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Posts Tagged ‘Five-Fold Ministry’

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Scripture reading: 1 Timothy 2:7

A congregation can appoint a teacher, but it cannot give him/her a ministry. God alone sets ministries in the body. The ministry of the teacher must come directly from God. From my own experience, when God tells me what to tell His people, He tells me how to tell it. I teach sometimes with a chalkboard, and the drawings I put on the board are those things which I see in the Spirit.

There are, however, many, many different administrations of the Spirit. Although God deals with me in this way, He may deal with someone else in an entirely different way, BUT with the same result – His people will get the message, and it will be directed by Him.

There are ministries with the same name as gifts of the Spirit, but the ministry is different from the gift. The gift is the manifestation of the Holy Ghost within the believer, working whatever gift God sees fit to bring forth through the individual.

On the other hand, the ministry is a special and more powerful endowment to the church. The minister, therefore, is the gift of God to the church. His endowment is not his own. He cannot preach where he wills, do what he wants, but as an important part of God’s machinery, he must move when and where God wants him to move or go.

Every human being is capable of some gift of the Spirit if he or she surrenders to God, but not everyone is an anointed preacher of Christ. It must be remembered that every believer, as part of a body, is a ministering, functioning part. In a sense, everyone who is born of God is expected to work with the ministry in one capacity or another. Without these sinews of the body, the ministries could not function effectively.

These are the five bars of the tabernacle.

We should not forget one important observation. The golden rings which hold the bars are attached to the gold on the boards, thus signifying that the nature of God in the body is that which holds the ministry, and not the ministry or minister holding the congregation.

(Excerpt from The Pattern, pg. 80-81)

Thought for today: The nature of God in the body is that which holds the ministry, and not the ministry or minister holding the congregation.

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Scripture reading: Ephesians 4:11

The word “shepherd,” translated “pastor,” does not give any minister absolute charge over any congregation. It gives him the responsible position of being answerable to the “Chief Shepherd” for the ministry to care for the sheep given to him. Therefore, while he is caring for sheep in the congregation, there are others who would be caring for lambs, and others neither sheep nor lambs, but sons – little sons and big sons. Therefore, in God’s Order, we FIND A PLURAL MINISTRY OF ELDERS WORKING TOGETHER.

It is very easy to discern the true God-appointed shepherds, as different from the man-appointed ones or the self-appointed ones. In Ephesians 4:11, we notice that the Word says that “He gave some, Apostles, etc.”

A man-made apostle is an alien creature in God’s business, yet all the churches appoint their own trainees to positions. Divine Order is totally rejected in the modern church as recorded in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away (rebellion) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

History is repeating itself. Just as Israel turned away from God to the dumb idols of the nations, even so, 90% of the church has turned from God to worship buildings, and pews, money and status – rebelling against God. Jesus Christ, our Lord, said that this would happen before His return. He gave a parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13:24-30. Then from 37-43, He gave the meaning of this parable of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 13:37-43, “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather OUT OF HIS KINGDOM all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear let him hear.”

The above passage outlines the condition of the church before Christ comes. It clearly shows that there is at this time a rebellion in the church, against the Master of the Vineyard, and that He is waiting for the time of His judgment to separate the wheat from the tares. From what I can observe, the tares have taken up the chief corners of the streets of our cities with magnificent edifices. They occupy the major positions of authority in the vast majority of the congregations of the world. They are the richest institutions on earth, but we understand that the time of harvest is very near, even at the door.

The true shepherd seeks the glory of the Lord. The false shepherd seeks the glory of his denomination, or group, or nondenominational denomination, or something else beside Jesus. The question here arises, what is meant by seeking the glory? The question brings us back to the teaching of the “firstfruits.” Whatever is the focal point of our operation and programs is the thing that is first in order of priority. Are we more interested in holding our members than in their spiritual growth? If we are more interested in their spiritual growth, even if we lose them, then Christ is first. Are the shepherds God-trained, God-appointed men, or man-appointed pastors, herdsmen, cowboys, man-appointed, Seminary-trained after the order of man, Romish? As God-appointed shepherds, they would be laying down their lives and not looking after their own enrichment or status. Then that is putting Christ first. Is the shepherd striving to do the will of the Father, rather than to please his congregation and the other church leaders around? Then he is Christ centered. Is the shepherd making plans for bringing in money in the church? Then he is NOT Christ centered but otherwise centered. Is Christ the whole motivation of the church? If so, then they are putting Christ in His rightful place – first. A shepherd, therefore, is not a hireling. He cannot be bought or fired, because he is working with God Himself who trained and sent him, and he will teach every sheep to follow Jesus Christ. Every God-appointed shepherd knows that the word shepherd is not a title like the “Names of Blasphemy” – Reverend, Pastor, Father, Holy Father, Pope etc. (Revelation 17:5) – but that it is a spiritual endowment, a deep compassion in the heart for God’s children everywhere. It is a gift of the Spirit, and we should only be under-shepherds with Jesus Christ.

(Excerpt from The Pattern, pg. 77-79)

Thought for today: Remember: A shepherd, therefore, is not a hireling. He cannot be bought or fired, because he is working with God Himself who trained and sent him, and he will teach every sheep to follow Jesus Christ.

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Scripture reading: I Corinthians 12:4-7

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you idly say, “Oh, God! Poor me!”? I’ve got a name for that. It’s the “poor me spirit.” “Poor me! Poor me!” You are saying, “Poor me!” instead of doing what God wants you to do. When some of you get into trouble and start having sin problems, it means that you are not practicing righteousness. You are not doing what God wants you to do, so He leaves you in the hand of the enemy to torment you.

What God is speaking to me about is the five-fold ministry, and how the five-fold ministry is dished out here and there among the people. Each person has his own part of the ministry. God will appoint a man and anoint him with the prophetic ministry; ALL of you have the prophetic ministry in you. You all have a little part. Have you ever considered it? The Bible couldn’t even name it. It says, “diversities of operations” (I Corinthians 12:6). “Diversities of operations.” It simply means that you have a dream, and the dream has a meaning to God’s business, and God may give you one dream and give another one another type of dream. There is one brother who has two types of dreams. He is either dreaming about his Father’s house, which is God’s house. Or, he is dreaming about the Post Office. As far as I am concerned, the word “postman” definitely means “messenger.” God is talking about His messenger, and He is talking about carrying the message to one place or another. If God wants to tell the brother that we should go down the back side of a city and preach to the disadvantaged, He sends him down there in a dream as a postman with letters to deliver.

Do you understand how God works? God is working with you, but you don’t even know it and take it lightly. Now, if your mind is all corrupted, if your mind is filled with what you want (for example, somebody wants a husband or a wife), don’t bother paying much attention to your dreams. Do you hear me? Just get cleaned up, because your mind is the place through which God is going to minister to you. Amen.

God is saying that He wants to walk in you, to talk in you, to be your God and for you to be His child (Leviticus 26:12).

(Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, December 2006, pg. 6-7)

Thought for today: Do not say, “Poor Me!” but rather do that which God wants you to do and thus practice righteousness.

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Scripture reading: II Corinthians 6:16

The reality that God is bringing us into at this time is the reality of the ministry of God depicted by the hand. God put a five-fold ministry into the world, and the five-fold ministry is in the church. God does not want to walk with you. He wants to walk in you. The Spanish have a way of saying, “vaya con Dios” (walk with God). It is no longer walk with God. It is no longer the Adam manifestation when he walked with God in the garden. He wants the Christ manifestation. God wants to walk in you. Let’s prove it. I think it is in II Corinthians where God blessed a man named Paul, and He gave him to us. The man began to see the beauty and the glory of God in the Old Testament as no other man that we have known. Paul was seeing by the Spirit the reality of Christ, and he experienced the awaking of the mind of man to the presence of God. That is what we are talking about, and that is what we need today.

II Corinthians 6:16 says, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

It is the inner walking of God in us that is designed to make us the hand of God. This is the Lampstand operation in the Tabernacle. The Lampstand is hollow in the middle, and the oil is poured down into it and comes up to a level in the seven lamps; the wicks go down into the lamps and they are lighted. Oil represents the Holy Spirit, gold is the divine nature, and the wick is humanity. Humanity dipped into divinity – the oil seeps into the wick so that the wick becomes totally saturated, and that oil is going to prevent that wick from burning. You can use a wick in a lamp for a long time because of the oil that is in the lamp. The Spirit of God must permeate your being and take a hold of you, in order for you to produce God.

What God is saying in this illustration of the Lampstand is that the five-fold ministry is not always what we think it to be. We are looking at the five-fold ministry as the brothers and sisters who function in the preaching and the teaching and so on. That is not it! What it IS is that EACH OF YOU is a part of this five-fold ministry. You have some silent parts that support the rest. You are not seeing my liver, my heart or my lungs, but you are seeing the manifestations of those organs. Do you understand? So the silent members inside are even much more important than the ones that you can see function. Amen.

What God is saying is that His right hand and His holy arm (see Psalm 98:1) are not only the Spirit of God who works in you, but you become a part of the hand of God because you lift together with God. God needs you and He anoints you for a specific purpose and for that purpose only.

(Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, December 2006, pg. 4-5)

Thought for today: You have been anointed for a specific purpose and for that purpose only. Do not get diverted from it!

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Scripture reading: Psalm 98:1

I believe that we will have a church where the apostolic vision will be clear and plain and straight, where the prophets will prophecy, where the evangelists will evangelize, where the shepherds will shepherd, where the teachers will teach, and they will all say the same thing. Hallelujah. This is what God says He is going to have before Jesus comes. He is not saying that He is going to have it when Jesus comes. He is going to have it before His appearance. Let me put it that way, because “Jesus comes” can mean more than one thing. Before the “appearing,” or “parousia” (G3952) of Jesus Christ, He will have a church without spot, without blemish, without wrinkle, or any such thing (Ephesians 5:27). Hallelujah.

The LORD began to speak to me about a certain situation. I saw my right hand, and I know that God has a right hand and a left hand. The right hand always depicts the Spirit, and the left hand always depicts the natural. It is easy for me to pick my Bible up with my right hand, but if I am going to pick the podium up, I need two hands. He began to show me a peculiar thing, and I saw all of you brethren participating. Can everybody hold on to your thumb for me? Take your left hand and hold your right thumb. Now feel how awkward it is to try to lift up anything, to do anything without your thumb. Now hold the other finger that represents the prophet (index finger), and see what happens? It is not as bad when you hold that finger, but it is awfully awkward. Now hold the evangelist (middle finger). Then hold the other fingers. It seems to me that ALL of them are essential, and God would not have a church without them. But the one finger that is there, maybe it functions halfway but it is painful and it is hard to lift. You still can work it, but you have pain when you work it. Some arthritis or something is in the finger and it doesn’t work very well. Nevertheless, unless it is a chronic situation, nobody would know.

Let us turn to Psalm 110:1, “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalm 98:1, “O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.” “His right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.” Sometimes we repeat scriptures and we never think very much about them. What is God’s right hand anyhow? We also need to consider that if God has a right hand, then He has a left hand. He said, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” So we see then that God’s right hand is a Spirit hand. The peculiar thing is that God wants the left hand to be in with the right hand to bring forth the victory. David went forth into battle, and it was he that went in to slaughter the enemy, but when he came out, he said that it was His right hand that had gotten them the victory.

God wants to be in us. A revelation came to me some months ago. God was walking in the garden every evening with Adam, and somehow or the other, God had an intention. He had an intention. He longed not only to walk in the garden, but also to walk in the garden that was inside of Adam. God wanted to be in Adam. Now, Adam was walking with God in the evening. Did it ever occur to you that none of us know how long that happened? We do not know how long it happened. All we know is that there was a relationship between God and man wherein was all the perspicacity, the perceptiveness of man, the ability to perceive, to know, to understand, to see, and to be fully conscious of both spiritual and natural. THAT ability was in Adam, for we understand from medical science that the portion of the brain that is used is quite small compared to the total mass. It was not so in the beginning. Adam lost about 75% of his brain when he fell. There is a part of us that isn’t used at all – the ability to perceive.

One time I was in a meeting and I saw people moving up and down in the congregation. Some of them started getting mad when some of the others were surrendering themselves to God, and they walked out. God said, “If you will resist the devil, he will flee from you” (James 4:7). The Word of God says that one day, when the Sons of God gathered together, Satan came also (Job 1:6, 2:1). Did you ever understand that the Bible used the word also? “…the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.”

When we gather together, there are things in us that do not please God. There are spirits in us; there are movements in us that are not of God. When you begin to praise God, these things begin to leave! Do you know why? Because darkness cannot stand when light comes in, and the moment that you open up yourself to God, light begins to flood into you and everything that is not of God begins to leave. Sometimes their movement motivates your feet to carry them out of the light. Sometimes they will leave on their own and wait outside the door for you. When you get outside, then you get back your idiosyncrasies, your bad ways. God is saying to us that something is happening to us at this time, in this age, to this people, and He wants a people to be awake and alive!

(Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, December 2006, pg. 3-4)

Thought for today: Darkness cannot stand when light comes in. The moment you open up yourself to God, light begins to flood into you and everything that is not of God begins to leave.

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Scripture reading: John 10:27-28

One day, I saw a brother, a prophet of God, moving in God in a meeting. Let me tell you something: hate can bar you from hearing God when God speaks. This brother got up and went over to a sister and put the finger on her. He just let loose the Word of God. Now, when somebody comes and prophesies to me, it would be so stupid for me to sit down and say, “He made that up. He heard somebody talk.” My God, you are killing yourself! You are committing spiritual murder! God spoke to that woman. I knew what he was saying; I knew more of what he was saying than anybody else in that congregation! What is five years or a few years? It is like a snap of the fingers to God. You make a wrong turn, you reject the Word of God, you reject God, you enter into hate, and you leave love behind you the moment you begin to say, “That man, the prophet, is this, and he is that and he is the other.” Don’t you understand that is the word of the devil to destroy the Word of God in the midst of His people?

God has promised that, at the end of time, He will bring forth the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the shepherd, and the teacher, and He will bring a five-fold ministry to massage the Body from head to foot to keep the Body, to bring the Body to life. Now, apostles have faults, human faults. Prophets have human faults. Evangelists have human faults. Shepherds have human faults. Teachers have human faults. So what the devil does is that he goes and picks out a fault and magnifies it. Magnifies it! After you finish talking about him, it is impossible to hear the Word of God and you have murdered yourself by the tongue, by talking about it, by unbelief. Now, another prophet comes and says, “Brother, you are blessed. You are wonderful. You are going to ride on high.” He prophesies and you accept that because he didn’t tell you what God was saying. He told you what was nice for him to tell you.

At one point in time, I was in the church, the denominational system. Remember now, we have come out of the church age. The tenure, the time that God gave the church to bring forth something is over. We have come out of that time and so God has given us another time – the Dispensation of the Fullness. He has given us the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the shepherd, the teacher and this is to bring the Body into perfection. Now, we have heard that but some of us don’t believe it. If you don’t believe it, you are one of those who are not hearing the voice of God. John 10:27-28 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” My sheep hear my voice. Some of us are not “My sheep.” Some of us are not in the “My sheep” because we won’t hear the voice of the Father.

Listen, brethren, the voice of God speaks in the Body from the smallest person in God to the greatest (whoever you think might be the greatest); the voice of God is speaking through them. You might say, “Howdy-do,” and that is the voice of God. The love of God comes out of that person. You feel a little down and somebody says, “God bless you, sister,” or may hug you and you feel the love of God. Amen. God is speaking in His Body and God’s Body is sending forth life, energy, love and we must get away from hate.

(Excerpt from The Omega Message, July 2005, pg. 46-47)

Thought for today: Don’t make any excuses. Hate is everything that falls less than love.

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Scripture reading: 1 Samuel 17:48-51

1 Samuel 17:48-51 says, “And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.”

Notice in this story that David went down to the brook and chose five stones. These five stones are a type of the five-fold ministry which God has put into the church: the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the shepherd, and the teacher. We find in Ephesians 4:11 that God has set this ministry in His church. The peculiar and marvelous thing in this story is that David did not use the five stones. He picked up five stones but he only used one. God knew beforehand that he would only need one yet God made him pick up five because five is the number of the ministry that God is going to use to bring down the Philistine, the Antichrist, the false prophet, and Babylon.

The whole picture of the image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in Daniel 2 is in living-action colors. It is depicted in Goliath, the mighty giant, whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. The man was nine to ten feet tall and he was brought down with ONE STONE. Notice that the stone smote him in “HIS FOREHEAD” and sank into his frontal lobe. It was more like a gunshot than a stone. I think the angel of God threw the stone. I do not think it was David’s arm although David did release the stone. The stone was blown by the angel of God right into Goliath’s forehead and smote him dead. The forehead is a type of the soul or the mind. Notice that this thing was DONE BY MAN but actually DONE BY GOD. Man was used of God. After all, the only time man really functions right is when he is used of God.

(Excerpt from The Book of Revelation, Volume 2, pages 211-212)

Thought for today: Let us remember, the only time that we function right is when we are used of God.

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