“Five-fold Ministry” or Dead Kings?

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“Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” (1Co 3:21-23 KJ2000)

As we read chapter three and four of Ephesians we see a reoccurring theme: “each, every, all, etc.” and they all refer to the functioning of Christ in His body. But when we get to vs. 4:11 we read “some.” This is a tip-off… somebody cooked the Book! The word in the Greek for “some” here is “ho.” It is the definite article. Now try reading that verse this way, “And he gave THE, apostles; and THE, prophets; and THE, evangelists; and THE, pastors and teachers;”

 Here is another place the definite article “ho” is found, “In the beginning was THE Word, and THE Word was with God and THE Word was THE God.” You see, it is THE WORD who is THE Apostle, THE prophet, THE Evangelist, THE Pastor and THE Teacher. It is not about us, but rather it is ALL about Him. These enablings or graces are all HIM and as we “live and move and have our beings IN Him” and not in ourselves and we will find them working BY Him in each (ALL) of us. God is NOT a respecter of persons. It is time we start living IN Him outside of the box (read “steeple house”) mentality and find Christ as our total sufficiency and KNOW that we should seek to live in the fullness of Christ. The verse before Ephesians 4:11 says, “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things” (Eph 4:10 KJ2000 – emphasis added), not just “some.”

Notice this Eph 4:11 in the English Standard version. They seem to have got it, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,” (Eph 4:11 ESV). These five nouns can be translated either singular or plural and more often than not most of them were used in the singular. So, with this in mind it could and should read, “And He gave the Apostle, the Prophet, the Evangelist, the Pastor and Teacher…” Jesus is THE Apostle (See Heb. 3:1). He is THAT Prophet (See Acts 3:22-23). He is THE Evangelist (euaggelistēs), the one who brought good news (euaggelizō) from the Father to us all. He is THE Teacher (See Matt. 23:10). and He is THE Pastor, The Shepherd of our souls (See 1 Pet. 2:24-25). In short HE is our All in all. Christ is our sufficiency in all things (2 Cor. 3:5). We in our old adamic natures are quick to put a man where only Jesus belongs and would do well to read 1 Cor. ch. 3 again with this in mind.

Once He showed me the definite article in this Ephesians chapter four  passage it all became so clear. Christ is ALL in ALL, not just in some. He manifests different parts of that ALL that is Him at different times in each of us. Paul was not a lone spiritual freak who could say, “I can do all things through Christ who is my strength.” or “For me to live IS Christ and to die is gain.” This is our inheritance as we live IN Christ!

I just got back from a trip to Phoenix, AZ with George Davis. It was evident that God was sending us down there by the way the saints were moved on by Him to finance the whole trip, our lodging, food and everything and it all happened without us ever even suggesting it or asking for a dime from anyone. George Muler once said that when God conceives a work He also is its source of supply. Now that we are back and have seen the spiritual fruit of that “sending out,” “apostolos” (envoy or sent one) event, we know that it is Christ who was the Apostle in us for that brief season. Tomorrow, He might be another part of His ALL in us or He might have us do nothing but rest in Him and wait before Him.

Are we privileged? Are we entitled, now to call ourselves “apostles”? Are we to start beating the drum and enticing others to “invite us into their areas” and then obligate them to “give to the work”? NOT hardly. This is a false paradigm and NOT His kingdom in action. Claiming a particular ministry or title is limiting God in us at best and can quickly become idolatry in the worst form as we seek to take on a larger than life form before the saints of God. George is nothing, Michael is nothing… just mere men like you who yielded to His will for a moment in time. This walk is all about HIM, dear saints. “In Him we live and move and have our beings.”

Dead Kings or the Living Christ?

 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their harlotry, nor by the dead bodies of their kings on their high places. In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: therefore I have consumed them in my anger. Now let them put away their harlotry, and the dead bodies of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them forever. You son of man, show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the house… This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole area round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house. (Eze 43:7-12 KJ2000)

Israel had built tombs for each of its dead kings around the temple of God. Their thresholds were over against the threshold of the house of God. They had put a wall between Him and them by these abominations. Today it is not all that difference. A great man of faith will rise up and what do we do? We set out to build an institution or a denomination around them. Today we have followers of “dead kings” in the church. They became followers of Luther, Calvin, John Wesley, Meno Simons, Alexander Dowie, William Branham, Kennith Hagan, Oral Roberts, Gordon Lindsey and many others who were larger than life who’s light shown for a season and now they are dead. Most of these men did not set out in the beginning to have men follow them, but carnal followers always desire a king to rule over them (see 1 Samuel ch. 8) and thus another Christian sect is born.

Let not we who serve in the body of Christ build our temples over against the House of God and our door posts over against His door posts as we attempt to draw men into our soulish spheres of influence while we seduce them away from HIS house which you all are (See Hebrews 3:6). George and I are through with the houses of dead kings and committing spiritual necrophilia with their carcasses. We would see Jesus in ALL His saints not just some! Isn’t Ephesians 4:11 followed by, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 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” (Eph 4:12-13 KJV2000)? As long as we are followers of men this will never come to pass.

There was a time when God’s men detested the thought of taking what belongs to God alone unto themselves (see Acts 3:1-12, 14:11-15 and 20:29-31). Today we need more ministers who will rend their garment, expose their flesh and point all men away from themselves to Jesus and no other.   Remember, for many of us the last god to die is called, “MY MINISTRY.” “To HIM be the glory for ever and ever, Amen.”

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20 comments on ““Five-fold Ministry” or Dead Kings?

  1. Seeing that I am the first to respond Michael, you may have rattled a few people with this one. I sincerely hope they are taking the time to investigate the truths herein and allow the Spirit to direct them rightly. I appreciated our chat yesterday and the details you shared concerning this trip. It was as you say, orchestrated, directed and provided for by God Himself.
    I have much to say but I will leave it at this. I want to echo what you are saying to your readers along a specific line for their sakes.
    History is important, despite it being neither right nor wrong. The popular saying of, “Those who forget history are bound to repeat it” is factually true in both people, cultures, nations and even religious institutions. Just because something in history has been believed as fact or practiced for a thousand or thousands of years doesn’t make that particular practice or belief valid. It still needs facts to corroborate its case.
    Although I could be mistaken (Michael will correct me if needed) I don’t think he is attempting to convince us Jesus never called or calls people to be apostles. He did and still does. What we forget though is that being called as an apostle is being called to carry out the function of one being sent out. An apostle, prophet, shepherd or teacher are not spiritual gifts. The gift is Jesus working through an individual one or more of these particular functions. There are spiritual gifts endowed to believers such as teaching, evangelism and prophesy yes, but these are gifts given, not functions exercized. There is a difference. It is still Jesus who wills and works all of these things in each and every individual as He pleases.
    One need only look over history to discover the horrendous evils brought about by people claiming some authorative religious position or a particular spiritual title that affords them a rule over other men. If this were possible, that person would retain their authority despite how they live based upon something wrought about in the natural realm (titles and positions) a realm opposed to Jesus’ heavenly kingdom. Jesus gives neither, He only gives Himself. The measure of Himself is exactly the same in all Christians, though the usefulness of that measure is determined by first God’s will and intent and secondly by the measure men embrace the cross of Christ. Dying to live if you will.
    If Jesus’ intent is to sum up all things in Christ by shaking all that can be shaken (what is earthly and natural) then Michael’s observation about the walls men build to divide, men’s overt praise of dead kings and his attempts to resurrect a five fold hierarchy have no bearing upon our Christian faith and never have had a bearing. The only one’s deriving a derogatory benefit from these lies and practices are those who embrace them and pass them along as “necessary” and “truth.”
    Even if we fail to observe the enormous benefit to all saints worldwide in renouncing these falsehoods, Jesus continues the shaking anyway, taking from me and tearing from you everything not deriving from and brought to fruition by Him.
    I nominate this post of the year. The truths herein could only be eclisped by a wholehearted renunciation of everything but Jesus and Him Crucified. It’s up to you, it’s up to me which history will be repeated. Choose wisely.

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply, my brother. The cross is the answer to all that ails mankind… His cross for sin and the crosses He gives each of us to bear to deal with all that is in us that would exalt itself against Christ and HIS kingdom which comes without outward observation. The King of the New Jerusalem came into the old one, lowly, riding as a servant on a donkey, not as a worldly king riding in his own leer jet or BMW, claiming some ecclesiastical office. Those who are HIS servants will never seek the chief seats in their synagogues.

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    • Elders are manifest by their character and their maturity in the things of God. They do not flaunt them nor do thy wave a banner ‘Look at ME!!’ They are obscure servants that set an example. They support the poor, in fact their heart bleeds for the needy. They are not given to avarice nor do they desire filthy lucre.
      They are given to teaching and guiding not controlling and demanding. They seek not a pedestal or pulpit or podium. They do not take, they give, as all the body parts are taught to do, esteeming others greater than themselves. They do not wish for a personal following but they instruct others to follow Christ.
      They deplore recognition and applause. They abhor presents and gifts. They shudder at the thought of any allegiance to them personally. They tremble at the prospect of favoritism being lavished on them by the ‘body’. Double honor is theirs for teaching well and their commitment to study but they would prefer to forgo that acknowledgment.
      These are the marks of true servant-hood and eldership. These are the fruits of the truly qualified leader. They look not for the lime-light but seek the Lamb-light as their reward. Nothing on this dismal earth appeals to them. Nothing can tempt them or buy them. Slander is their food and reproach is their mainstay. Rejection by religionists is their meat and their daily diet. To be accepted by the glitter and pomp and success of modern Christendom is anathema to their spirit.
      Their joy is to be girded about with a simple apron and on their knees tending to the weary and the castaways, the unlovely, the forsaken, the unwashed, all those who are forgotten at the ‘church house’ door, nay but rather are disdained at the ‘church house’ door.
      They quake at the thought of being called Master, Pastor, Reverend or Apostle. They prefer to just be called brother, a tender to the needs of others.
      They know they have an everlasting bounty waiting in heaven, a reward they feel not worthy to receive, but still the only reward they desire is to hear from the lips of the only true Master, Pastor, Reverend ‘well done thou good and faithful servant’. Their daily rapture is to see the children of men set free from the curses this earth imparts to it’s captives.
      This is their very life. Others finding solace in the Saviour. Redemption in the Redeemer. To find their place and joy in Jesus.
      To be hid in Him and the stench of their own ways and inclinations and religious dreams burned away as the chaff they are.
      Are you looking for a leader? Look hard and long for it may take a while before you come upon him or her, who has discovered this secret path of service. In fact they may not even be where you would expect them for they are not welcome nor are they even given the time of day in most circles we call Christendom. They may not be comely. They may not have money, this latter being a prerequisite for acceptance in most ‘churches’ for ministry. They may not have anyone down here taking notice of their service, but heaven is watching with sheer delight this lonely worker. Hell is raging because of the same.
      The ‘church’ needs them but they know not of this character, this simplicity of servant-hood. Congregants may hear of these attributes preached on a weekly basis yet not take and handle them experientially. I guess words are cheap as the saying goes. Hear it taught but see it not. How deceived can we be? How far have we fallen. How cheap have we made the gospel and the followers thereof? Then they ship this fruit world wide to make others 2 fold the devils they are.
      I say to the hirelings ‘Let my people go!’ I say to the folks ‘Quit financing this farce that we have so diluted.’ I say further to the folks, ‘pray that God would raise up these true leaders that are after His heart.’ Few there will be that can fit this bill. Few there will be that will dare surrender to this point. God help us! devon and kathy

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  2. Mia says:

    Dear Michael
    I am so glad you have allowed our Lord to be an encourager to me through this article. I have been trying to explain this to others for a long time and I felt quite alone in voicing my concern about this matter. In the future I would like to refer to your article with your permission, of course. May our Pappa bless you both as you walk in His ways.
    Thank you
    Mia

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Yes, Mia, it is the Lord’s word not mine. Quote and post away. Feel free to link back to the blog or website so that others can read the vision that God has given us for the church (the ecclesia of Christ).

      Your brother and friend in Christ,

      Michael

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  3. Markus says:

    Dear Michael,

    I have read some of your posts here now and I see we’re one in our hearts desire to get rid of Babylon, seeing the true altar of the Lord being re-erected and the true worship established again.
    I would love to translate your post here into German and post it on my website (both in English and German). I’ll provide a link to your blog, too.
    Would love to hear from you :-D…

    Your brother

    Markus

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Markus,

      By all means. It all belongs to Him and as such, to His body. Post away. This includes the articles on our website as well. Thanks for linking them back to us. Feel free to write me at

      Your brother and servant,
      Michael

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      • Markus says:

        Have written you an e-mail, Michael. Did you get it?

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      • michaeldc110 says:

        Yes, Markus. I wrote a reply to you today and it should be in your IN-box. Thanks, it was very edifying, my brother.

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      • Eva-Marie says:

        Dear Michael.
        Just read this post and the response from Marcus. I have longed to communicate to others the great blessings my journey out of “churched” christianity has brought. He has set a table before me and he feeds me with his glorious presence in the midst of heart ache and loneliness. I have never felt such joy before even though I have tried to be a happy, clappy christian all my 50+ life. It basically took that long to make me walk out of the camp even though I had all the legitimate reasons to do so much earlier. I withdrew many times but came back for more manipulating, abuse and strange teachings that I had to basically shut down all critical thinking to be able to endure. I told my husband that this is it, no more church, without getting into any details. I guess he thinks I will get over it. He is still trying to find us a church for out family to go to. I don’t know how to share it with him, but I know I should and I do want to. It’s kind of bottling up. I am from Sweden but living in Australia. I can see a great need for these testimonies and teachings in Swedish as I know of many disillusioned swedish believers. Please pray for courage and wisdom to tell others about what the Lord has done.
        In him, always.
        Eva-Marie

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  4. Mike says:

    Love the part about the definite article in the beginning, wow ! After 27 years of walking with Him, 16 of which was in the false church, I have to say that Christ has been my Shepard (pastor), evangelist, prophet, Apostle and most of all my ONLY teacher. I have met many men who have usurped His titles and all of them were frauds. Now it’s forward with Him and no slick talking religious man will beguile me again. Great article.

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  5. Mickey Merrie says:

    You mean to tell me the Holy Spirit neutered in the “quotes of the dead preachers theology church organizations” isn’t neutered afterall?!?! Then why is it such a gelding spirit there? Or is it another spirit!?!? Hmmm…

    Christ in/through me the hope of glory!

    The word Christ means,
    The Only Anointed One. When viewed in light of your writings above, we quickly see the truth of the many false christs leading astray today

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Yes, brother, as we read the warnings of Christ, John and Paul, the church was already well on its way to apostasy by the end of the first century, sad to say. Men were already coming-out and rising-up from the fellowship of the Spirit among the brethren and taking control of the body of Christ. By the time when Constantine rose to power in 311AD as the self-appointed leader of the church in the Un-holy Roman Empire, the church was already well MAN-handled and the Spirit of Christ had been squeezed out as the Head of the church and had been replaced by Hierarchic bishops who were soon under the dominion of the Emperor himself. The clay who was once in the Potter’s hand to be fashioned into the image of the Son was soon being adhered to the iron of Rome in an unholy mixture that still is calling itself “the Church” (both Protestant and Catholic) to this day. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

      But when the enemy comes in like a flood God always raises up a standard. What is that standard? Many sons unto the glory of the Father who have gone out to Jesus “outside the camp” and who are willing to bear the reproaches of Christ which goes with being a pilgrim and a sojourner in this strange land.

      “But you are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church [assembly] of the firstborn, who are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel. SEE THAT YOU REFUSE NOT HIM THAT SPEAKS [not “that did speak”]. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, MUCH MORE SHALL WE NOT ESCAPE, IF WE TURN AWAY FROM HIM THAT SPEAKS FROM HEAVEN: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb 12:22-29 KJ2000 – emphasis added).

      Stand by world and all you who are in the church and churches, there is about to be a mighty shaking and sifting and all that will remain when He is done will be only those who are born of and mature in the Father as His sons [both male and female} who live only unto HIS glory and not their own.

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  6. Fatsapostle says:

    Haha. I read Eph 4 (the…not some)last week in the ESV and thought this doesn’t make sense they must have translated this wrong. Aha, now it makes sense! 🙂

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  7. Eva-Marie,

    Thanks for writing. I, like you, kept getting abused by overlords in that system and kept thinking, “Maybe the NEXT church will be different.” My wife got tired of watching me be rejected and abused by these false shepherds who lord over the people of God and she quit the system, first. Finally, one day in “church” I heard the Lord say, “Why do you keep seeking the Living among the dead?” Wow! That was a shocker. It was then that I knew that I had to go “outside the camp unto Him” and bare HIS reproach and it was there that I found that table He had set for me, even in the presence of my enemies like David said. Like you shared, it has been worth it all to be able to hear His voice without all that interference. You are in my prayers.

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  8. Joanna says:

    Oh! Ouch! bleeding! ouchy………………thank you Papa 🙂 whew…….snatched away again by a loving a faithful Father. A costly anointing……..to remain at the cross, but worth it all †

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  9. Carina says:

    Dear Michael:
    I attended a “five-fold ministry” church for 7 years (that after a 2-year spell at a seeker-sensitive, no complete Gospel preaching club of professing believers) and the abuses you and many others mention are particularly bad in these environments. My discernment kept telling me, This is not from God, but I was so young in the faith and confused that I kept thinking it was the accuser of the brethren. All I could hear was people insisting on their own authority. Reminds me of, Many will come in my name saying, I am the Anointed… In hindsight, it was so obvious!
    We were unchurched for a time, and then came back to that church, having our pastor split with his “apostle”. But it was too late for him, I’m afraid. He’s been fed so much of the poison that it’s become part of his way of reading the Bible.
    I kept studying my Bible and browsing different websites of teachers who are outside the camp, and having seen and experienced so much, I cannot but agree.
    We found an apparently much better church a few months ago, but I just can’t get involved. And I don’t know if I should.
    A couple of days ago, I was at a personal crisis, crying out to God to speak to me, and He told me to stop going to man to help me out in my spiritual needs. Needing counsel and prayer? Come to me! And He gave me lots of passages to confirm that He wants to be my shepherd and have a level of fellowship most people shun.
    In John 6 Jesus says, It wasn’t Moses who give you the real bread of heaven. He points to the sin of idolatry in Jews. He points to Himself as the bread from Heaven, the only one who can satisfy our need.
    I’ll keep praying about this situation and asking the Lord what to do. While He gives me an answer, I’ll seek Him and dive into His Word, trusting the promise that says I have the anointing and the anointing teaches me all things, and does not lie.

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    • Carina,

      Learning to find our sufficiency in Christ for all things is a hard lesson for most of us. We would rather have a human provide what we need… “Jesus with skin on” as the saying goes. Part of maturing IN Christ is finding Him as our All in all and being cut-off from the comforts of human fellowship and guidance can be part of that. As for human “shepherds” David had it figured out when he wrote, “The LORD is my Shepherd.” As for human councilors and church government Isaiah had it down when He wrote,

      For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
      (Isa 9:6-7 KJ2000)

      Keep seeking His face in all things you need and you will grow up into the image of the Son.

      Michael

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  10. As someone recently said to me, there are no denominations in heaven.

    Your friend,

    A. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Michael says:

    So true, Anna. And if we now dwell in heavenly places in Christ as Paul said, what are so many of us doing in denominational Christianity?

    Thank you for your friendship, dear sister.

    Liked by 2 people

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