FIVE-FOLD MINISTRIES: SOME CLARIFICATIONS

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers." — Paul (Ephesians 4:11). That's where the term the "Five-Fold Ministries" comes from; however, Jesus specifically said, But be not ye called Rabbi [teacher]: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. — Matthew 23:8. Therefore, we are not to be called "teacher." It is the same as when Jesus says to call no man your father. It means that when someone asks you who is your father, you will acknowledge and credit God. It doesn't mean that you are not allowed to answer them in a qualified sense concerning your fleshly or worldly (in the commonly understood sense, biological sense) father.

There are those who will say that Paul was referring only to those who don't teach the "law" as Paul was referring to the ritualistic law of Moses. I don't agree regardless. What Jesus intends is that we take our directions directly from the source who is God. Even Jesus wants things to end up such that he is no longer an intermediary. This does not mean that Jesus is ever cut out or cut off in the relationship but rather that all become one. It's real love.

Does this mean that Apostles don't teach? No, it doesn't mean that. It means credit is due God. Jesus gives all credit to God and properly so. He says he goes to the Father because the Father is greater than he, Jesus. He also says that he, Jesus, is the master of his disciples. At the same time, he says the disciples shall be one with him and with each as God and Jesus are one. Now, to be a true Christian is to reconcile all of that, finding no irrationality or illogic in any of it and being able to explain it — not that all will immediately accept.

Tom Usher

About Tom Usher

Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.