Apostles Today?

Apostles Today?

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

I am persuaded that all five divisions of the ministry are still in effect as stated in Eph 4:11. It is also my opinion that sometimes we tend to overlook the “specificity” of the ministries. We often think of some of the particular offices as being all inclusive and existing everywhere and all-at-once. But consider the pastor, for instance, he fills the office of “Pastor” as a function of the five-fold ministry, however, he is a “pastor” only to a select congregation—and only there does his office have the authority, and execution of said office, in other words, he is not the “pastor” of ALL congregations.

I think this principle of specificity applies in all the offices of the five-fold ministry. This is why Paul stated in 1Co 9:2; “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.” An apostle may not be EVERYONE’S apostle – he may function, in the will of God, as an apostle to a select people, event, place or time. This, I feel, holds true for the prophet also as well as for the evangelist and the teacher. Probably, in my way of thinking, the one ministry with the widest orb of specificity as pertaining to his calling would be the evangelist — and yet he is not EVERYONE’S evangelist just as the prophet is not everyone’s prophet nor the teacher everyone’s teacher. They seem to operate in specific places, times and events to a specific people as God directs.

Paul recognized his “specificity” as to the Gentiles – even though he certainly preached to the Jews also, as we well know – but his FOCUS was to the Gentiles – “by the will of God,” as he himself declares. The other Apostles (these men were unique in that the people, time, place and events were unique) were Christ’s Apostles to the Church (to the Jew first) – We do not have apostles today in the same “specificity” of the original apostles because we no longer have the SAME people, time, place and events as they were apostles to — BUT we still have apostles TODAY for specific people, places, times and events.

We must remember that Paul called Jesus — THE APOSTLE — HE is the single OVERALL Apostle to all people in all places, times and events. Heb 3:1; Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Stated in house terms, I see:

The Apostle, as the man who, builds the house. (the man who laid the foundation – set the walls – etc.)
[That’s why Jesus Christ is Our Apostle – “upon this rock I will build my church…”]

The Pastor, as the man who, lives in the house and is responsible for it – the caretaker.

The Evangelist, as the man who, at the request of the house caretaker, comes to paint, and clean and make additions to the house.

The Teacher, as the man who, at the request of the house caretaker, comes to illustrate how certain items work, operate, function in the house (i.e. the AC).


The Prophet, as the man who, comes to inform the caretaker of termites or dry rot in the house, etc.

The Apostle is more “government and structure” minded, while the pastor is more “caretaker” minded and the evangelist is more “remodeling” minded, while the teacher is more “to give understanding” minded and the prophet is more “discovery” minded. But they all are “house” (church) minded.

Eph 4:12, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: — Which is an ongoing process… and therefore the five-fold ministry is likewise ongoing.

— jlg —

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