Wednesday, 4 October 2017

God-appointed Ministries

Scripture: Ephesians 4 v 11 - 12:  "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers: for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."

1 Corinthians 12 v 28: "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues."

Mark 16 v 17 - 18: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
 18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

When we examine the structure of the Body of Christ we find the functions and offices of the ministries needed to effectively tend the needs of its members. Helps, Exhorters, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Prophets, Apostles, Intercessors. Then governments - these are not the state rulers but the people who run the church, do the books, organise the choir or musicians etc. Gifts of healing are for the sick, there is no specific healing ministry.

God calls the followers of Jesus Christ, living stones. We are the stones He builds His Church with, which rests on the Rock of Jesus Himself. He is the foundation stone and if we do not have this foundation, He says we are building on sand and the first storm will sweep our faith away.

As He said to the Prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1 v 5 - Before I formed you in your mother's belly, I knew you and ordained you a prophet to the nations! And the prophecies of Jeremiah are still valid and true thousands of years later.  He was a God-appointed prophetic minister.

The office of a prophet is to stand in God's presence and hear His Words accurately and convey them to where God wants them heard. They must be 100% true and will come to pass when the Lord God chooses. His Word never returns to Him without accomplishing what He sent it to do. 

In today's church there are many self-appointed prophets and they are satisfied if 60% of their prophecies hit the mark. The trouble is, how can anyone trust them or believe God if they are only partly true? Which part of the 60% is right?  It brings condemnation on the whole church.  In the Old Testament a prophet was stoned to death if he was inaccurate.

An apostle appointed by God is a "sent one" which has been interpreted over centuries, as missionaries being sent to bring the knowledge of Jesus Christ to peoples of the world in mainly third world countries. This is not true. Missionaries are really evangelists who preach the gospel to the unsaved sinners. They also learn the language and create Bibles for them a process which takes about 25 years.

God's sent ones, true apostles, where appointed by Him before this world was formed, when He knew them in Heaven. Paul, the persecutor of the early Christians, trying to escape his calling, ran out of steam on the Damascus Road and became, through guilt, the strongest apostle of them all.  The truth shall set you free, said Jesus.  Truly, the truth about Jesus sets us free.  

We need to perceive Him in His resurrected glory and not just as an infant in a crib, or dead on a cross.  Yes He was those too but He is now the resurrected Son of God seated on the right hand of the Father, and the Saviour of mankind.  He is worthy to be exalted far above all the gods of this world.

Just like Moses the prophet and deliverer of Israel, fled from Egypt to Midian for forty years until the time appointed for Israel to leave Egypt for the Promised Land. His reminder of his calling was through the Burning Bush, where God told him, "Say that I AM sent you!"  I AM that I AM you knew in Heaven. And Moses knew and was anointed to deliver Israel from her oppressors.  For him we can say that which is written in Ephesians.  Ephesians 5 v 14: "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."

The evangelist cuts the dead stones out of the quarry of sin and unbelief. Through miracles and healing he draws people to Jesus to be turned into Living Stones. The Pastors and Teachers take the stones to tend their needs and open up the Bible to them. Pastors are also called Shepherds, Elders or Bishops, overseers of the flock of God.

The ministry of Helps is given to all those who use their God-given talents to do service to the needs of people. Stephen was appointed to help as a deacon serving tables.  People who tithe or bless the church with donations are also called Helps. They do those things that are behind the scenes to help the ministers do their spiritual labour.

The Intercessors who are also called Watchman are continually alert for outside danger forming an attack against the Christians. The enemy is always on the prowl looking for a chink in the armour, so the intercessors guard the sheep and warn of serious problems arising. They work together with prayer warriors who fight the battles on their knees. 

Everything false ie false prophets, false apostles, false doctrines, wolves in sheep's clothing, false anointings, are a danger to the flock of Jesus. The gift of discerning of spirits of good and evil; word of knowledge; word of wisdom; visions, dreams; and a very close walk with Jesus, are part of the arsenal that keeps the church holy and pure.

There are many very prominent men and women who preach on TV but who are high up in Freemasonry, a Luciferian cult; or who are in covens; worshipping idols or involved in satanism. They are secretly working to destroy the true believers and forming the one world religion under the power of Antichrist. One of them preaches that the Cross was God at His weakest and that he could have died on the cross with and brought salvation to the world. This is gross blasphemy.   

2 John v 9: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son."

When all the God-appointed ministries work in harmony, unity will come and the body of Christ will flourish. There is only one church which is made up of believers scattered in denominations world wide. Not every church goer is born again, and many were only christened as babies in a false tradition that causes conflict when they get saved and should be baptized in water.  In some churches anyone who has the "Second Baptism" is excommunicated from the church. 

These divisions and errors and traditions make the Doctrine of Christ ineffective and rob people of a dynamic experience of God. It is time to put aside all our differences so we can stand together and fight our common foe. Jesus is coming for a united Body, which will be changed into His likeness in the twinkling of an eye. Make sure you are ready and waiting for the time is near.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for appointing the true people to the work of the ministry. Show us those who are false so that we can avoid them, and not be deceived. Open our eyes to the truth and to love and respect those You have sent to help us get safely home to You. In Jesus' name. Amen.