The Greek word for “teacher” is “didaskalos”. It means an instructor, doctor, master or teacher. One who teaches the people the word of God and explains the scripture to them in a digestible form. They have the ability to bring forth revelation, clarity and understanding from the word through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Every one of the five-fold ministry can teach as an act of functioning in their office, just like secular teachers, Bible School professors etc, but this does not make them a teacher as a specific gift given to the Body of Christ. A true gift of a teacher is one that has the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and the grace to bring understanding and establishment in the revelation of the purposes of God through the word to the Body of Christ. A gifted teacher in the ministry does not only have the ability and grace to bring profound exposition to doctrines, but they also possess unction to bring maturity to the Body of Christ.
A teacher effectively communicates revelation and brings anointed understanding. There is a need for true matured teachers to rise up in the Body of Christ. We must begin to identify these ministry gifts and give them their place to freely function in the Body of Christ. It is important to note that they are also a governmental order in the church.
We need seasoned and matured teachers in the ministry that will be able to teach and impart the deep knowledge and wisdom of God. The era of tickling the ears and motivating the emotions of the flesh is over. That season of superficial ministry of entertainment must come to an end. Church is not about making us laugh or feel God. It is about God and Him alone.
“Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.” (Acts 15:35).
Paul was an apostle and Barnabas was a prophet, yet both ministry gifts had the ability to teach and preach. The Greek translates “preaching” as “euaggelizo” and this means to announce good news (evangelize).
The five-fold ministry gifts must be able to teach and preach the whole gospel of the Kingdom resulting in an unadulterated and unmixed gospel imparting the Church and empowering it to impact nations.
God is restoring the five-fold ministry gifts because they are the channels of the revelation of the purposes of God that will bring the establishment of God’s order in the Church. The five-fold ministry gifts have the same purpose and commission, which is to mature the saints and to disciple the nations (Ephesians 4:11-16). We must receive the teachers, as well as the five gifts and submit to them.
• Do not permit those who seek to rule over God’s house by virtue of political or social authority. Our political authority and influence in the business world is not a criterion for leadership in the Church.
• Leaders should not be commissioned or set in position by a pastor, but the laying of hands to commission should be the work of an apostolic presbytery, except the pastor serves as an apostle. To commission or set in is an apostolic function and not a pastoral function.
• Leaders should not be placed into positions because of their financial influence in the community, except they have a true call from God into the ministry. Many are ordained in the ministry because they have money or because we don’t want to lose them, and it is done without any former reference to the Kingdom ordained standard in scriptures. Do not position anyone because of financial influence, only by the call of God. Leaders must be matured and responsible.
• Nepotism must cease. There should be no prejudice in succession. Nepotism is the bias and preferential treatment or favoritism that is given to one based on relational lineage. This is becoming common in the Body of Christ where leaders are passing on the ministry heritage to their family tree in the midst of seasoned and matured leaders who are capable and more effective in the house of God. This has caused the failure for successful leadership succession. There should be no prejudice in the succession of ministry in the midst of more gifted leaders in the Body who can function more effectively in carrying the heritage onto the next generation.
• Do not call men elders who are deacons (though some develop, like Philip). Deacons are not charged with the responsibility of the spiritual life of the Church and they should not be selected in the ruling of local churches. This is not scriptural. It is wrong to name men ‘elders’ who have no call into the ministry, but are graced to serve as deacons. Their responsibility is to serve the Body, waiting on tables and caring for the widows. Though some can develop into the five-fold ministry as Philip did.
• The Church does not operate the system of democracy. It is Kingdom in nature. No vote should be taken to set in an elder to rule the Church. The apostles and other matured ministry leaders have a function to lay their hands and set in place leaders, as led by the Holy Spirit.
• Apostolic leaders should cease from raising men to themselves, and their networks, but rather seek to help establish the saints to the set-man and father of the local assembly. The biblical order is that the shepherd of the local assembly should father the congregation that the Lord puts under his oversight.
• The apostolic reformation does not on the other hand, advocate that ‘Pastors’ should step aside from their pastoral function and precedence, but they need to retool for an apostolic pattern in order to receive an assimilation and incorporation of the present apostolic and prophetic grace to the Church.
• Give directly to the local assembly, and as led by God, give to other work. Apostolic leaders should in no wise encourage the financial resources and gifts of the storehouse designated for a local assembly, to be carried over to a foreign network outside that house. We should allow the believers to channel their finances and gifts directly to their local assembly, which is their primary source of spiritual impartation and covering, but they can give to other foreign work as led by the Lord.
• The apostolic ministry should promote the wholeness of the word of God and the restoration of the five-fold ministry. God is not restoring only one ministry gift, but five. Those who are called into the apostolic office and functions are not to become “The Apostle”, but they should become “an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ”. Jesus is “The Apostle or the only Chief apostle”.
• Our doctrines and personal revelations should not become the absolute truth for the Church, but only the apostles’ doctrine (the teachings of Christ according to the four gospels which is also revealed and upgraded in the epistles).
• Present day apostles should not promote their personal God giving revelation and knowledge as the ONLY given mysteries for the Church, without recognizing that there are other apostolic leaders God has graced with part of His revelation for the Body as well. We need one another. There must be unity, balance and inter-relationship with other five-fold ministry gifts as we honour and submit to one another in the word and in the Spirit.
• The present apostolic reformation should not begin to exalt any man or apostle to an absolute position or authority where one alone becomes the final say or gateway to God’s dealing and revelation to His people. We create an idol in the man and an exit for quick destruction by God. We should not begin to boast and glory over ‘revelations’, as if we are the author or source, but we should give room for apostles to rise up among us – It calls for respect for the apostolic ministry.
“It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” (2 Corinthians 12:1-7).
On the other hand, we must watch out so that we don’t begin to come to the extent of being worshiped by others and take upon ourselves those things that do not duly belong to us, as we will begin to walk towards our downfall and ultimate death. I have seen and heard of ministers with great grace and ministry who came to an end in a moment of time, because of this mistake. Understand the difference between ‘worship’ and ‘honour’. Ministers are to be honoured, not worshipped. God alone is to be honoured and worshiped.
Copyright © 2017 by Israel Onoriobe
Our ministry is a faith-based ministry and this material is provided free of charge to the body of Christ for equipping the saints. If this material has been a blessing to you or a source of encouragement we ask that you prayerfully consider giving a love offering to help us carry the message of the Kingdom of God to the nations – (Hebrews 10:6).