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God's method by which He intends to bring us all to fullness is through a body ministry operating in the Church He designed.

 

Romans 8:18-23 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed [Apocalypse, Unveiling] in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation [Apocalypse, Unveiling] of the sons [huios, mature sons] of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

God has one method for bringing us to maturity in Him.

His plan is that we would be transfigured by the renewing of our minds.

For this process, He has given gifts of the Spirit to the members of the Body of Christ,

so that there is none that has preeminence.

All are necessary.

His method is that every member have one or more gifts

and that those gifts be the manifestation of God in the earth.

Those gifts grow into ministries as they are used.

They are used to minister outside the church,

but they are also the means by which every member ministers to every other member.

It is a body ministry.

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Ephesians 4:16 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 to the edifying of itself in love.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

1 Corinthians 12:11-31

Every member having and being a ministry in the Body of Christ

1 Corinthians 14 The order of the church service.

John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

1 Peter 5:2, A Mind Ready To Be Led Of The Holy Spirit And Willing To Follow

1 Timothy 4:1-2 Disobedience to the Holy Spirit Dulls Your Spiritual Senses

1 Timothy 4:14, Gifts Of The Spirit Are Given By The Laying On Of Hands Of The Presbytery

In addition, God has set offices.

Every member has some sort of office.

There is the office of the apostle:

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

Not all are apostles:

1Corinthians 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

1Corinthians 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

There are false apostles almost everywhere, but there are false Christ's also.  The false does not make the genuine less genuine.  The offices are also gifts to the church, and so are the ministries.

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting [total equipping] of the saints [Christians], for the work of the ministry [service], for the edifying [building up] of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect [mature or complete] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Ephesians 4:14 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;

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Ephesians 4:16 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 to the edifying of itself in love.

Only Christ can do any ministry, service, or edifying.  Only Christ can do any meaningful work.  If you yield to Him, He will do His work through you.  In understanding Ephesians 4:12-16, you must go back to the main verb, edoken, in verse 11.  Christ gave the gifts.  He gave the office of apostle.  He gave the four ministries.  Those gifts are not the persons but the Christ in those persons, as another passage says, "Christ in us, the hope of glory."  The text cannot be read any other way than to understand that these gifts are performing all of this work as the gifts proceed from Christ.  Grace means, literally, free gift.  This is grace, and we know from Scripture that it is grace that does any work that is done.  In fact, God could give no greater gift, so He gave us of Himself.  He chooses to do it through apostles, ones sent.  He chooses to not use those who send themselves or who are sent by men.  It is plain from the Greek that it is not gifted people who do any of this work, but rather the Gift Himself does the work through the members.  This is true whether it is the apostle who is totally equipping and completing the member or the member who is now also moving in the power and authority of the same gift.  When any member comes into submission to the apostle, that person carries the same anointing and authority of the apostle just as long and to the extent that they are in submission.  They are not submitting to a man but to Christ Himself.  If you can discern the Body of Christ, you will see this.  If you see this, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but your Father in Heaven has revealed it.

You can go many places on the internet, on Christian radio, or in the religious world where you will find people twisting this Scripture.  They will twist "apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;" into "teacher/pastors", or "pastor/teacher", or "evangelists, pastors, teachers", or some other misquote.  It is evil to twist the traveling elders and deacons, the apostles, into locally abiding pastors.  Nowhere in the Bible does it talk about locally abiding pastors.  There are locally abiding elders who pastor (care for the church as a shepherd does sheep) the members, and those men receive no money for what they do.  They receive a double measure of honor.  The Bible says what it says.  The Scripture cannot be broken.  Satan hates the Bible and he hates God's church and the orders of God's church.  If you see someone doing this, run, do not walk, away.

Let God be true and every man a liar.

Apostles are given the responsibility of protecting the entire flock of God from the attack of the enemy, but with so many voices in the world, each one claiming to be the one that should be listened to, how can you know?  You are responsible to be close enough to God so that you can tell the difference between false apostles and real apostles.

Read the complete definition of "Apostle."  

God restored the gifts of the Spirit and apostles & prophets to the church since 1948.  Counterfeits and false gifts abound, but the real is still real.

Author/Compiler
Last updated: Aug, 2011
 
 




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