THE LIVING WORD CENTER, INC.
By Rev. Jay Werman
In-depth teaching of the ministries taught in the Scriptures.
The first thing we need to do is to extract the meaning of the word “ministry” according to Scriptural context.
Mat 20:26 “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister”.
The Greek word used for minister is “diakonos”, which means has the following definitions:
- One who executes the commands of another, especially of a master, a servant, attendant, minister
- The servant of a king. Mt 22:13
- Servants of feasts. John 2:5-9
- A deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has
charge of and distributes the money collected for their use as it is described in Acts 6:5-6
- It is used of “preachers of the gospel”. 1 Cor 3:5; 2 Cor 3:6; 6:4; 11:23.
- “diakonos” is used in 2 Cor 11:15 in reference to “the ministers of satan”, which purpose is to forged,
deceive and to fake the true work of ministers of God.
Nowadays the concept of a “Minister” has been corrupted and no longer is used to “serve others” as it is meant
by Jesus in Mat 20:24-28. Any person called by God to do any specific work is with the purpose of “serving,”
whether ministering to God or to others.
The definition of “ministry” will be subject to the context in which it is used and by the calling that is upon
such ministry. Let’s explain first why Jesus brought up the concept of “minister” among the disciples and then
we can comprehend the usage of the word “minister” as used by Jesus according to Mat 20:24-28.
In Mat 20:20 “Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring
a certain thing of him”. The name of the mother of these 2 disciples is “Salome”. Compare Mat 27:56 with Mk 15:40.
Mat 20:21 “And he (Jesus) said unto her (Salome), What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my
two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom”. What she is asking is that
her 2 sons to be seated in the highest position in the Messiah’s millennial reign. Compare with Mk 10:35-37.
The Greek word used for “Kingdom” is “basileia”, which means “Having the right or authority to rule over a
Mat 20:22 “But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall
drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, we are able”. Jesus
taught complete against seeking to be the greatest, they should have known this before they asked. Compare
Mat 18:1-10; 20:16. Observe their answer “They say unto him, we are able”. Meaning they were willing to go
through anything for “honor and position”, as many still do today. Look at the attitude of Daniel when the
king offered gifts to him if Daniel was able to interpret the writing on the wall. Dan 5:17.
Mat 20:23 “And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I
am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them
for whom it is prepared of my Father.” This passage speaks about of some prerogatives that The Father have
and The Son doesn’t. Compare with Mk 13:32; John 8:28; Acts 1:7. Obviously, this must be understood under
the redemption plan of God to redeem humanity.
This particular request from Salome and her sons provoked Jesus to explain what is the right concept of being
the greatest in the kingdom of God. Anyone who calls himself “minister” and doesn’t have the attitude of
being a Servant, such person hasn’t comprehended the purpose of his calling. We need to find out what is
the real concept of being a “Minister of God” and follow it. There’s a lot of polluted and corrupted ministers,
whose purpose is to be served by others and being placed in the highest position. Such people have already
received their own reward. If we don’t use “spiritual discernment” in our lives and ministry, we will end up
on the same path them. Spiritual discernment will help you to distinguish what is the motivation that moves
others to do what they do. 1 John 4:1.
Now, notice what happens when the other 10 disciples find out about the request of Salome and her 2 sons.
Mat 20:24 “And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren”. The
carnal reactions of the disciples are very noticeable. Satan took advantage of this situation to divide the disciples.
But Jesus right away moved to correct the issue and established the right concept of what really means to be
Mat 20:25 “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion
over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.”
- “The princes of the Gentiles”. Nations whose rulings are not aligned with God’s purpose. Pagan nations
which purpose to enslave others for their own gain.
- “Exercise dominion over them”. Which means “to hold others in subjection”. The term literally means
“To subjugate others by terrorizing and oppressing”. They are called Tyrant and oppressors. Just like the
Egyptians treated the nation of Israel when they were captives. Gen 15:12-14; Ex 1:7-14; Acts 7:18-19.
God will be the Supreme ruler of planet earth again, once all the enemies of God are defeated. 1 Cor 15:25
“For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet”.
Mat 20:26 “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.”
The idea expressed by Jesus is the opposite of what the pagans do. The principle here is that we must serve
others to be rewarded by God and not the other way around. If this principle is not the basis of a ministry,
then we are instead working under a pagan principle, as many still do today. Jesus even expanded this principle
in the next passage, which says;
Mat 20:27 “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” The Greek word used for
“chief ” is “protos”, which means “First in time or place, first in rank and Principal or Honor”.
Mat 20:28 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a
ransom for many.” This is the perfect example of having the right motivation to serve others. Until this principle
is fully comprehended, we won’t achieve as church the purpose of our calling and ministry.
What is the definition of a calling? Let’s see what the Scriptures say:
Heb 3:1 “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest
of our profession, Christ Jesus”.
The Greek word used for “partakers” is “metochos”, which means “sharing in, partaking or a partner (in a work, office, dignity)”. It is used in the same sense Heb 3:1; 14; 6:4; 12:8. Every born again Christian has a heavenly calling, the earthy Israel had an earthly calling and both are in a different covenant and ethnic group. 1 Cor 10:32. The heavenly calling means that there will be no restriction when ruling under God’s government. In fact, the expression “heavenly calling” Heb 3:1, implied “an invitation to embrace a heavenly calling”. That applied to everyone who had been born again and it is part of the body of Christ. Also, Heb 3:1 made a reference to:
- “Jesus heavenly calling” which made him better than Moses. Heb 3:1-6; Dt 18:15-19; John 1:17.
- Mentioned Jesus as “The Apostle” and a “High Priest”. Heb 3:1
- Php 3:12 “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus”. “ Follow after” from the Greek means “to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away”, from the Greek word “dioko”. It is related to a “full commandment to follow after; someone”.
- Php 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before”. 3 things are extracted from the text itself:
“This one thing I do”. V 13. Have a clear objective mind set.
“Forgetting those things which are behind”. V 13. “Forgetting” meaning, “no longer caring for it” why? New creature in Christ. 2 Cor 5:17
“No condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.” Rom 8:1.
- Php 3:14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. “I press” comes from the Greek word “dioko” as “I follow” in V 12 and it has the same meaning.“Toward” means “through out” or “according to” from the word “kata”. “ The Mark” comes from the Greek word “skopos” which means “the distant mark looked at, the goal or end one has in view.” Used only in this passage. The prize” comes from the Greek word “brabeion” meaning “the award to the victor in the games, a prize.” It is used in the same sense in 2 Cor 9:24.
Rom 11:29 “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance”.
The application of this passage can be used as follow:
– As relates to the gifts and calling of Israel as a nation, in which God will fulfill all his promises. Jos 21:45; 1 Chr 16:15; Jer 31:35-36; Ezek 36:22-23; Hosea 5:16; 6:1-2; Mat 24:35; Rom 4:21; 2 Tim 2:13; Heb 6:13-18 and James 1:17 says “The Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. God does not change!
– As relates to any person that has received a “gift or calling” from God, to do a specific work. If such person failed to follow that calling but repents and comes back to God with a sincere heart, God will restore him to the early stage. The Greek expression “without repentance” basically means “not repentant of or un-regretted”, which implies that “God doesn’t change his mind as if He made a error”.
Eph 4:4 “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling”
It refers to “Unity in our calling” as it is expressed in the context of the passage.
“Ministerial gifts”. Definitions and functions of each one of them given to the church.
We will explain only the ministries that are based in the Scriptures and not any man made positions, which will produce nothing but losses, to be expanded upon further on this study.
Eph 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”.
Here we have the 5 major ministries given to the church, which are aligned with the calling. We will define these 5 ministries and later the rest of them.
- The Apostle: From the Greek “apostolos”, which means “a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders”. Under the meaning of Scriptural text an apostle is “one that had been sent forth with a special abilities and powers to act and represent other”. Another complementary definition is “That one that has been sent is completely backed up and supported by the one who had sent him”. It basically means that the apostle counts with God support in every step of his mission and calling. The word “apostle” is used 81 times in the Scriptures. Observe what is it stated in Luke 6:13:
“And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles”.
Compare with Mat 10:2, Mar 6:30, Luk 6:13; 9:10; 11:49; 17:5; 22:14; 24:10; Act 1:2, 26; 2:37, 43; 4:33, 36; 5:12, 18, 29, 34, 40; 6:6; 8:1, 14; 9:27; 11:1; 14:14; 15:2, 4, 6, 22-23; 16:4; Rom. 16:7; 1Co 4:9; 9:5; 12:28-29; 15:7, 9; 2Co 11:5,13; 12:11; Gal 1:17; Eph 2:19-20; 3:5; 4:11; 1Th 2:6; 2Pe 3:2; Jud 1:17; Rev 2:2; 18:20; 21:14.
“The high calling of God” implies the type of calling we have received as born again Christians. It is related to all Christians and not just a few people, as some teach today. The Greek word used for “calling” is “klesis” which means “of the divine invitation to embrace salvation of God” and it is used in Rom 11:29; 1 Cor 1:26; 1 Cor 7:20; Eph 1:18; 4:4; Php 3:14; 2 Th 1:11; 2 Tim 1:9; Heb 3:1; 2 Pet 1:10. and Eph. It is used as “vocation”.
– Responsibilities, roles and abilities of The Apostle:
Compare Mat. 10:10; 28:19-20; Mk. 3:14-15; 6:7-13; 16:15-20; Lk. 9:1-5; 24:47-53; Jn. 20:22-23; 21:15-19; Acts 1:4-8.
The apostle has the ability to perform in all 4 ministries mentioned in Eph 4:11. This in ONE OF THE SIGNS that prove that a person has an “apostle ministry”, because IT IS NOT A TITLE. That’s why we need to TEST THEM according to:
Rev 2:2 “…and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars”.
Many falsely used a title of “apostle” in the early church and many still do today but they were tested by using “Spiritual discernment”. 1 Cor 12:10, 1 Jn 4:1. Jesus said the following absolute truth:
Mat 7:16 “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”.
The principle applies to the ministerial gifts, which is “each tree will produce according to his kind” and Gen 1:11 expressed the same idea.
24 Apostles mentioned in the New Testament:
- Jesus Christ. Heb 3:1
- Simon Peter. Mat 10:2
- Andrew, the brother of Peter. Mat 10:2.
- John. Mat 10:2
- James. Mat 10:2.
- John and James are called “the sons of Zebedee”.
- Thomas. Mat 10:3
- Philip. Mat 10:3
- Bartholomew. Mat 10:3. Philip and Bartholomew were brothers.
- James. Lk 6:16
- Judas. Lk 6:16. James and Judas were “the sons of Alphaeus”.
- Matthew. Mk 2:14; Lk 6:15
- Simon Zelotes. Lk 6:15
- Judas Iscariots. Mat 10:4
- Barnabas. Acts 13:1-3; 14:4, 14; Gal 2:9; 1 Cor 9:5-6
- Andronicus. Rom 16:7
- Matthais. Acts 1:16
- Junia. Rom 16:7
- James. Gal 1:19; 2:9; Jas 1:1Timothy. 1 Th 1:1; 2:6
- Apollos. 1 Cor 4:6-9
- Silas. 1 Th 1:1; 2:6
- Titus. 2 Cor 8:23
- Paul. Gal 1:1; 2:8
- Epaphoditus. Php 2:25
– Evidence that confirm that someone is called to the apostle ministry:
Operates in all the ministries mentioned in Eph 4:11, which basically means that such person moves in the following ministerial areas:
- Preacher Ministry. Operates as a Ministry of evangelism by bringing people into Christ. Mat 11:1
- Teacher Ministry. Operates as a Ministry of teaching by forming people in Christ. Acts 5:42
- Prophet Ministry. Operates as a Ministry of the Prophet by acting and moving in the gifts given to that specific ministry. All the gifts of Revelations, which are the gifts that use to “reveal an event that is connect with past, present or the future”. These gifts will be defined and explained in detail when we study “The gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Body of Christ”. The apostle will “rise and teach” prophets by guiding, forming and instructing them in the use of these gifts.
- Pastoral Ministry. Operates as a Ministry of a Pastor by forming in different areas those that are called by God to execute this particular ministry.
Overall, The apostle has these abilities given by God to develop in a healthy way the Body of Christ.
Operates in ALL the ministerial gifts, All the gifts of the Holy Spirits as it is expressed in 1 Cor 12:8-10 and in the 7 ministries of the Holy Spirit given to the church. Isa 11:2. Nowadays this ministry had become a “fruitless” a title and position.
As we keep defining and explaining the others ministries, the responsibilities and commission of the ministry of the apostle are expanded with more details.
- The Prophet: From the Greek word “prophētēs” which means “one who, moved by the Spirit of God and it’s a channel and instrument.” Who solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially concerning future events and in particular such as relate to the purpose of God. In the Scriptures there are 2 types of Prophets:
- Prophets that spoke God’s message: These prophets appeared in the Scriptures as “vessels of God” with a specific message. Prophets like Samuel Acts 21:10; Nathan 2 Sam 7:2; 12:25, Abraham is called a “prophet” Gen 20:7. Elijah and Elisha were in charge of “school of the prophets” mentioned in 1 Sam 10:5, 10-12; 19:20-24; 1 Kings 12:29; 13:1-32; 20:35; 2 Kings 2:2-15; 4:1, 38; 5:22; 6:1-7; 9:1. Judges 6:8-10; 1 Sam 22:5. John the Baptist Mat 11:1-13; 14:4; 21:26; Mk 11:32; Lk 20:6. Jesus is mentioned as “prophet” Mat. 21:11, 46; Lk 7:16; 24:19; Jn. 4:19; 7:40; 9:17; Agabus Acts 21:10, among others. “The inspiration gifts” through which God says something to the church. 1 Cor 12:10. We will define and explain each one of these gifts when we study the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- Prophets that wrote God’s message: Prophets that were inspired by God to write a divine prophetic message that will reveal God’s purpose for man. Prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Samuel, Ezekiel, Daniel, David’s writings like Psalms and he is called a prophet Acts 2:30, Moses was called prophet. Dt 34:10. God inspired the Scriptures. 2 Tim 3:16, which basically means that the writers of the scriptures had a special influence upon them at the moment when we were writing the divine message.
Responsibilities, roles and abilities of The Prophet:
One thing we need to understand is that the role of the prophets in the Old Testament is different than the one in the New Testament. So, the focus of this section will apply to only to the prophet ministry
that is given to the body of Christ in Eph. 4:11. Why? Because of the extensive material of the subject.
The main role of the ministry of the prophet is to be a communicator of God message, which involve the use of the following gifts:
1 Cor 12:10 “To another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues”.
Anyone who claims to be a prophet and doesn’t have the manifestation of the gifts is an impostor or false prophet. The following list of characteristics that will will help you to identify false prophets:
- a. By the interior spiritual state: Mat 7:15-20
- b. By demonic power or influence: Mat 7:22; 24:24; Acts 8:9-13; 13:6-13; 16:16-24; 2 Th 2:8-12; Rev 13:1-18; 16:13-16; 19:20.
- c. By the type of fruit produced for their doctrinal teaching: Mat 7:15-20; 12:33-37; 15:1-9; 1 Tim 4:1-6; 6:3-5; 2 Tim 3:1-8; 4:1-4; 2 Pet. 2.
- d. By the outer behavior. Mat 5:20; 6:1-24; 7:15; 23:1-33; 2 Tim 3:5. Jesus warned us about this type of false prophets that will rise in the latter days:
Mat 24:11 “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many”.
Mat 24:24 “For there shall arise false Christ, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect”. Compare with Micah 3:5
The lord rebuked the church of Pergamos for they allowed the influences of the doctrine of the Balaam the prophet, which put obstacles before Israel and to commit fornication. Rev 2:14; Num. 22, which can be compared with 2 Pet 2:15; Jud 1:11. This tells us that we have to search the Scriptures and compare any doctrine we hear or read if such is consistent with what God had said in His own word. Jn 5:39.
The prophet ministry has the responsibility to give God’s message with transparency and without pollution or corruption that the message might absorb while been given by the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul spent one chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians to explain how the prophecy must be taken from The Holy Spirit and given to the church. 1 Cor 14.
– Evidence that confirm that someone is called to the prophet ministry:
» Operates in all “the inspiration and revelation gifts” mentioned in 1 Cor 12:8-10, which basically means that such person moves in the followings ministerial areas:
- Operate in “the inspiration gifts”, which are as follow: Prophecy, different kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues. 1 Cor 12:10. Through these gifts God says something. 1 Cor 14:22
“Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe”.
- Operate in “the revelation gifts”, which are as follow: Word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and discerning spirits. 1 Cor 12:8-10. Through these gifts God reveals something Basic elements that follows any prophet messages, which will determent if such message comes from The Holy Spirit.
1 Cor 14:3 “But he (the prophet) that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort”.
The Holy Spirit does not inspire any prophecy out this context.
No man, nor organization, nor university can give a prophet ministry. The scriptures say about it that ONLY Jesus gives ministry.
Eph 4:11 “And he (Jesus) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”.
Any person that had received a position or title from man it is totally useless. 1 Cor 3:10-15
To be continue…