The Ministry as Designed by God

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” Ephesians‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭

An in-depth explanation of each Ministerial Gift.

Chapter #1: Explanation of the Biblical Term Ministry

Chapter #2: Five Major Ministerial Gifts; which includes the definition of each ministerial gift, its ministerial nature, its ministerial character, the Scriptural evidence that confirms each of these ministerial gifts.

Chapter #3: The Purposes of the Ministerial Gifts; the purposes behind the assignment of each ministerial gift; the biblical structure in which God designed the Body of Christ to function. 

Chapter #4: The Biblical Outline of the Remaining Ministerial Gifts; the ministerial gifts of help, government; which are pillars supporting the biblical structure of local churches.  


Chapter 1

Explaining the Biblical Word ‘Ministry’

“But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister [servant].” Matthew 20:26

The ministerial assignment is one of the most important definitions that needs to be addressed throughout the life of every born-again Christian. Unfortunately, this is not happening in the lives of Christians around the world. The reason for this is that local churches are not teaching the Scriptures to believers, which nullifies the command given by Christ Himself in the next passage:

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go [as a command] ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20

The Greek word used for “teaching” in Matthew 28:19 is “mathēteuō,” which means “to make a disciple of, to train in the state of a disciple”. As I have said many times before, when a word has multiple meanings, we must rely on the subject matter and context of the text to apply the correct meaning. The implication of the Greek word “mathēteuō” in this passage specifically expresses the “formation of a disciple in the knowledge of God’s Word”. I need to clarify that such formation is to take place after one is born, not before. What is the reason for this? The answer is found in John 3:3: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The Greek word used for “see” in this passage is “eidō” which right here means: “to perceive, to discern, to understand”. No one is able to perceive, discern, or understand the kingdom of God unless that person is born again. Such an experience will removes the sinful nature which is inherited from Adam’s disobedience, which is expressed in Romans 5:12. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross and His resurrection gave every person the opportunity to change from this sinful nature to an upright standing before God. As it is stated in Romans 5:17-21; 2 Corinthians 5:17. If you change the spiritual nature of a person by presenting the gospel of Christ, subsequently such a person can be formed as a disciple, and the time spent doing so will have more abundant fruits. On the other hand, if you try to form a disciple who has no experience of being born again, the work will be more difficult than it should be. And this does not guarantee that this person will remain a disciple of Christ. Of course, the Word of God is so powerful that it can do the work in anyone’s heart. The point I’m trying to make is that we should preach the gospel of Christ to the ungodly, not doctrines; change their spiritual nature, and the word will fall into their born-again spirit, and it will produce results. Paul revealed the spiritual situation of those who are not born again in 1 Corinthians 2:14:

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

This being said, once a person has changed his or her spiritual nature, he or she can be instructed in the Scriptures. The church, for whatever reason, has failed to follow this divine command. And this has led to a condition in the churches where today we see many believers attending meetings as a matter of routine. There is no spiritual growth, no manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and no manifestation of the power of God. Unless we obey what the Word of God says, nothing will change. We must begin to form each believer in the Word of God so that they may become true disciples of Christ. This formation in the Scriptures will reveal to them what is God’s ministerial assignment for them. Every person who has been born again has received a divine calling to serve God, and sadly, most believers have no idea what that divine calling is. I don’t pretend to answer every question related to the divine assignment in this book, for it is a vast subject, but I will outline a clear definition of the ministerial gift. Do not be deceived by titles or positions that are given in certain churches to control you. God does not honor titles or positions, but rather obeys His divine purpose for you. It’s your number one priority, once you’re born again, to figure out what it is. Keep this in mind, no man can give you a divine assignment that comes from God alone. No man can give you a ministerial gift; only the Lord can give it to you. Look at what this passage says: Ephesians 4:11 “And he [Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”. The local church should affirm the ministerial assignment that you received from the Lord, that is, after you were born again. It’s the responsibility of the local church to teach you the Scriptures, and in doing so, God will reveal to you what kind of ministerial assignment you have been called to carry out. As I said at the beginning of this chapter, it is important that we study the biblical purpose in the life of every believer. It’s really dangerous not to know what God has called you to do, because it gives Satan an opportunity to deceive you into doing things that God has never called you to do. On this point, there is an existing pattern used by many churches, where after you have spent such an amount of time, the leadership of the local church will assign you to a position or title in that church, and you will stay in that position until they say otherwise. It is not because you hold a position in the church that you will be rewarded by God. It is not what you have done that will count on that day when you stand before the Lord, but what the Lord has done through you. Many have the false belief that they have to do a lot of work for the Lord, without even asking the Lord if such work is part of God’s purpose for their lives. Don’t get me wrong, we all need to work in spreading the gospel of Christ, but when it comes to ministerial assignments, we need to be sure that God has called us to do such ministerial work. Or it will be like Paul wrote in the following passages:

“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 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. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss [loss of rewards]: but he himself shall be saved [saved by grace and not by works; Ephesians 2:8-9]; yet so as by fire”. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

In the passages above, Paul expressed complete confidence in knowing his place in the body of Christ. This expressed knowledge and conviction was not achieved overnight, but rather over the years of his walk in the ministerial assignment. The lack of clarity in this area has caused many believers to walk in their ministerial assignment with doubt and uncertainty, which can affect their walk and ministerial work in the Lord. And this can be used by Satan to steal your spiritual rewards [Revelation 3:11]. I pray to the Lord that this book will answer the basic questions and remove any uncertainty regarding your ministerial assignment.

Chapter 2

Five Main Ministerial Gifts

“And he [Christ] gave [appointed] some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” Ephesians 4:11 

In this section, we will detail the biblical definition of each ministry gift mentioned in Scripture, including the spiritual gifts associated with each ministerial gift. The focus of this book is to break down what Scripture says about these gifts, and for you to relate to them according to the ministerial assignment that God has designed and placed within you. We will not spend time on anything that is not addressed in the Scriptures; if you have read any of our books, you can clearly see that each of them is loaded with passages that support such a subject. Many people tend to write books based on their worldly knowledge or intellectual subjects; we rely on the assistance of the Holy Spirit and only in the Scriptures [John 14:26; 1 John 2:20, 27].

Now, in the book of Ephesians 4:11, Scripture mentions five major ministerial gifts that are designed to form the body of Christ because they are situated in specific parts of the body. These five ministerial gifts are supported by four other ministerial gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 3:8-13. Therefore, we will explain each of them in this chapter. The body of Christ is to be edified by these ministerial gifts, which are supposed to work with the same purpose, in unity and harmony; unfortunately, this is not happening in the churches today. Each one has his own agenda, which in most cases is to control and profit for himself. No church can achieve the fullness of God’s purpose without the full operation of these ministerial gifts. Throughout this book, you will learn all about the ministry as God designed it. Once you have acquired this knowledge, you will have no excuse for failing to fulfill God’s plan for you. Nor can you blame others for your laziness or lack of commitment. On that day, when you stand before the Lord, He will ask you: What have you done with what I have given you? There is nothing we can say to justify ourselves. As we read in the following passages:

“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:12-13

There is a reason why this knowledge is being imparted to you now; God is warning you about the responsibilities that have been given to you after you received Jesus as your Savior [Ezekiel 3:17-21; Acts 20:27-28]. God will honor those who have carried out His plan while here on earth, but if you have neglected your responsibility to do God’s will in your life, you won’t be rewarded. Although you will be saved by the grace of God, as 1 Corinthians 3:15 says:

“If any man’s work shall be burned [that is, to consume completely, as in only ashes are left]., he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Salvation is based on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and it is given by God’s grace, as stated in Ephesians 2:8-9:

“For by [God’s] grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God [John 3:16]: not of works, lest any man should boast.”

But eternal responsibilities are based on your obedience to God’s purpose, so it is very important that you know what God has called you to do after you are saved. Because any work done by anyone outside of God’s purpose will not be counted at the judgment seat of Christ. It is not what you do for the Lord, but what the Lord does through you. How do I know God’s purpose for my life? Through spiritual formation, which is the result of the teaching of the unadulterated Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

Let us now explain each of the ministerial gifts mentioned in Scripture; however, I must remind you that the ministerial gift is confirmed by the manifestation of the spiritual gifts designed to work with that ministerial gift. Mistakenly, we tend to assume that someone has a ministerial gift based on titles or positions. Here you will learn what to consider or discern when someone claims to have a ministerial gift [1 John 4:1]. Having said that, let us begin the definition of each ministerial gift according to the order given in Scripture [1 Corinthians 12:28]. Ephesians 4:11 states the following:

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”

Christ distributes these five major ministerial gifts throughout the Body of Christ, also known as the Church [Ephesians 1:22-23], and each of these ministerial assignments has a specific function, which we will explain in the next chapter. I urge you to put aside any preconceived notions about the definition of ministerial gifts that may hinder the work of the Word of God. Let the Scriptures take root within you and produce spiritual growth [1 Thessalonians 2:13; James 1:21].

The Biblical Definition of the Office of Apostle:

The Greek word used for “Apostle” is “Apostolos” which means: “One who holds a special divine assignment”. The assignment is given to someone who has received such a ministerial gift; and who is helped by the works performed by the authority of the sender. Just because someone imitates or repeats the works of an apostle does not mean that he/she is an apostle [2 Corinthians 11:13-15]. What indicates that someone is indeed called to be an apostle is the divine assignment, which is confirmed by the evidence laid out in plain sight for others to see. Just as in the beginning, when the functions of the Body of Christ were first defined, many corrupt men took it upon themselves to impersonate the assignments given to the apostles [Acts 15:1; Galatians 2:4, 12-13]. Today, many have called themselves apostles, but that does not mean that they are; there are various ways to discern if someone has been called to a particular ministerial gift. For example, by knowledge of the Scriptures, as happened to the body of Christ in the Ephesian region. The book of Ephesians is so full of revelation [Ephesians 1:16-17], and so they used this wisdom to separate the false apostles who had infiltrated their midst. Notice what the Lord Himself says about this fact:     

“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried [put to the proof, or authentication, whether with good or malicious intent] them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found [Daniel 5:27] them liars [because of the lack of evidence].” Revelation 2:3

There are two key words at the conclusion of this passage, “tried” and “found,” which reveal what we are to do with anyone who claims to be called by the Lord, especially those who call themselves apostles. Another way to discern if someone has been called to a particular ministerial assignment is through “spiritual discernment,” as stated in the next passage:

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try [examine or inspect closely and thoroughly to discern whether a thing is authentic or not] the spirits [4 different kinds] whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

Again, we see the use of the word “tried” in reference to the spiritual realm that should be used to discern someone’s calling or assignment. Sometimes people are so intimidated by the titles and positions that some men use that they don’t dare question their ministerial gift. If you have the knowledge of the Word of God and then choose to remain in their manipulation, God will respect your decision, but when the time comes to be accountable to the Lord and answer for fulfilling God’s purpose for your life, you won’t have any excuses. When it comes to the apostle ministry, the Scriptures are very clear: The holder of the ministerial gift of the apostleship must have clear evidence of such a ministerial assignment. What kind of evidence? The full operation of the four other major ministerial gifts, as well as the full manifestation of the nine spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. The office of the apostle does not consist of opening local churches and forming an organization or council out of them. Many have this misconception of the apostolic office, and yet this misconception is adopted because of the lack of biblical growth. One of the purposes of the apostleship is the establishment of local churches, along with the formation of the other four major ministerial gifts. Since the office of apostle is the only one that has the full operation of all these ministerial gifts, he/she can raise up or forge these other ministries. There is a divine principle implied in the following passage that can be applied in this context.

  1. The Office of the Apostle and the Designation of Ministerial Gifts: Guided by his/her unique ministerial experience, the holder of the ministerial gift of the apostle knows very well that his/her ministerial assignment is to raise up the leadership that will take over the local church that he/she has established. There is no place in Scripture where it is declared that the ministerial gift of apostleship becomes a “pope” until he dies. In fact, the holder of the apostleship will remain in a place or region until he has raised up the leadership of the local church he was appointed to establish. The idea behind the office of apostle is to carry the ministerial assignment from region to region, establishing local congregations in those places where he will perform the same type of ministerial work. The apostle has been given the distinct ability to forge leaders from the ground up, which is inherent in the ministerial nature of this ministerial gift. Look at the examples Christ left with His disciples; Paul did the same with Barnabas, Silas, Titus, Timothy, and others. Now remember that Christ spent a small amount of time with His disciples compared to Paul and the people he formed. The ability to raise up ministerial gifts from within the same church that He established in that particular region is something extraordinary. No other ministerial gift is able to perform such a function as the holder of the apostle’s ministerial gift, and this is possible because God had designed this ministerial gift to fully perform every ministerial gift, as well as every spiritual gift. Another thing that enables the holder of this ministerial gift to raise ministerial gifts in such a way is the experience that he/she has accumulated through years of doing this ministerial work. Sometimes I see the ignorant among the believers who have called an apostle, someone who has just begun his ministerial assignment. In the biblical context, for someone to be called in the function of the ministerial gift of apostle, there have been years of fully exercising the ministerial gift of evangelist, prophet, pastor and teacher. This is well expressed in Acts 13:1-4. This raises the question: Is it possible for a single ministerial gift to establish a local church? There is no biblical record that can prevent any ministerial gift from establishing a local church. It would be ideal for the holder of the office of apostle to establish a local church because of the divine abilities given to such a ministerial gift; but unfortunately, this does not happen. The only problem that might arise is the limitation of a single ministerial gift to balance the spiritual growth of the believers, which should be achieved by the four ministerial gifts working in harmony [Ephesians 4:11-16]. In the absence of the apostle’s ministerial gift, the other four ministerial gifts are designed by God to accomplish such a divine assignment. But a single ministerial gift, such as a pastor, cannot provide every aspect necessary for the development of other ministerial gifts; he/she may succeed in increasing the number of members, but they are stuck in spiritual growth. This is because the functionality of a single ministerial gift is limited in its ministerial nature, and God designed each ministerial gift to work together. Another problem that can arise is that when a single ministerial gift establishes a local congregation, that person immediately assumes that he has been appointed to carry out the office of apostleship; that’s not how it works. And once the congregation is up and running, he controls everything and does not allow anyone else to accomplish anything; the only thing he puts forward is his personal agenda. I have seen this hundreds of times during the years of my ministry, where no one has the opportunity to grow or do any ministerial work. Why did the Lord allow this to happen? Well, the Lord had entrusted that responsibility to everyone who was born again. The decisions we make about these ministerial assignments are up to us, but we would all be accountable to the Lord Jesus. Where would we find a biblical reference to this? A limited reference to accountability could be found in these passages: Luke 19:11-27. While the true meaning of the parable given in these passages is the delay in the establishment of God’s literal kingdom on earth. Just as Israel was judged by God for the responsibilities entrusted to them, the body of Christ is no exception [Romans 11:17-24; Hebrews 4:1-11].
  2. The Office of Apostleship and the Assigned Oversight Function:
  3. Relocation to Another Region to Continue the Ministerial Assignment:

The Ministerial Nature of the Office of the Prophet: 

Through the development of his spiritual life, the nature of the prophet will become more apparent to this believer. The key factor for the holder of the office of prophet to discover all that is related to his or her ministerial gift is a solid study of the Scriptures. Why is this critical? Because every prophetic message must be consistent with the Scriptures. If the prophetic message given by the prophet conflicts with the biblical boundaries set forth in Scripture, then that message must be corrected or rejected. If the ministerial gift of the prophet cannot discern such biblical boundaries, then he will bring a prophetic message that is influenced by his own human nature, or demonic. By nature, the ministerial gift of the prophet always leans toward the gifts of oral expression, that is, prophecy, the divers kinds of tongues, and their interpretation. The ministerial gift of the prophet can bring edification to the local church, or it can bring confusion and division if the ministerial gift is misused. To avoid such scenarios, many congregations shut down anyone who exercises the ministerial gift of the prophet. Over the years, many have abused this ministerial gift by taking advantage of the ignorance of many in this area. Satan and his demons have introduced false prophets to try to discredit the ministerial gift so that many will not use this prophetic ministerial gift. Again, correct instruction will close the door to any kind of evil influence on anyone with this ministerial gift. Will this action prevent all abuse of this ministerial gift? No, but it will certainly minimize it. After all, every ministerial gift is carried out by someone who still has his or her own will, which resides in the soul, along with reason, intellect, mind, and emotions. Each of these areas must be processed through submission to the will of God. Can the ministerial gift of the prophet misuse the spiritual gifts given to him? Yes, because these are spiritual gifts that come with the ministerial gift and are operated by the person who received them. But that person will pay for misusing something that is meant to bring glory to God. The historical record has shown how many people have misused this ministerial gift to enrich themselves and manipulate others, but it has also recorded their divine punishment for doing so. But regardless of the inappropriate use of the ministerial gift by corrupt men, the ministerial gift is essential to the accomplishment of the purpose for which the Body of Christ was formed. The nature of the ministerial gift of the prophet will always move toward the purpose for which it was designed by God, which is to reveal future events related to God’s creation and His reign over it.

There were two types of prophets in the Old Testament:

  1. Prophets who spoke only the prophetic message. These are recorded in the biblical record as they were instructed to do under specific assignments. For example, the company of prophets in 1 Samuel 10:5-12; 19:20-24; 28:6; 1 Kings 13:11-29; 14:2; 18:4, 19-20, 22, 25, 40; 20:35-40; and other passages.
  1. Prophets who spoke and wrote prophetic messages. In the biblical record they are recorded with a broader scope. These prophets pursued specific objectives that were to be written down, especially their writings about the Messiah [Matthew 26:56]:

The Biblical Definition of the Office of Teacher: 

The Greek word for “teacher” in Ephesians 4:11 is “didaskalos” which has the meaning of “an instructor, a teacher, a doctor of the law, a master,” which is equivalent to the Hebrew term “rabbi”. Now, the biblical definition of the ministerial gift of teacher is one who has received a divine influence of the Holy Spirit designed by God specifically for that ministerial gift. It is the direct assistance of the Holy Spirit in the teaching of divine principles, from the basic principles of the gospel of Christ to the deepest wisdom of God as revealed in the Scriptures. There are no human abilities directly associated with this ministerial gift, but rather a divine assignment. The ministerial gift of the teacher is the ability to arrange the relevant passages in any doctrinal statement in such a way that the harmony, unity, and full context of each passage in relation to that doctrinal point are preserved. With the extraordinary help of the Holy Spirit, the ministerial gift of the teacher is able to structure the framework that is assigned to each of the ministerial gifts, as well as to the spiritual gifts. It is such an important ministerial gift that Satan raised up corrupt teachers from the very first stages in which the Body of Christ began to function. A very powerful weapon against demonic teaching is a believer who has been called to exercise this ministerial gift. Christ spent most of His earthly ministry teaching the Word of God [Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 21:23; Mark 6:6; 14:49; Luke 5:17] because He knew the importance of it. Even the Holy Spirit came to do the same thing:

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26

“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:10-13

The primary function of the ministerial gift of teacher, in conjunction with the diverse functions of the other ministerial gifts, is to be an assistant to the local church in the spiritual growth of its members. This biblical structure was explicitly stated by Paul in Ephesians 4:11-16; and it is the only biblical structure approved by God; for it was designed by God Himself. Every other structure that has been used to form a local church has come from an imitation of a pagan representation, such as the Catholic Church. Why have the local churches not used the biblical structure from the very beginning of their establishment? Read about how the Gospel of Christ came to America. It came through the European missionaries, but the missionaries brought not only the Gospel of Christ, but also the old church structure, because the Catholic Church in Europe had its corrupt structure deeply rooted in the Europeans. Since then, all religious organizations have either continued the old Catholic structure or invented their own structure. None of them had really helped to form the Body of Christ as God had designed it; today most congregations have done the same. As a result, the gospel has been prevented from achieving the divine design that God placed in the gospel. While corrupt people are building mega-churches in order to enrich themselves, lost souls are dying without having heard the gospel of Christ; it is a shame! Can we criticize the religious people of the pagan world for their deceptive teachings? No, not as long as the so-called “Christian leaders” maintain a lavish lifestyle. What is the point of having a building full of thousands of people if not one of them is being formed into the likeness of Christ, or destroying the works of Satan, or preaching the Gospel of Christ to those who need to hear it? Covid-19 comes along and shows us how ineffective we have made the gospel; the secular governments are passing promiscuous laws that are completely against God’s creation; and where are the born-again Christians? They are preaching how to get rich quick. I am a simple man, and when I think of these things, I am ashamed of what people are doing with the gospel. I cannot imagine God’s position in this matter.

These are just a few pages from the entire book, which is one of the most complete and accurate when it comes to biblically defining each ministerial gift. If you are interested in learning more about it, here is the link where you can order it. I’m absolutely convinced that your biblical perspective will be completely different after you’ve studied this doctrinal book. I pray that our God will enlighten your understanding as you come to know Him. Amen!