophets (with a capital “A” and capital “P”)?
There are a whole huge “mish mash” of questionable Christian theologies and teachings around the end of this age, and what will happen with those, and how the end of this age is ushered in, and when this occurs. It is well beyond the scope of this article to address those things at this time. However they do need addressing, and I will do this at a later date.
So what does the Bible say about apostles and prophets?
What was the one thing that the original Apostles and Prophets did not have that we have today? Answer is!! A complete set of scriptures that equate to what we call the entire Bible (Old and New Testament books). Why is that important? The God inspired 66 books by 44 authors of the Bible gives us everything we need to operate individually, and as the Body of Christ. The first century believers did not have the collective benefit of the New Testament, as this was not around in its full glory until 397 AD. Why is this important? Well it means that we now have the whole guide book, a complete road map so to speak that the original Christians did not have. This leads me to the next point. Jesus appointed apostles, and they were disciples up until his ascension to Heaven. They witnessed his life and ministry, death and resurrection. Ephesians 4:11 tells us that Jesus gave these roles, followed by the reason or justification of these roles. They were for a specific purpose as outlined in Ephesians 4:12-16. It was for building up the Church, the Body of Christ, which was in its fledgling stages. It was for establishing the “Foundation” of the Church.
I may be going out on a limb here, but I believe that “Foundation” has been well established with the original Apostles and prophets of the first century AD. Why do I say this? Because of what the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 2:20. Paul singles out the apostles and prophets as the foundation; he omits evangelists, pastors and teachers. The Apostles commissioned by Jesus had a role unlike any other to bring the Gospel to the gentiles. They lived lives filled with persecution and violence, and many died terrible deaths for the sake of the Gospel. It was a massive task that they were equipped for, by being witness to Jesus and then massively empowered by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. There is nothing that says that the original “foundation” role of the apostles was to continue beyond establishing the Church. The same occurred for the role of prophets. It was in this time that the books of the New Testament were being penned and the corresponding prophecy largely pertaining to the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jewish people, and the inspiration/vision of the book of Revelation given to John on the Island of Patmos. There were also some relevant prophetic warnings penned about the nature and behaviour of people at the end of this age.
Am I saying that there are no apostolic type roles being performed? No! I also believe that there is also a need for the gift of prophecy within the body of Christ. There continues to be a need for a possible apostolic type role, in a lesser way than that of the original apostles, and there are times when the gift of prophecy is still necessary in the body of Christ. However I am hearing and seeing Christian folk claiming, that these Christ appointed special foundational roles, are being “restored” to the body of Christ. I am repeating myself here but what can these people possibly add to the foundation of the original apostolic work, to the inspired prophetic word of the Bible in its entirety? NOT A THING!!
There are high profile men and women out there in Christendom claiming that they have special anointed and appointed roles as “Apostles” and “Prophets” of God. I am unable to find anywhere, in any way how these folk have come into these roles, other than by their own hand or at the appointment of other men and women. They claim that they had a “vision” or a “word” from God; they claim visitations from angels to back their claim. They are self appointed in their authority, and even seek to establish special apostolic councils (go figure….) where in the heck does this come from!! I have watched programs where people are hanging on their every word………… whoops, darn it!! I just said it. People are hanging on “THEIR” every word. Here is a Super Prophet gathering and revelationfest video for 2017. (It runs for around 90 minutes). This is a typical Whoop Whoop Yee-ha dose of sugar coated nonsense from these folk, note what is absent from their talk…. Did you guess? Here are several short video clips of one of the “Super Apostles” in action. Super Apostle Video 1, Super Apostle Video 2.
There is way way more to all of this. I have barely scratched the surface. I have not named names in this article. I want “YOU” to do the research. Google “super apostles” or better still “the super apostles of new apostolic reformation”. You will find names and organisations.
Are there people out there doing apostolic ministry? Yes there are, but their names are not up there in lights. They are quietly and diligently furthering the kingdom of God in many parts of the world. These folk are building the Church upon the foundation that was established some 2000 years ago.
If you read any of my other articles, you will know that I have written quite a bit on narcissism. I find very disturbing narcissistic traits in many of these so called apostles and prophets. Their love of money, power and control, their love of prosperity for themselves, private jets, huge mega houses and churches. Not all of these folk are predatory wolves in sheep’s clothing. Some are genuine folk caught up in the “heady glory of a new Church age”. I pray that they would see how they have departed from the Gospel. I pray they would seek God first and read their bibles! Jesus did warn us about some of these folk in Matthew 7:15. “Ye shall know them by their fruit”.
I will be back with another instalment next week, and until then I hope that you are having a good week, and that you are alert and walking daily with God. take care and God bless.
Here is my gmail address, if anyone has a question or a comment they can send it to me. I am not on Face Book; I struggle to keep up with emails at times as I work full time. If you do send me an email I will do my best to respond to you however it may not be quick response. My gmail address is as follows; firstname.lastname@example.org