Offices to the Christian Church Universal

Too many Christians themselves have never studied what the Bible actually says about these gifted men, offices to the Christian Church Universal by God, so they too are ignorant, they do not know, they are even confused about the role that they all should play today in Christ’s Church.

(John 8:32 KJV) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

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

The Greek tense for these offices is continual present, meaning these persons, offices still exist today. Today the Restoration of an exact New Testament pattern has not been taken seriously.

All three of these words, “preacher,” “evangelist,” and “pastor,” are used in the New Testament in addition to the words “elders”, “deacons”, “prophets”, “apostles”, ” teachers”.

The New Testament structure which has been clearly deviated from in many churches today for it is apparent that the NT Church was always run, administered by the plurality of elders, and the elders were composed of the gifted apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists. Apostle prophet, pastor, evangelist were also considered as being an elder but it is clear that the Apostles do the main leading, followed by the Prophets next and the Pastors next in the local church.

Elders. The term “elder” and “bishop” are used interchangeably of the one officer. We do find these two names “elder” and “bishop” used in one context in Titus 1:5-7. It is a reasonable suggestion that “elder” is used when referring to the person, and Bishop” when referring to his function of overseeing. In Acts 20:17 and 28 we have the two names again used in the same context. There is no suggestion of two offices. Paul, in greeting the Philippians addresses the saints, bishops, and deacons. (Phil. 1:1) Bishops are also the same as the term Elders

Again in the New Testament it is clear that there was a plurality of elders or bishops in each local church. On their first missionary journey Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in every church. (Acts 14:23) Titus was instructed by Paul to appoint elders in every city. (Titus 1:5) What is very clear in the New Testament is the principle of the oversight of a plurality of elders or bishops. There is no evidence of the oversight of one bishop. The historians refer to Timothy and Titus as bishops, next using “bishop” to mean only a single overseer, is a case of applying later terminology to New Testament officers. Neither one is directly called a bishop in the New Testament. They were firstly both also apostolic representatives, Paul having commissioned Timothy to work at Ephesus and Titus at Crete. It appears that James had some pre-eminence at Jerusalem, but Acts 15:22, with its emphasis on the whole community, is against any over-lordship. James is not directly called the sole ruling bishop in the New Testament, and the application of this title to him by some is another case of falsely applying later terminology to an early leader in the Church.

We read that Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in every church, (Acts 14:23) and Titus was instructed by Paul to appoint elders in every city. (Titus 1:5) There is no explicit evidence that elders were elected by the local church, but in view of the principle of responsibility of which we have evidence in the New Testament, it is not likely that elders would have been appointed by Paul and others without the recognition, consent, of most of the church. Since submission is voluntarily, not enforced and is mutual as well. The responsibility of the eldership is clearly reflected in the qualifications of the elder which we find in I Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:59.

Evangelists were Plural too. Stephen and Philip, members of the seven chosen to “serve tables,” served as evangelists. (Acts 7 & 8) Timothy who was commissioned to organize the church at Ephesus is also exhorted to do the work of an evangelist. (I Tim. 4:5) The total responsibility of the Evangelists ministry is also an eldership or an overseer one which was to evangelize, teach, participate in pastoral oversight,. An evangelist will also declare the evangelic. All of the Elders can also teach, oversee, and shepherd. (I Tim. 3:2-4; 5:17, Titus 1:9; I Peter 5:2) Some persons supposedly will excel and specialize in one some of the functions. One will likely have to prove himself as a deacon before they can next be considered for am elder position.

The word “evangelist” (Greek word “euangelistes”) means one who preaches also the truth, the good news. The “gospel” is the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, and an “evangelist” is one who preaches this good news. It is interesting that evangelist in the New Testament had also the gift of healing associated with them.(Acts 8:5 KJV) Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. (Acts 8:13 KJV) Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

Evangelist is mentioned only twice in the New Testament Acts 21:8 . . and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him ( 2 Tim 4:5 KJV) But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. An evangelist must also preach the word, and also publicly reproving, rebuking, and exhorting with all longsuffering and doctrine (2 Tim 4:2 KJV) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. We do not seem to see Evangelist doing this today?

The word “preacher” is used three times in the New Testament,. Paul twice referred to himself as a preacher (1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11). In addition, the Holy Spirit called Noah a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). The Greek word from which preacher is translated ( kerux ) literally means a herald (see an example of this in Daniel 3:4 in the LXX, Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament), or a messenger that had authority from kings or other officials to make public proclamations. A preacher is one who publicly proclaims or preaches the truth of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The word “teacher” is found 4 times in the New testament and teachers is found 9 times and is also associated with women. (John 3:2 KJV) The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (Rom 2:20 KJV) An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. (1 Tim 2:7 KJV) Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. (2 Tim 1:11 KJV) Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. (Acts 13:1 KJV) Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. (1 Cor 12:28 KJV) 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. (1 Cor 12:29 KJV) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? (Eph 4:11 KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (1 Tim 1:7 KJV) Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. (2 Tim 4:3 KJV) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (Titus 2:3 KJV) The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; (Heb 5:12 KJV) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (2 Pet 2:1 KJV) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Note Women cannot teach in an authoritative role but they can teach other women. .Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence (1 Timothy 2:11,12). (Titus 2:4 KJV) That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

The word “Deacon” is found 2 times in the New Testament and deacons is found 3 times.(Acts 6:1 KJV) And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

(1 Tim 3:10 KJV) And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. (1 Tim 3:13 KJV) For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. (Phil 1:1 KJV) Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: (1 Tim 3:8 KJV) Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; (1 Tim 3:12 KJV) Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Deacons were men specifically chosen to help the poor and needy persons in the local Christian Church and sadly rarely do they exist today.

GAL 2:10 “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor ( believers) , the very thing I was eager to do.”

Deacons were plural and a seperate group that Ministered to, looked after the poor people in the church. In general terms a deacon is one who serves, especially one who serves at table. Paul greeted the deacons along with the bishops at Philippi. (Phil. 1:1) The qualifications of a deacon are set down in I Tim. 3:8-13. They are generally regarded as responsible for what may be called the temporalities of the Church, though in fact, they may have a spiritual gifts, spiritual ministry as well.

The word “Pastor”is not found in the New Testament rather it is a plural term, Pastors, and it is found only once in the New Testament. (Eph 4:11 KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

The word “Shepherd” is found 13 times in the New testament, it is generally a singular term too, and Jesus himself is the chief Shepherd. (Mat 9:36 KJV) But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. (Mat 25:32 KJV) And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: (Mat 26:31 KJV) Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. (Mark 6:34 KJV) And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. (Mark 14:27 KJV) And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. (John 10:2 KJV) But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. (John 10:11 KJV) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10:12 KJV) But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (John 10:14 KJV) I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (John 10:16 KJV) And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (Heb 13:20 KJV) Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (1 Pet 2:25 KJV) For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (1 Pet 5:4 KJV) And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

The word “elder” is found 5 times in the New Testament, and elders is mentioned 60 times. (1 Tim 5:1 KJV) Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; (1 Tim 5:2 KJV) The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. (1 Tim 5:19 KJV) Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. (1 Pet 5:1 KJV) The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: (1 Pet 5:5 KJV) Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (2 John 1:1 KJV) The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; (3 John 1:1 KJV) The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

The word “Apostle ” is found 19 times in the New Testament, and Aposltes is mentioned 60 times Note this- An Apostle held various offices too additionally, including a prophet, teacher, elder. (Rom 1:1 KJV) Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Rom 11:13 KJV) For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: (1 Cor 1:1 KJV) Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, (1 Cor 9:1 KJV) Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? (1 Cor 9:2 KJV) If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. (1 Cor 15:9 KJV) For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (2 Cor 1:1 KJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: (2 Cor 12:12 KJV) Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. (Gal 1:1 KJV) Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)(Eph 1:1 KJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: (Col 1:1 KJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, (1 Tim 1:1 KJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; (1 Tim 2:7 KJV) Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. (2 Tim 1:1 KJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, (2 Tim 1:11 KJV) Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. (Titus 1:1 KJV) Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; (Heb 3:1 KJV) Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (1 Pet 1:1 KJV) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, (2 Pet 1:1 KJV) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

The Ordination of all of these persons in the Ministry.

There is clear evidence in the New Testament that when people were called to fulfill certain specific functions in the Church by God even directly they were next still recognized, set apart by fasting, prayer, and the laying on of hands, the Elders, apostles, pastors, teachers evangelist now included?

And all those who were chosen to “serve tables” as deacons were first specifically selected by “the whole multitude” and then set before the Apostles who, when they had prayed, laid hands on them. (Acts 6:1-6) When Saul and Barnabas were called of the Holy Spirit to undertake missionary work they were set apart for the work by fasting, prayer, and the laying on of hands. (Acts 13:1-3) During their first missionary journey they established churches, and before they returned they appointed elders in every city. The appointment was made with prayer and fasting.

The word which is translated “ordained,” indicates the raising of hands, associated with the anointing the person with with oil, the symbol of the holy spirit. Thus All deacons are to be formally and solemnly set apart by the imposition of the hands of the presbytery or eldership of the church. The whole community chooses them–the seniors ordain. This is the apostolic tradition . . . It is immutable?”

The word “boldness” or a synonym is used to describe an Apostles’ conduct and the New testament believers as well.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John … . ” (4:13). “And they spake the word of God with boldness” (4:31). ” . . . and how he (Paul) had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus” (9:27). “And he (Paul) spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed . . . ” (9:29). “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you . . . ” (13:46). “Long time therefore abode they (Paul and Barnabas) speaking boldly in the Lord . . . ” (14:3) “And Paul . . . preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him” (28:30,31). (Acts 4:29 KJV) And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus 31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? (1 Corinthians 12:29). No we all have different, unique gifts in the Church as given to us by God..

And now how do these offices in your church compare with the New Testament? or do you still merely believe that what any of the others tell you is the whole truth?

See also http://pbulow.tripod.com/proph.html

http://pbulow.tripod.com/today.html

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About thenonconformer

I am a Canadian, retired and I do have an Engineering degree, from Concordia University , Montreal 1968, plus I had also now worked as a Re/Max Realtor in Calgary too.
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