Many people think that the Office of Prophet and Apostle has died off at the close of the canon of Scripture. They have heard and believe that the Spiritual gifts are no longer needed because the we have the complete Bible. Well, I’m here to tell you that is not true. If we look very carefully at Ephesians 4:11-13, we see that Jesus “gave” some to be apostles, some prophets, etc, here the word “edoken” in the Greek, meaning “to give” or simply “gives”. Many scholars think that this word is in the past tense, but actually if it were, then we would have a “tense conflict” with one word in “past tense” and the rest of the passage in the present / future tense. Here is the passage so you can see what I mean:
Ephesians 4:11-13 (NKJV)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.
12 for the equipping of the saints, for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…
In verse 11, the word “gave” in in the past tense, but in verse 13, it refers to a “future time”, how do we know it’s future? Simple, it hasn’t happened yet. Test: Are we all in the unity of the faith? No. The knowledge of the Son of God? No. Perfect men and women? No. In the Stature of the fullness of Christ? No.
This is proof that verse 13 is in the future. So can you see where I have a problem with the the past tense word “gave” in verse 11.
It is therefore my conclusion that the Five-Fold ministry office gifts are still intact and must be performed for the church to accomplish it’s mission of Verse 12 and 13.
Verse 11 tells “what” Christ did, verse 12 tells the “reason” for what he did and verse 13 tells “how long” these office gifts will need to be in place. According to verse 13, the office of apostle and prophet are still valid today and these offices must be a part of every church if we are to fulfill this passage.
A brief description of each role of the Five-Fold Ministry:
– Apostle: Goes around planting Churches. Determines Request prophetic word the location and demographics.
– Prophet: Brings encouragement to the church and also brings direction. Also brings correction
– Evangelist: Works with the Apostle to fill the churches that the Apostle planted.
– Pastor: Shepherds the flock of those churches – Overseer, helps prophet with discipline, counsels
– Teacher: Teaches the word of God. Indoctrination and growth training.
So there you have it, the model of every Church. If all churches would toe the line and follow the model, there would be less division and more accomplished for the Kingdom of God.