Ministers of the Word are supposed to speak in the name of Jesus, not in their own names, not pursuing their own agenda, not manipulating the people, not seeking for people to hold allegiance to them, but to Christ.
They bear the authority of Christ. It is with that authority that they move and do what they do. They should be aware of that, and move on with his word without fear, assured that inherent in that word is the power to get results because the life of Christ is manifested in those words.
Paul wrote that when Christ ascended to heaven he gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:7-16). He gave some apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists, pastor, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry for the edification of the body of Christ.
They use the tool of the word, to equip the saints, because they are direct representatives of the Word. The Word trains the people in the life of faith which we are called to as Christians, as it is written, the just shall live by faith. The ministers teach us how to live in the new found life of Christ, because they represent him as the head of the church.
Christ is called the Apostle and high priest of our profession (Hebrews 3:1-6). He is the ultimate sent one (definition of apostle) from heaven (John 10:36), who makes a new way opened to us to God. He is sent by the father to the earth to show the way of salvation. Jesus was sent to the whole earth.
The Holy Spirit is raising up Apostles in our days. And they speak in the name of God, in the foundational sense, giving direction to the church at large. Paul said that the church is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, with Christ being the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).
Therefore Apostles and prophets are known first and foremost by their intimacy with Christ, and should be able to accurately represent him in the foundational sense. As foundation a lot of what they do in is hidden away from the glare of people, especially in the place of prayer.
They also stand as symbols of stability, giving stability to the whole structure of the church, through the truth that flows from them. The church is called the ground and pillar of truth (1Timothy 3:15); the ground being the foundation and the pillars emerging from the foundation.
The Apostle is marked by signs and wonders (2Corinthians 12:11-12), the prophet by miraculous words of knowledge, wisdom, prophecy, tongues and interpretation of tongues (1Corinthians 12:1-7). However, it is the forte of every one of the ministries to proclaim the word because it pleases God through the foolishness of preaching to save/impact/change those who believe (1Corinthians 1:17-31).
Jesus was commonly referred to as a prophet in his time. When he asked: “what do people say that I am?” they mentioned certain prophets. Jesus is the prophet that Moses said that God will send and must be listened to or else they perish (Acts 3:22-26). As a prophet the word of wisdom was strong in his life as he predicts the future with uncanny accuracy. He was 100 percent apostle, 100 percent prophet, 100 percent Evangelists etc. He is each in the ultimate sense.
The evangelist speaks the word of God to draw unsaved people into the kingdom of God, he ministers to the saints by calling them in; he brings God to them in signs and wonders. They open a wide door for others to come into the kingdom.
Philip, as an example of an evangelist, went to the Samaria, and preached Christ (Acts 8). Note also that Paul the apostle said that he also preaches Christ, but the preaching of Christ, speaking in the name of Jesus that both the apostle and evangelist do is different in focus. The Apostles’ focus is the saint, while the Evangelists’ focus is to the yet-to-be-saints.
Paul said he did not come to the church in Corinth with mere words but the demonstration of the spirit and power (1Corinthians 2:4-5), so that their faith will not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (faith for a life in God [Romans 1:17]). That is the apostle speaking. The evangelist’s working of miracles is directed at the unbelievers, to cause them to have faith for salvation.
The evangelist helps the people to get to God being them the knowledge of salvation, what they should do to be saved. In the miracles, they confront the people with the reality of God.
Jesus is the ultimate evangelist; he is the way that leads to God (John 14:6). He said that he has come to save the lost (Luke 19:10). That work he continues in the Evangelists of today. His mission was to draw lost humanity to God. He performed the ultimate miracle, rising from the death from dying on a cross. He said if I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me (John 12:32, 3:14-16).
The shepherd/pastor speaks in the name of Jesus expressing his care and facilitating the methodical spiritual growth needs of the children of God, impacting them in a hands-on way, meeting their practical needs on a one-on-one basis. The pastor offers guidance in a practical way.
Jesus is the good shepherd who gave his life to his sheep (John 10:1-30). He is the one who commanded Peter to feed his sheep (John 21:15-17). His sheep are to be fed with the Word of God (Jeremiah 3:15).
There was a time that multitudes came to him, and he described them as sheep without shepherds, and he taught them the word of God, gave them a sense of focus on what God wants (Mark 6:34).
The teacher specifically speaks in the name of Jesus to bring understanding of the word of God. He explains the word.
An Apostle is marked by his spiritual reach, a prophet by his spiritual words, an Evangelist by the spiritual work of soul wining, the pastor by his spiritual care for the sheep, a teacher by his spiritual knowledge.
All these people are appointed to speak in the name of Jesus for the spiritual benefit of people. It is not irrelevant talk, but talks that makes people what God wants them to be. They are words that cause change to happen inside people, causes miracles to happen.
The words of Jesus are words of life. Though he is not here now, his words in the mouth of the people he has sent, or in their writings are potent. Peter told Jesus: you have the word of eternal life (John 6:68). Those words contain life, they contain grace, it is heaven speaking.
God told Jeremiah that the word he has put in his mouth is to plant and build, to uproot and to break down (Jeremiah 1:9-10).
He said: my word is like rain coming down from heaven, which would not return to me void but will fulfill the purpose for wish it was sent (Isaiah 55:10-11).
He said that his word is like hammer that breaks the rock into pieces. His word is the bread that when we feed on we become strong spiritually, feeding the spiritually hungry (Luke 4:4, 1Peter 2:2); his word is like the sword that pierces into the soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12). They are no ordinary words. They are spiritually empowered words that can cause change in us in our spiritual (spirit) and natural function (soul). The word has creative potentials.
Note that there are some areas of overlap among the five ministries. It is only the one who calls them that defines individual roles. We may observe certain signs. But it is Christ that is the ultimate decider. If they are doing what he has not sent them to do, it is between them and God. If they claim to be what Christ has not called them to be, they will be judged for it. Whatever the case, everyone is called to wear humility as a garment, and live holy.
- The Offense of the Cross – A Rebuke to the Modern Gospel of Watered Down Half Truths (thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com)
- About My Ministries (achosenpearl.wordpress.com)
- Authentic Fellowship “Fellowship and Unity” (christlikeministriesnwa.com)
- Receiving The Anointing For Ministry (pbsministries.wordpress.com)
- Full of Faith and the Holy Spirit (poormakingmanyrich.com)
- Start seeing the miraculous as just a normal day at the office. (keithlannon.wordpress.com)
- Rusted Iron (2) (outoftheboxcentre.wordpress.com)
- 1 Corinthians 12 King James Version (KJV) (thineownunderstanding.wordpress.com)
- Does the Bible record the death of the apostles? How did each of the apostles die?” (nostopministries.wordpress.com)
- THE EMPOWERMENT ZONE BLOG by Dr. Fay Maureen Butler: A TIMELY WORD TO ENCOURAGE, EXHORT AND EDIFY: Vol 3 Blog 3-WHY WE NEED GIFTS AT CHRISTMAS!! (huldahshouseministries.wordpress.com)