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Worship, What God Has established?
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A Comparison Chart between the Law of Moses, the Present day Church, and the Grace of God
God’s Two Covenants Explained
Can a Christian Ever Be Lost?
Remarriage, for the Christian, will God Sanction It?
Believe Not Every Spirit
The Eternal Word of God or Satan’s teaching and the works of his kingdom
Jerusalem or Bethel?
A Debate and Discussion between Evolution and Creation
The Grace of God or The license of Man?
Legalism In The House Of God
Are You a Disciple? And of What or Whom?
This World, a Life Without Justice
Fellowship Relationship with God, Temporal or Eternal?
The Will, Work, Word And Spirit Of God
Led by the Ministry or Led by the Spirit?
Should A Christian Major In Minors?
The Works Of Man Or The Work of God Through Jesus Christ
Is God For Us? Or Is God Against Us?
Spirit and Truth Worship is it Yours
Religion, What Is It? And Who Has It?
Spirit, Soul, Body
Christian Men, Producers Of Godly Seed Or Earthly Tares?
The Faith of Abraham and the Christian
Putting Feet To Faith
Will You Know and be Known by Friends and Family in Heaven?
Does God Hold The Christian Accountable To Keep The Saturday Sabbath
As The Shepherd Takes From The Mouth Of The Lion, Two Legs Or A Piece Of An Ear
Dependence or Independence?
Failure: Opportunity for the Hungry
The Divine Shepherd
Baptism by the Spirit
Are You A Christian, Or Just Religious?
Are You Cast Down?
Dead Men Can’t Sin
Unless you are Converted and become as a little Child
Ups And Downs Of A Spirit-Led Life
The Christian
A Brother’s Meeting
An Outline of the Book of Revelation
The Bible, the Work of Man or a Divine Revelation?
By Faith Alone
Two Trees



The Gifts of Ephesians 4:11, are They for Today?

The Gifts of Ephesians 4:11, are They for Today?

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists and some pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11).


  1. Apostles
  2. Prophets
  3. Evangelists
  4. Pastors
  5. Teachers


This pamphlet will examine the five gifts of God. As we will see, these gifts are in men, given by Christ to His Church. These gifts are shown to His Church in Ephesians 4:11. The importance of these gifts cannot be over emphasized to His people. The Church of Christ of this day has a great need to live under the grace, authority and power of these gifts. God has given these gifts to accomplish three purposes. They are:

  1. The perfection of the saints.
  2. The work of the ministry.
  3. The edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).

Christ being revealed to and in His saints, is the mind of God (1 Corinthians 2:2; Colossians 1:27).

As men exercise these gifts and the Lord’s people receive of these gifts, the Spirit brings forth fruit through these gifts. As we read through New Testament Scriptures it is evident that the twelve apostles, and the Apostle Paul had all five of these gifts functioning in the work of their ministry. Scripture reveals to us that there are other gifts (1 Corinthians 12; 14; Romans 12) given of the Holy Spirit to believers. They are not addressed in this booklet.

printed 11-11-03 revised 1-25-07

I. The Apostles

  1. The Twelve Apostles and Their Purpose
  2. Paul, The Apostle of Revelation
  3. Apostles Without Apostolic Authority
  4. False Apostles and Deception

1. The Twelve Apostles

The Greek word for Apostles is: Apostolos, the meaning is ‘messenger’ or ‘sent one.’

“And when it was day, He called His disciples, to Himself; and from them He chose twelve, whom He called apostles” (Luke 6:13).

Jesus chose twelve apostles to be the foundation of the Church. After the twelve apostles were received into their eternal reward in heaven, the authority they had was not transferable to others (Acts 1:23-26).

We learn from Scripture what the credentials were for being one of the twelve apostles. The qualifications are as follows:

  1. The office of apostleship was not appointed or chosen by man. Jesus personally chose the apostles when He walked on the earth (Luke 6:12-16). Jesus said, “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you” (Matthew 4:18.22; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 5:27-28; 6:12-16; John 15:16).
  2. To be one of the twelve apostles, one had to be an eyewitness to the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:22; 10:38-42; 1 Corinthians 9:1).
  3. Only twelve were to be apostles, with Matthias taking the place of Judas (John 6:70; Act 1:21.26; 1 Corinthians 15:5; Revelation 21:14).
  4. The foundation of the Church would be built on the twelve apostles (and prophets), Christ being the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20; Revelation 21:14).
  5. The authority for the kingdom of Christ on earth was in the apostles. For example, Peter was given the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:17-19). These keys opened the kingdom of Christ to the Jews, the Samaritans and the Gentiles (Acts 2:38-39; 8:14-17; 10:34-48). These three people-groups are representative of all the people-groups on the earth. Peter was representative of the authority of the twelve apostles to unlock the kingdom to those on the outside. Peter and John were sent by the other apostles to act in using the keys to open the kingdom (Acts 8:14-17). The Apostle John who was sent with Peter to Samaria, also used the keys given to Peter; “then laid they (Peter and John) their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit” (Verse 17). These keys were used by the apostles to open the kingdom of God to all people on the face of the earth.
  6. The apostles had the authority of Christ in their office (Luke 6:13; John 15:16; Romans 1:5; 1 Corinthians 4:21; 12:28).
  7. The apostles were given the revelation of the gospel of the grace of God (Matthew 16:16:20; Acts 15:7-11; Romans 2:16; 16:25; Galatians 1:8-9; Ephesians 3:3).
  8. The apostles were given the revelation of the Church (Matthew 13:16-17; 16:15-18; John 14:9; Ephesians 3:5-6).
  9. The apostles were given divine prophetic truth as to past prophetic events (Matthew 13:10-17; 17:10-13; Acts 15:13-18). Also, they were given revelation of their present day prophetic events (Matthew 16:16, 21; 17:1-13; 18:18-20; 20:17-19; 26:1-2; John 1:1-5). Future events were also revealed to them (Matthew 24:2-51; 25:31-46; 26:12-13; Acts 3:17-21; 17:31). The apostle John was given the final prophetic future events in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1.3).
  10. The apostles had been given direct authority from Christ in His resurrected Person (Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21-23; Acts 9:1-6).

2. Paul, the Apostle of Revelation

The Apostle Paul has been called the thirteenth apostle. He was an apostle by the will of God (Ephesians 1:1). He was given the revelation of the mystery of the Church (Ephesians 3:1-11). Also, he was given direct revelation of the gospel of grace (Romans 2:16; Galatians 1:11-12). The opening of the mystery of the Jew and Gentile becoming one new man in Christ was revealed to Paul (Ephesians 2:11-18). Jesus gave Paul direct apostolic authority (1 Corinthians 4:21; 5:4-5; Galatians 1:8, 12, 17; 2:11). All men will be judged by God, according to Paul’s gospel (Romans 2:16; Galatians 1:8).

Paul, as a badge of his apostleship, was made a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men (1 Corinthians 4:9). Paul, following his calling in apostleship, was privileged to suffer for the kingdom of Christ (Acts 9:15-16; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33; Galatians 6:17). Paul was given the revelation of the spiritual deterioration of the Church at the end of the Church Age (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Paul received from the Lord doctrinal truth, exclusive to the apostles in the apostolic era (Romans 2:16; Galatians 1:6-12; 2:8). Christ verbally gave to Paul authority and ministry, with divine physical manifestations (Acts 9:1-17).

The apostolic age of revelation and the age of apostolic authority came to a close with the passing of John on the Isle of Patmos. The year of John’s passing is thought to be about 100 A. D. The revelation of Jesus Christ and the foundation of the Church were complete with these twelve apostles. The apostle Paul, by revelation, brought clear knowledge of Christ Jesus as the cornerstone, and the twelve apostles as the building foundation of the Church (Romans 2:16; Galatians 1:7-9; Ephesians 2:20-22; Revelation 21:14).

3. Apostles without Apostolic Authority

It should be noted that Christ Jesus Himself was called an apostle (sent one) (John 17:3; Hebrews 3:1). After the twelve apostles and the Apostle Paul, there were other apostles of Christ. As noted earlier, the meaning of the word apostle is “sent one.” The Christian missionary, “sent of the Spirit of God,” would fit the description of an apostle.

The Apostle Paul gives further understanding as to the qualifications of a missionary in Romans 15:20. Here we learn that the apostle’s (missionary) calling was not to build upon another’s work. This means that the true work of an apostle (missionary) is to be led of God to work where other men have not made Christ known. However, men and women with a desire to make Christ the preeminent One among the saints or unbelievers may certainly work where others have gone before them with the full authority of the gospel of Christ. Next, as Christ is the head of the body, His Church, so an apostle of Christ is an apostle to the whole Body of Christ. From this we learn what and who is a true apostle of God. For men to take the title of apostle without meeting the Scriptural qualifications of an apostle is not according to the Spirit of God or Scripture.

As we look further into the New Testament we learn of other apostles. We are instructed in Acts 14:14 that Barnabas was called an apostle. Barnabas labored much in missionary work. Timothy and Silas were also called apostles (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2:6). Their missionary work is recorded in the chronicles of the beginning of the Church, in the book of Acts, and the epistles. Silvanus, by his work, may also fit as an apostle (2 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Peter 5:12). Epaphroditus is called an apostle (messenger) to the Philippians (Philippians 2:25). In this passage to the Philippians he is called “your apostle.” Two more apostles are mentioned in 2 Corinthians 8:23, who are not named. Those chosen and sent of God are true apostles. Those who do not fit the Scriptural description of an apostle cannot correctly be called an apostle. Nevertheless, there are sects and organizations that call men apostles.

4. False Apostles and Deception (2 Corinthians 11:13)

Today in Christendom, the climbing of the spiritual ladder and the claims that bring self-elevation are legion. The title of apostle, being conferred upon ones-self or by some sect, cult or organization is happening in many places today. It is not a new thing. In the beginning of the Church, false doctrine and false apostles abounded. So it is with the sects and cults of today. The apostles of Christ exposed and pointed out the falseness of these claims (2 Corinthians 11:13).

The Apostle Paul called attention to the false apostles by calling them deceitful workers (2 Corinthians 11:13). Do these people know they are false workers? With some the answer is yes; with others the answer is no. A deception, told often enough, is soon believed in the world and in deceived churches. There are 2000 years of Church history to prove this fact. Those who come under the influence of these false persuasions of men and Satan believe these claims to their own hurt. The Apostle Paul further teaches us that these people transform themselves into the apostles of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:13). Many of these men are devoid of the Spirit (Romans 8:9). Some may have the Spirit, but have still believed a lie. Those without the Spirit have transformed themselves into angels of light. They may use the Bible or spiritual manifestations to deceive and to be deceived (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10). In the case of those without the Spirit, Satan is the author of their deception (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

In Revelation 2:2, Jesus commends the assembly at Ephesus for testing those claiming to be apostles. Ephesus was vigilant to prove those who made spiritual claims for themselves. Ephesus was not fooled by the claims of men, because they looked to Christ and the Word (Logos) of God to test for the authenticity of apostleship (Matthew 20:20-28). Their endurance in their knowledge of Christ did not allow them to follow these false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:3-4; Revelation 2:2-3).

It is evident as we examine Scripture that the gift of an apostle is a humble servant-hood gift. This gift does not include selling the truth of Christ for a living, or taking a clerical or paid religious position. “For we do not as many make a trade of the Word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, before God, we speak in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17 JND).

The assembly at Pergamos in Revelation 2:12-13, had one among them whose name was Antipas. Antipas was a faithful martyr. The Lord Jesus commended his faithfulness. Antipas shows us the normal Christian response to false doctrine, false spiritual positions, Nicolaitanism (clerical system), Satan having power in an assembly, idolatry and immorality. All of these things Antipas had to confront, but he was a faithful servant of Jesus and did not yield to these offenses. Apostleship functioning according to truth was always, and still is today, in a higher place than sectarianism (1 Corinthians 1:12-13; 3:1-4). An apostle (missionary) sent forth of God is representing the whole body of Christ (the Church). An apostle functioning within a sect or independent movement does not meet the Scriptural qualifications for an apostle. Spiritual claims for a leader or one’s self cannot be used to void Scripture. Nor can spiritual experiences invalidate the Holy Writ.

We can summarize this by saying that a Christian is called to be spiritually awake to wanna-be apostles. Apostles must have the qualifications of an apostle (missionary) to fit the Holy Spirit’s gift. Spiritual discernment and knowledge of Scripture is the Christian’s protection against being affected by these abnormalities. Following these abnormalities will limit the Christian’s growth in learning what it means to walk after the Spirit in truth, through faith.

II. Prophets

  1. Present day Prophets and Prophecies
  2. Soulish Prophesies
  3. Satanic Prophesies
  4. Women Prophets

Prophet: Nabi is the general Hebrew word for prophet. It means, “to announce” or “call a declarer.” Prophetes is the Greek word for Prophet meaning “an Interpreter.”

Prophets are to be understood in two ways: First, the purpose of Old Testament prophets was that they were to prophesy about the Messiah who was to come. Second, they were to prophesy to and about God’s earthly people, Israel. Their prophecy of the future always had the Messiah as the foundation.

The next line of prophets are those in the dispensation of the grace of God (Church Age). God gave prophets to the Church to establish it in the kingdom of Christ (Daniel 2:44; Ephesians 2:20-22). The prophets, as well as the apostles, were foundational to the building of the temple of God, the Church (Ephesians 2:20). The gospels, the epistles, and the book of Revelation as a whole were not completed until about 96 A. D. The New Testament prophets gave revelation to the Church of God for its building up until the revelation of New Testament Scripture was completed. God used these prophets to reveal His mind to the Church. When the revelation of God was completed through the Scriptures, the prophetic gift was fulfilled. We are taught there would be no more revelation through this prophetic gift after this time (1 Corinthians 4:6; Galatians 1:6-9; Ephesians 2:20-22; Revelation 22:18-19).

1. Present Day Prophets and Prophesies (1 Corinthians 14:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:20)

“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

Believers are instructed to seek the higher place of prophesying as shown in 1 Corinthians 14. What is this prophesy that a Christian is to pursue? In 14:3, we are told that it is edification, exhortation and comfort. In verse 4 we are given further understanding. We are told that prophesy is to edify the assembly. Prophecy, as noted earlier is; “to reveal the mind of God.” This includes the past, the present and the future. The past is known and is prophetically called to our attention for our example, for learning, and admonition (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11; Colossians 2:17). The future has been made known through the Old Testament prophets, and the New Testament prophets of the Apostolic Era.

The New Testament is the completed prophecy of the present dispensation of the grace of God, and of the future (Romans 2:16; Galatians 1:6-10; Revelation 1:3; 22:18.19;). The apostolic epistles direct the saints to pursue present day prophesy. The purpose of prophecy is to build up the saints in the knowledge of Christ. This may come out in the form of rebuke (1 Timothy 5:20) or to give a more complete understanding to the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Prophecy is speaking forth the great hope of Christ our Savior and His appearing (Titus 2:13). As the Spirit gives the unction, it may be to reveal something of the Holy Spirit’s working. It could be events, or to give understanding to a believer or an assembly (Acts 16:9-10; 21:10-13; 1 Timothy 4:1).

The Holy Spirit’s working is not limited by our finite minds, because God is not limited by our lack of understanding. Prophecy, from the Spirit of God, reveals things that are of the kingdom of Christ. Complete present day prophecy can be understood to function in this manner; “But when He is come, the Spirit of Truth, He shall guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak from Himself; but what so ever He shall hear He shall speak; He will announce (it) to you what is coming. He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine and shall announce (it) to you” (John 16:13-14 JND).

2. Soulish Prophesies

We can be assured that prophesies that are for carnal purposes, are not from the Spirit of God. There are many examples of such prophesies in Scripture such as: 1 Kings 18:19-29; 22:6-28; Jeremiah 14:14; Matthew 16:22-23; John 13:8; 20:24-25; Acts 5:8-10; 21:18-26; Galatians 2:11-14. As pointed out in the last chapter, the purpose of prophesy is to reveal the mind of the Lord (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Soulish prophesies are prophesies that come from the soul of man and are given to others as though they are from the Spirit of God. For example, Peter prophesied that he would not be offended (deny the Lord). However, this was a soulish prophecy as the evidence later reveals (Matthew 26:33). Peter’s prophesy from the soul was incorrect (Matthew 26:69-75).

The expression that is used often in some circles of Christian groups is this: “the Lord said this, or the Lord told me that.” These prophecies may be totally against what Scripture teaches. However, many times these prophecies are believed and acted upon by the recipient of the prophecy. A Christian or an unbeliever who cannot detect the difference between the spirit, and the soul, allows soulish prophesies to be received as though from the Spirit of God (1 Kings 13:11-32). This makes a place for evil spirits to work. Evil spirits can do many supernatural things to further the deception of those who are unaware.

There are numerous sects and cults that have started from false prophecies. Many of God’s people have gone astray following soulish, false prophesies. The end result of not discerning what is from the soul of man or what is from the Spirit of God is that men follow men. They deceive themselves by thinking that they are following the Spirit of God. The Christian who will look to Christ alone for truth (Christ) has this promise of Jesus: “When He the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth … He will glorify Me…” (John 16:13-14).

3. Satanic Prophesies

There is a place for Satan to work in the soul of man, which brings forth the fruit of darkness. The Adamic nature within man is receptive to this darkness. We are told in John 3:19 that men love darkness rather than light. As Satan is a spirit, he works through spiritual means. For example, God sent Moses to Pharaoh to demonstrate the power which He had given to Moses. Moses demonstrated the power of God through signs and wonders. Jannes and Jambres did signs and wonders by the power of Satan, to resist the power of God wrought through Moses (Exodus 7:8-13; 2 Timothy 3:8).

We learn by this, that supernatural manifestations are not always a sign of a divine work. Satan’s power in the world is undiminished, for he comes as an angel of light in all kinds of power, signs and wonders this includes prophecies (2 Corinthians 11:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:9).

His power over a Christian is in the receptiveness of the Christian to believe a lie. In Matthew 4:1-11, Satan prophesied to Jesus three times, using Scripture in an attempt to deceive. Peter prophesied in his well intentioned but soulish power at Satan’s instigation (Matthew 16:22.23). Judas, into whom Satan had entered, prophesied with the action of a kiss when he betrayed the Lord (Matthew 26:48-49). A woman with a demonic spirit prophesied by the power of Satan for many days telling of the ministry of Paul and Silas (Acts 16:16-18). The woman’s prophesies were true. Satan’s prophesies may be true, or they may not be true. A Christian assembly or Christian surroundings do not limit Satan’s power where he is believed.

His power is in deception, and being believed by people who do not receive the truth as revealed in Scripture. So they are not led of the Holy Spirit. Prophesies, lying signs and wonders of Satan abound in our day. The protection that a Christian has against these deceptions is the Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit which give understanding and discernment as to their meaning.

4. Women Prophets

In the Old Testament and the New Testament women prophesied. There were differences between men who prophesied and women who prophesied. God gave men prophecies of the future. Prophesies of future events were generally not given to women. The exception to women giving prophesies about the future was when Israel was in a low spiritual state. At that time, God would use women as a shame to the headship of the elders of Israel (Judges 4:8.9; 2 Kings 22:8; 13-20). The prophecies not given to women were those that would give the future for the coming of the Messiah and Israel’s future. In the Church, the same is true. In the Old Testament and New Testament, the prophesies of women were more expounding poetical elevation of the works of God (Exodus 15:20-21; Judges 5:1-31; 1 Samuel 2:1-10; Luke 1:41-55; 2:36-38).

However, the Spirit of God may reveal His immediate work according to the need of His people. A Christian woman is without doubt in the place of receiving prophesies from the Spirit of God. The woman is not in the place of receiving doctrinal truth (1 Timothy 2:11-14). A Christian woman’s prophesies in the sphere of God’s order are valuable to others and a Christian assembly. Her sphere is generally in prophesying (teaching) women and children. However, the Spirit of God is not limited in these matters. God may work through exceptions; however, exceptions cannot be used for the general rule or pattern in the undermining of Scripture.

III. Evangelists

Evangelists are gifted by the Holy Spirit for drawing people to respond to Christ as the Son of God. An assembly of believers, or ecclesiastical organizations, cannot control an evangelist’s gift. For example, pastors and teachers would normally work closely in an assembly or assemblies. They are more tied and subject to the brothers in the assembly. The evangelist has no ecclesiastical borders; he goes all places that his gift may be used of God (Acts 8:26-39). Even so, he is still a brother among the brethren and is subject to them (Acts 15: 2; Ephesians 5:21). The evangelist receives his direction for gospel work from the Holy Spirit. In general, this gift is not exercised in an assembly or a church, it is used apart from the assembly. That place is in Satan’s territory, in the dominion of unbelievers.

The New Testament records that there were many evangelists, starting with Jesus in His ministry (Luke 20:1). The Apostle Paul was an evangelist (Romans 1:15). We have the record of Phillip being an evangelist (Acts 21:8). Timothy also is encouraged by Paul to do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5). In a true sense, every Christian who is walking in the Spirit is in the place of doing evangelical work (Acts 8:4) even though not so gifted.

The Christian, looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith, becomes an epistle read of all men, hence an evangelist (2 Corinthians 3:1-3; Hebrews 12:2). In a broader sense, any Christian involved in the exercise of Christian work is doing the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5). In the order and government of God, an evangelist is a public preacher to men and women; women do not fit the public Scriptural pattern of an evangelist. This does not limit Christian women to work in evangelical work. The government of God limits her leadership in evangelistic teaching work to women and children. This does not prohibit the Christian women from speaking the truth of Christ where occasions arise. “But I do not suffer a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over man, but to be in quietness” (1 Timothy 2:12 JND).

IV. Pastors

The Hebrew and Greek equivalent of the word pastor is: “shepherd” or “feeder of the sheep.”

A pastoral gifting is not a clerical office, nor is it the position of clergymen, as practiced in churches of today. Christ’s giving of gifted men to His Church is a work of the Spirit of God. A pastoral work is not a position ordained by men or controlled by men. The pastoral work of a shepherd is exercised to nourish and feed the sheep of Christ. Feeding the sheep of Christ is a spiritual work. The pastoral work of feeding the sheep is to instruct or teach the things of Christ. This pastoral work generally includes a teaching work as well.

The primary labor of this exercise brings forth the love of God, and the heart of God, in the servant of God, to benefit the sheep of Christ (John 10:11; 21:15-17). Stringent rules and legal instructions are not within the framework of the workings of a pastoral gift. Looking out for the spiritual welfare of the sheep is the foundational rock upon which the man who practices this work will be seen. The character of Christ will be revealed in this man. The nurturing process is built into the man with this unction of the Lord Jesus.

The result of this gift, established and working among the sheep of Christ, will be what we learn in Ephesians 4:13: “…To a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” This is God’s purpose for the shepherd of Christ in nurturing the sheep

V. TeachersThe Greek word didasko means “to teach.”

The primary application of the one who is teaching is to reveal Christ to His people. Those with a pastoral work are in the place of leading, feeding and teaching the sheep of Christ. They may be gifted or not gifted in teaching. Those experienced in teaching do not need the heart of a pastor. Teachers may do little pastoral work at all. Teaching the truths of Christ is of utmost importance to keep the wolves out of the flock. Paul warned the elders at Ephesus about the wolves that would enter in, and not spare the flock after his departure (Acts 20:29). He taught them for 3 years, yet there was still a necessity to continue in the teaching of Christ (Acts 20:31-32).

As every Christian develops he should be a teacher of the truth of Christ (Hebrews 5:12). However, every Christian does not have a teaching ability (1 Corinthians 12:29). A man gifted in teaching is able to impart the deeper truths of Christ and His kingdom (Romans 11:33). He also directs the person of faith into maturity in Christ.

No Christian can develop in spiritual life without the truth in Christ being seen, understood and received in his spirit. Faith, in responding to the truth, is the fertile ground in which the gifted teacher intends to plant the word of God. The teacher who labors in the truths of Christ will have great joy in the fruit of his labor, as he sees a sheep of Christ receive truth (Christ) with a responsive heart. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4).


God gave Israel protection against false spirits. He did this to keep them from a misdirected faith in Jehovah, the Shepherd of Israel (Psalms 23; 80:1). God gave Israel a test for their safety and protection. This test was to find out if the leading of men among them came from God. We read of this test in Isaiah 8:20: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

To the Christian, God has given an equal double test as well. This test is to give protection to the Christian from soulish men functioning in a spiritual guise and from evil spirits.

  1. The Holy Spirit: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). “Beloved believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
  2. The Scriptures: “Jesus answered and said to them; “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4 JND).

Through the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has brought the Christian into the kingdom of Christ. The Christian learns what this kingdom is, and how to live and walk in it through these gifts of God given to the Church (Ephesians 4:11). When a Christian is learning how to live in the kingdom of Christ, he is learning what it means to walk in the life of Jesus. “…As He is, we also are in this world” (1 John 4:17 JND). This is the life of the Spirit, and this life can only be experienced by faith to the truth, which is Christ. These gifts which have been given to men, and are recorded in Ephesians 4:11, are for the purpose of teaching the Christian to walk and live in the Spirit, hence the kingdom of Christ.

D. Neely

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