The Five Gift Ministries in the Church

September 2003

The Five Gift Ministries in the Church

The five gift ministries are listed in Ephesians 4 verse 11. 
In this teaching we will see:
-what these gift ministries are
-their purpose
-then some of the benefits and impact that these gift ministries have in the household, and to those searching for the truth.
Ephesians 4:1– I (Paul) therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech (lovingly implore) you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (function) wherewith ye are called.
Paul admonishes us to walk in the calling of God.
Ephesians 4:2-8 – With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Verses 9-10 are the figure of speech parenthesis – This is a figure of speech offering an explanation and we can skip to verse 11 without losing any of the meaning of the record.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers
Here we see the five gift ministries that God gave to the Church:
Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers
Here are the definitions of these ministries according to the Random House College Dictionary, (my comments in parentheses)
Apostle: A pioneer of any reform movement. (Movement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ)
Prophet: A person who speaks for God by divine inspiration.
Evangelist: A preacher of the Gospel. (Good news)
Pastor: Of, pertaining to, or consisting of shepherds. (Flock)
Teacher: A person who teaches or instructs (The Word)
Here are the Biblical meanings of each of these ministries:
An Apostle is one who brings new light to their generation. The same revelation may have been given in the past, but it is new to this generation.
           
A Prophet is one who speaks for God to God’s people. They can help return lost sheep to the flock and back into fellowship with the Father.
An Evangelist is one who brings people to (an experiential) knowledge of the new birth. They see the person born again and saved into God’s household unto eternal life.
A Pastor is one who cares for and ministers to the individual needs of the household, the called out body of believers, the flock.
A Teacher is one who brings forth the accuracy and truth of God’s wonderful Word to the believers.


Here is Ephesians 4:11 from the the Amplified Bible:
And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us,] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the gospel), some pastors (shepherds of His flock), and teachers.

Why did God initiate these ministries?  We read on and find out:


Ephesians 4:12-16 – 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 man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Ephesians 4:12-shows the effect of the energizing of these ministries.
…perfecting of the saints… (or maturing of the saints, the believers In their walk with God)
Ephesians 4:13-tells us how long these ministries will exist. (Until Jesus Christ returns, see I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Ephesians 4:14-“That” (indicates purpose.) So that we are no longer children, spiritually speaking.
Ephesians 4:15-But… (In contrast to: being tossed to and fro, carried about…)
…speaking the truth in love…
Ephesians 4:16-Every part… (Every person has the ministry of reconciliation) …maketh increase of the body…

Ephesians 4:29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 
The spoken word ministers grace and peace to those who hear it.
Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. 

We are to be kind to one another and readily forgive people who may have wronged us or made a mistake.


So what are these gift ministries?  They are people.  God gave us the gift of people in the household who love him, serve him, and excel at the specific function that he has called them to fulfill.

God has given us the gift of people – People who operate in these gift ministries to bless the household by the spoken word, by caring for the flock, & by speaking the truth, so let’s give the gift of the household to people as we speak the Word of God.

God Bless You

The Power of Prayer – Job

From a June 2006 Teaching

Let’s begin by defining what the words “Power” and “Prayer” mean:

(Random House College Dictionary)

Power– 1) Ability to do or act; capability of doing something. 2) Great or marked ability to do or act; strength, might, force. 3) Delegated authority 4) To supply with energy.

Prayer– A Spiritual Communion with God.

-Communion- The interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication.

Matthew 14:23-27

And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Jesus Christ went up into a mountain apart to pray as he so often did. This is important to note as we read on.

Matthew 14:24-25

But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

In verses 24-25 he was able to walk on water because of the confidence he had in God. Is it a coincidence that he was praying before this phenomenon was done?

The obvious answer is NO!

Matthew 14:26-27

And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

In verses 26-27 Jesus commands them to have no fear. Amazing accomplishments and no fear go hand in hand.

Now let’s look at Job 1 (Pronounced Joe-b with a long O)

We learn in the first book of Job that he was the greatest of all the men of the east. GOD had blessed him with many possessions and a great household. He lost track of the source of his prosperity, and his overwhelming fear had allowed a hole in the “hedge of protection” of God. He would not renew his mind to eliminate his fear and it grew in his mind until he was consumed by it. Because of the influence of Satan, he lost everything except for his wife and his own life.

Verses 20-21 of Job 1 show Job’s response to all this calamity:

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

The phrase “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away” has been misconstrued over the years to say that God did this to Job. This is simply not true as we learn from 1 John 1:5 which says: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

If God is light, and in him is no darkness at all then it CAN’T be God who brought all of this evil on Job.

In the Old Testament, they did not fully understand the fullness of God and his Word, that is revealed later after Jesus Christ came and the Day of Pentecost made available the gift of Holy Spirit for everyone who believes.

It was also an orientalism to include God in every statement they would speak, so as not to even say the name of their enemy, the adversary, Satan.

It even says in the last part of the verse that “..Job sinned not, nor charged (blamed) God foolishly.” We learn here that it is foolish to blame God for evil. Job didn’t blame God for bad things that happen and we shouldn’t either.

Job 2:7,11-13-Job is stricken with boils from head to toe, His friends come to “comfort” him. Initially their intentions were very good, but they end up doing more harm than good later on.

Job 3:25– The thing Job greatly feared came upon him. (Fear, in essence, is believing for a negative consequence.)

Job 42:5-6– Job realizes his error and asks for God’s forgiveness.

Verses 7-8 God reproves Job’s three friends v.9– They obey.

Job 42:10– The Lord turned the captivity of Job when he PRAYED for his friends. Job took the focus off of himself and genuinely showed concern for his friends, and God was able to restore him to double what he had before.

I recently heard a story about a group of people who were on a long hiking trip, how one person was struggling up the hill. The man walking behind her was also struggling and tired, but when he took the focus off of himself and helped her by lifting her backpack up to take the strain off her back, his struggle became insignificant, and he soon forgot how much his own body hurt.

Likewise, Job showed concern for others and God was able to do mighty things for him. What a great example both of these records are to us.

Job’s captivity was temporary. He had just about every good thing stolen from him, but he knew where that attack came from. He never cursed God or charged him foolishly for any evil. He was set free by believing the word of God.

Matthew 6:38– Give, and it shall be given unto you…….

 

God Bless You!

Caves in the Bible Lands

From  a February 2004 Teaching

This teaching is about the usage of caves in biblical times. There are great records of people using caves for various reasons.

Caves used as a refuge or dwelling place:

David found refuge and assembled an army:

I Samuel 22:1-2

David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. 2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

The record continues…

I Samuel 24:1-3

And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi. 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. 3 And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.

Saul “covers his feet” or takes a break in the cave at Engedi.

David could have taken Saul’s life in the cave, but he chose not to because he still viewed Saul as “The Lord’s anointed.”

I Samuel 24:4-6

And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily. 5 And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. 6 And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.

I Samuel 24:17-22 Saul is thankful for his life and gets back into fellowship with God. A Godly decision yields Godly results!

17 And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. 18 And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not. 19 For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day. 20 And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand. 21 Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father’s house. 22 And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.

Obadiah hid a hundred prophets in a cave:

1 Kings 18:4

For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.

Caves used as Tombs:

Abraham buried his wife Sarah:

Genesis 23:19

And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.

Abraham was buried with his wife:

Genesis 25:9-10

And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; 10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.

-“Zohar the Hittite”-The Hittite tribe was located where Turkey is today.

-Today, what is thought to be the traditional site of the cave of Machpelah is covered by a mosque

Lazarus

I recommend reading John 11:1-45 in your own personal study time.

Here is verse 38: Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

Jesus Christ goes on to raise Lazarus from the dead in verses 43-44

Jesus Christ himself was buried three days and three nights in a cave:

Matthew 27:59-60

And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

Matthew 28:5-6 He is risen!

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

These are some of the examples of how people used caves in biblical times.

“It is one of the remarkable features of the Bible that it contains enough to occupy the greatest intellects for a lifetime, and yet the simplest soul can read and understand, and in reading with an obedient heart, find God himself.” -Eerdman’s Handbook to the bible

 

Teachings from the Word of God