Home

The Calling of God




















back

 

The Calling of God

E.L. Davis

 

* I received my call to the ministry in 1983. While praying one night around 2:00 AM. I heard the Lord say to me, "get up and go sit on your porch, outside." As I sat down, the Lord said to me, "look up" when I looked up, all I could see was a heavy low cloud cover. I sat there for several minutes looking and said to myself, "I must be going nuts" with that I started to get up and go back into the house.

Once again I heard the Lord speak and He said, "sit back down and look again" as I looked back up, an opening appeared in the clouds and I saw three stars, in the shape of a triangle and I heard the Lord say, "I am the bright morning star and I have called you to preach my gospel and to preach my word." I had often heard preachers say, "God called me to preach" but never knew what that meant until now. I never received the call graciously, I remember saying "Lord I don't know what to say to anybody, one church preaches this and another church preaches that" He said to me "preach My word" I said "what word?" He said "the bible."

* I went to bed that night bewildered by the whole thing. The next morning as I got my little girl off to school, I kept thinking "the whole thing had to be a dream" by the end of the day I was convinced that what had transpired the night before, never really happened.

My little girl came home from school and as she came through the door she said "daddy I made you a picture at school" As I looked at the drawing, the hair stood up on my neck. Half of the picture from the center up, was colored in with a black crayon; in the middle was an opening with three little stars; below that was a little house, with an outside porch.
As I stood there, speechless, I heard the Lord say, "See, I told you that I called you" I had not said anything to anyone concerning the events of the night before.

Some personal reflections about the call of God.

If God has a call on your life, He will make it evident to you.
If God has called you to preach, be the kind of preacher that He wants you to be. Most have preconceived ideals about what a preacher is and how a preacher is supposed to preach, usually it's based upon how they do it in their church. The Lord Jesus most often taught his disciples by illustrative means.
Do not try to be something you are not!
Be led by the Holy Spirit.
Be God's servant.
Immerse yourself in the Word of God.
If the pulpits are not open to you, look out your front door, there is a wide open door to the whole world. Go.

Ephesians 4:11-15

11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
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;
15. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

_____________________

Holy Ghost Program


1. The Program


Zechariah 4:6 This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” saith the Lord of Hosts.

Zerubbabel led a return of Jews, from 70 years of captivity, back to their home and began a work to rebuild the temple. (Ezra 3:4-) After encountering much opposition, he was encouraged by the Lord, that the work would be completed not by man's power or might but by the Spirit of the Lord.


All through the scriptures we see the supernatural power of God manifesting to accomplish his purposes and establish his plans. God does this by way of his Holy Spirit, working through the gifts and callings, that he places on people's lives. The divine anointing of the Holy Spirit is the enablement of God, to accomplish what God calls a person to do.

1Corinthians 1:27-29 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty;
Vs.28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
Vs.29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
Vs.25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than man and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

God's ways are not man's ways and the very things that we consider useless, weak, or foolish, is the very things that God will use and in doing so, God gets all the glory. I'm reminded of Namaan having to dip in the muddy waters of the Jordan River 7 times as part of God's way of healing him.

Of the Lord Jesus putting mud and spit in the eyes of a blind man and when he went and washed, he was healed. By the supernatural power of God, seas were parted and walked on, a few loaves of bread and fish fed thousands of people, and the list goes on and on.


MATTHEW 13:54-58 Vs. 58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

MARK 7:4-13 Vs. 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your traditions, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

The traditions of men and unbelief hinders the work and power of God.


The New Testament program of God is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost humanity: baptize and disciple those that believe. This is the Great Commission, given by the Lord Jesus Christ to the church, as shown by the following scriptures.


MATTHEW 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Vs.19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost
Vs.20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

MARK 16:15 And he said unto them, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (person).

God has supernaturally equipped the church to do this by the divine power of the Holy Spirit; working through the various calling and gifts that He places in the church.

LUKE 24:49 And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

ACTS 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

MARK 16:17-18 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues,
Vs.18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

1 CORINTHIANS 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.

2. As Seen in the Ministry of Jesus

LUKE 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice from heaven, which said, “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased”.

LUKE 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.

LUKE 4:14, 18 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee; and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
Vs.18 the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set a liberty them that are bruised.

ACTS 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power who went about doing good, and healing all that are oppressed of the devil; for God was with him

LUKE 11:20 But if I by the finger of God cast our devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

The Lord Jesus ministered by the power of the Holy Ghost and not his own power as the Son of God.

There is not enough space to write of all the things that our Lord did, so I will quote the scriptures from the book of John.

JOHN 21:25 “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.


3. As seen in the early church

ACTS 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

ACTS 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

ACTS 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders among the people.

ACTS 9:32-41 Vs.33-34 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed 8 years, and was sick of the palsy.

Vs.34 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.

Vs.40-41 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
Vs.41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he called the saints and widows, presented her alive.

ACTS 14:8-10 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mothers womb, who never had walked.
Vs.9 The same heard Paul speak; who steadfastly beholding him and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
Vs.10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

ACTS 19:11-12 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
Vs.12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

In this small sample of scriptures, we can see the fulfilling of Gods word in Mar_16:20 and in Joh_14:12.

“And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works that these shall he do; because I go to the Father.

_____________________

The Call


1. The Divine Call


As a Christian, we all have received a call to redemption and to be a light to a lost world; but not all are called to the ministerial offices. The call in this case is God revealing to someone His purpose for them in ministry.

Paul was called to be an Apostle but never started out that way; he never began the work of an Apostle until Act_13:2, when the Holy Ghost said “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” Philip started out as a Deacon before he became an Evangelist (compare Act_6:1-5 with Act_8:5-39). God will not put a novice into a place of leadership (1Ti_3:6). It takes time for spiritual maturity and to become seasoned.


ROMANS 12:7 Or Ministry, Let us wait upon our ministering …..

Moses spent 40 years in Egypt and then another 40 years in Midian, on the backside of the desert before God called him
The Lord Jesus spent his life as a carpenter, until the day the Holy Spirit as a dove, descended upon Him. David was anointed to be King of Israel as a young boy, but never attained to the office, until about the age of 30. David did not have the maturity or experience as a young boy to lead a nation.


1 CORINTHIANS 12:28 and God hath set some in the church, first Apostles, secondarily Prophets, thirdly Teachers.

Notice that these callings are by the Lord and not man, only God has the right to call to his service as he chooses. We give recognition to the person called, by the laying on of hands, in acknowledgement of God's choice.

Paul's Call

ACTS 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee. (Compare with Act_9:1-22).

ROMANS 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an Apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.

1 TIMOTHY 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.

Moses' Call

EXODUS 3:3-5 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
Vs.4 And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, here am I.
Vs.5 And he said, draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

The mention of the holy ground, was God's symbolic way of letting Moses know that the calling of God is a holy thing and the removal of his shoes, represented a consecration to the call. The Holy Call requires a Holy Consecration, without it; there will be no Holy Ghost power.

Elisha's Call

1 KINGS 19:19 So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with 12 yoke of oxen before him, and he was the twelfth; and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.

Isaiah's Call

ISAIAH 6:8 Also I heared the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I, send me.

Jeremiah's Call

JEREMIAH 1:4-5 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Vs.5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Samuel's Call

1 SAMUEL 3:8 And the Lord called Samuel the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I, for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child.

2. The Anointing

The word anoint means to rub with oil and is symbolic of the divine anointing of the Holy Spirit, which is the enablement of God, to fulfill the call of God. The anointing covers a much wider range then just preaching or teaching. If we only see the anointing as the stirring to preach or teach, then we are missing much of what the anointing is about.

As an example: A Pastor fulfills all the duties of his call by the anointing, whether it be teaching, counseling, encouraging, or admonition. The winning of souls is the mark of the anointing of an Evangelist. It is the Holy Spirit who anoints the call and the anointing is the evidence of Gods call: no anointing, no call.

The Anointing of Jesus Christ

LUKE 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou are my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased

LUKE 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.

LUKE 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.

ACTS 10:38 God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

HEBREWS 1:9 Thou haft loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

_____________________

The Person Called

1. Consecration

The word consecration means, to set apart for sacred purposes. Ones heart and mindset must be: My life belongs to God, for His purposes, to fulfill the call of God. God is Holy, so also is the call of God; therefore the servant of the Lord must maintain a holy lifestyle, which is a part of consecration.

2 TIMOTHY 2:20-21 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver; but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor and some to dishonor.
Vs.21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

2 TIMOTHY 2:3-4 Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Vs.4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

The call of God may cost everything, even ones very own life. God the Father's will for Jesus was the cross and before his arrest and crucifixion, our Lord said, “Father not my will, but thine, be done.


MATTHEW 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord.

The Apostle Paul, in fulfillment of the Lord's words, “ For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my names sake.” ( Act_9:16) Paul speaks of some of his sufferings in (1Co_6:1-10 and 1Co_11:23-30.

The point of these scriptures is to show that; the call of God isn't always a bed of roses; that hardship, troubles, and trials often go hand in hand, with the call. If we are going to speak the words of Apostle Paul “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2Ti_4:7) then our consecration and dedication must be maintained throughout it all.

2. Faithfulness

1 CORINTHIANS 4:1-2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Vs.2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Faithfulness means to be trusted, reliable. Apostle Paul says in the above scripture that they were stewards of the mysteries of God; a steward is someone who has been entrusted to oversee or manage the affairs of someone else.

Paul says that it is required that a steward be found faithful. Noticed the word found, to be found faithful, comes by testing.

Abraham's test

GENESIS 12:1 Now the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee.

GENESIS 22:2 And he said, Take thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

From reading the scriptures we find that Abraham was faithful in his obedience to God and was willing to give up everything if God required it.

Paul's faithfulness

1 TIMOTHY 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.

Before God will entrust us with the riches of his grace, he may find out just how faithful we are.

Some areas to be faithful

A. Good Doctrine

1 TIMOTHY 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

B. Preaching

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

C. Dividing the Word

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto the God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth

D. The Gospel

1 TIMOTHY 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

E. Obedience

1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Acts 9:10-17 10. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12. And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14. And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16. For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
17. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

3. Credibility and Accountability

Credibility

PROVERBS 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

We all have heard the nursery rhyme story, of the boy who cried wolf; he lied so many times that when the wolf did appear, no one believed him: the boy lost his credibility.

The word credibility means capable of being believed. Without credibility a person will accomplish little in the kingdom of God. We gain credibility, as our ministry is proven to be authentic, scriptural sound, and we are faithful in the things of God. Having a home church, with a Pastor and Elders adds to credibility.

ACTS 9:26-27 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
Vs.27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

Paul had persecuted the church before his conversion and had gain no credibility with Christians up to this point. After Barnabas spoke up for Paul, the disciples began to accept him.

Accountability

Accountability means the quality of being answerable. The servants of the Lord are accountable the the Lord and to the church.

1. To the Lord

ROMANS 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

LUKE 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

LUKE 19:15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

1 CORINTHIANS 3:13-15 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
Vs.14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
Vs.15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

( See also Mat_25:14-30 )

* Let us not forget: It is God that raises up a ministry and if necessary, will bring down a ministry.

2. To the Church

ACTS 11:1-18 Vs.4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them..

ACTS 21:18-19 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
Vs.19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

* Being answerable to others, provides the checks and balances that we all need.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three. and let the other judge.

GALATIANS 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

* It doesn’t matter who a person is, because of the flesh, a person can miss it. The scriptures say in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Lone rangers can get into trouble without checks and balances.

_____________________

Five Fold Ministry

Apostles - Prophets - Evangelists - Pastors - Teachers

Concerning the Five-Fold Ministry

EPHESIANS 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Vs.12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Vs.13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

1 CORINTHIANS 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.

God Gave and God Sets

* These ministry offices and gifts are given and set in the church by the Lord.

Question: Are they still for today?

Answer: Do people still need a miracle? a healing? helps? etc.

Question: Are there still Apostles. Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers today?

Answer: In the above scripture, why were they given?

1. For the perfecting of the saints.
2. For the work of the ministry.
3. For the edifying of the body of Christ. ( church )

Question: For how long were they given?

Answer: 1. Until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the
Son of God.
2. Unto a perfect man, unto the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Has the church come into unity yet?

Is the church perfected yet?

Is the church presenting the fullness of Christ?

Does the church still need edifying?

* Anyone that is familiar with the church must realize that these gifts and callings are
still needed today.

Each office of the five fold ministry; Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher, carries its own distinct anointing and has its own individual work. For these offices to work together, and accomplish the building up of the body of Christ; they must recognize their differences and be yielded and submitted to one another. Each of these offices are directly responsible to the Lord Jesus Christ and are directed by the Holy Spirit, to the work of service.

Directed by the Holy Ghost

ACTS 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

ACTS 8:26-40 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
Vs.29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

ACTS 10:19-20 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
Vs.20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

ACTS 16:6-10 Vs.6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.

Each Must Recognize its Limitations

ACTS 8:14-17 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
Vs.15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
Vs.16 ( For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Vs.17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Question: Why didn’t Philip pray and lay his hands on them, that they might get the Holy Ghost?

1 CORINTHIANS 12:29-30 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
Vs.30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

* No one person has it all, gifts, callings, etc. We must recognize our individual gifts and that of others. We need each other and should be willing to yield.

Apostles

1 CORINTHIANS 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first Apostles...

EPHESIANS 4:11 and He Gave some, Apostles...

The word Apostle means one sent forth, a sent one. Missionaries are sent.

ACTS 13:2-3 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Vs.3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

An Apostle is one who establishes churches, a true Apostle will have the other ministry offices residing in his call, such as Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, And Teacher. These different ministry gifts are needed in establishing churches.


Signs of an Apostle

2 CORINTHIANS 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

A. Sufferings

2 Corinthians 11:23-29 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths
oft.
Vs.24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
Vs.25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
Vs.26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the
wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
Vs.27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Vs.28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
Vs 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

B. Last of All

1 Corinthians 4:9-13 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
10. We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised.
11. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place;
12. And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
13. Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the off scouring of all things unto this day.

Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Luke 12:48...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required..

C. Holy Ghost Power

1 Corinthians 2:4-5 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of power:
Vs.5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Acts 19:11-12 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
Vs.12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

Romans15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

D. Preach in far away Places

Roman 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:

* No one can be an Apostle, in the sense of the original twelve, but God does call others to this ministry office.

Acts14:14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,

* Recognized or not, Apostles are out there, giving their lives in service to their Lord.

Prophets

1 CORINTHIANS 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first Apostles, secondarily Prophets..

EPHESIANS 4:11 And He gave some Apostles and some Prophets..

* A Prophet is one who utters a communication, in speaking the mind of God. the Old Testament Prophet was also called a seer and a watchman.

Old Testament Prophets

A Seer

2 Kings 6:8-17 Vs.12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.

A Watchman

Ezekiel 3:16-21 Vs.17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

* God revealed things to prophets by dreams, visions and speaks to them audibly.

New Testament Prophets

1 Corinthians 12:28 ..And God hath set some in the church....prophets

Ephesians 4:11 ..And he gave some...prophets

* The scriptures makes it very plain that God has set in the church; Prophets, to believe otherwise is to ignore the word of God.

Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers;

Acts 11:27-28 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
Vs.28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth
throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Acts 21:4,10-11 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus...

Prophets are Persecuted

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem. Jerusalem, which killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent to thee..

2 Chronicles 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and misused his prophets, until there was no remedy.

1 Chronicles 16:22 Warning! Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

Prophets are not Honored

Matthew 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

Luke 4:24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.

* Certain gifts of the Holy Spirit seem to manifest more frequently in a prophets ministry, then others, such as:

Word of Knowledge
Word of Wisdom
Prophecy

* Prophets are sometimes sent to leaders, such as in the case of Apostle Paul
(
Act_21:4, Act_21:10-11 )

* Notice that Agabus only spoke, what the Holy Spirit gave him to speak.

Evangelists

Ephesians 4:11 And He gave some...Evangelist

Evangelist are soul winners, that is the mark of their calling. Their main message is the gospel message of Jesus Christ. The office of an Evangelist, has an anointing that draws people.


Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

* The only example we have of an Evangelist at work, is Philip.

Acts 8:5,12 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
Vs.12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

* The people believed and then were baptized. Water baptism, is after a person accepts Christ, and never before.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel...

Acts 8:35-38 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Vs.36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
Vs.37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Vs.38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Pastors

EPHESIANS 4:11 And He gave some...Pastors

1 CORINTHIANS 12:28 And God hath set in the church...Governments

The word Pastor isn’t Mention here, but Pastors are part of the government of any church. A Pastor would be an elder, with other elders assisting him in watching over God’s flock.

Elders are set in the church by the Holy Spirit and may occupy various offices. The Pastor with the elders, form the spiritual government of a church. The word government in the Greek means; to steer, directorship. This type of government provides checks and balances, for the leaders of the church.

Pastors are to-

A. Feed God’s People

1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

John 21:15-17....Feed my lambs, Jesus saith unto him, feed my sheep

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

B. Feed Them What?

1 Peter 5:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

* Young Christians need the milk of God’s word ( foundational, basic teachings and principals of Christianity ).

Hebrews 5:11-6:2 ...But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age...

* Older Christians, those that have spiritually matured, need more than milk, ( basics )

* Christians must be rooted and grounded in solid Christian doctrine, or they will be unsettled in their Christian walk.

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;


Pastors are not to:

A. Lord Over

1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

* Pastors are not the head of the five fold ministry offices and are called to serve, not be served.

B. Serve Because of Greed

1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Qualifications of Pastors

1 Timothy 3:2-7 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
Vs.3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
Vs.4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all
gravity;
Vs.5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Vs.6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Vs.7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (
Tit_1:7-11 )

Marks of Good Pastors:

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Teachers

Ephesians 4:11 And He gave some...Teachers...

1 Corinthians 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.

The person who stands in the office of a teacher, will be able to explain spiritual truth in such a way that it is easily understood. It is not learned by human effort, but is by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.


* The teaching office, is an office. There is no such thing as a preachers office.

Ephesians 4:11 and He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Vs.12 for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

* The office of the teacher is needed in the church, to root and ground people, in the word of God.

Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers...

A person can have natural ability or inclination to teach, but that does not qualify them to stand in the office of a teacher. The Holy Spirit gave and sets in the church, and anoints the one that He chooses. The anointing is the ability of God, working
through mortal man.

Mark 4:2 And He ( Jesus ) taught them many things by parables....

* Throughout the gospels, we find the Lord standing in the teaching office; conveying spiritual truth, by using simple, ordinary, every day things.

* Jesus is our example of the teaching office in operation.

_____________________

Helps


1 Corinthians 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.

The word helps, according to Strongs Concordance means to succor, participate, to help. An illustration would be; someone assisting in lifting a heavy object. People called to the area of helps are greatly needed, to fulfill the vision of the church.

Exodus 17:11-12 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
Vs.12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

1. Deacons

* The first deacons were ordained by the Apostles, to take care of the widows, in distributing food to them.

Acts 6:1-6 Vs.6 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.

* In appointing Deacons, the Apostles were free to study and take care of the spiritual needs of the church. The word deacon means servant and they were to take care of the temporal affairs of the church.

Qualifications of Deacons

1 Timothy 3:8-12 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
Vs.9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
Vs.10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
Vs.11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
Vs.12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Memory Verse:

1 Timothy 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man.....

* People should not be appointed to any thing to quickly, let them be proven first.

2. Music Ministry

2 Kings 3:15-16 But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him.
Vs.16 And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches.

1 Samuel 16:23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Anointed music plays a vital role in ministry. In the first scripture the Prophet needed to hear from God, when the minstrel played, the Holy Spirit moved upon the prophet and he spoke the word of the Lord.

* In the second scripture, the evil spirit departed, when David played unto the Lord.

* The scriptures say that God inhabits the praises of his people. Where God is, the devil has to leave!

2 Chronicles 20:21-22 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.
Vs.22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

Anointed music in church services, brings people into praise and worship, and that is an open door for God to move. Praising and worshipping God, prepares peoples hearts to receive from God and his word.

Music that doesn’t bring people into praise and worship, is simply entertainment. A person can have a beautiful singing voice but without the anointing, they are not qualified to lead the worship service. God definitely calls people to this area of ministry.

Churches many times have to make do with the people that they have, until God brings in the people with specific calls. If a person helping doesn’t have an anointing, they must be willing to yield to someone that does.

3. Body Ministry

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 unto the edifying of itself in love.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
Vs.13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Vs.14 For the body is not one member, but many.
Vs.15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
Vs.16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
Vs.17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
Vs.18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
Vs.19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
Vs.20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
Vs.21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
Vs.22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
Vs.23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
Vs.24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked:
Vs.25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
Vs.26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Vs.27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Every person in a church is important and is needed. Paul compares it to a human body ( above scripture ) each is just as important as the other, and each, needs the other.

Every person has something to offer and the needs are numerous. A few examples: youth, elderly, singles, married, the hungry, those that need clothing, people incarcerated etc.

In Christ's service

E.L. Davis

_______________________________