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The Purpose Of The Five-Fold Gifts

Excerpts from this article:
        “There are no five-fold gifts of God’s government that have been lost and need to be restored. This is simply a clever device by which unscrupulous persons are attempting to gain control over you, because of the widespread biblical illiteracy. God has always gifted His saints in order to achieve His eternal purpose. Lack of understanding of what the true ekklesia of God is has allowed a corrupt system, called the institutional church, to become a means whereby men and women can establish grand sounding titles for themselves and use the scriptures as a weapon against personal and corporate love, life and liberty. That we have come as far as actually giving credence to these foolish fads that continue to pop up in the affairs of men is testimony of the corruption of the human heart and the need for those very scriptures that are wrongly used. Instead of rightly dividing the word of truth, these people add to the word, subtract from the word and now, with declarations of stunning new “prophetic revelations” even multiply words to add to the word, the Bible.”
        “How many more failed prophecies do you have to hear before you conclude that these people are either propagators of false prophecy or out and out false prophets? All of these highly visible people in the Pentecostal/Charismatic circles are responsible to God for their failed prophecies. If you don’t know about their false prophecies then start checking out the internet by those who call themselves “discernment ministries” or equivalent. There are many such watchman organizations who keep track of what these apostate leaders are saying and doing.”
        “True apostles and prophets and evangelists and shepherds have been teaching God’s people for many hundreds of years. They have been fulfilling the purpose of the function of these gifts and could care less about having credentials conferred upon them to print out on a business card or corporate stationery, or a multi-color glossy brochure expounding their miracle working powers and mighty anointing. As a matter of fact, I would say that those who claim those functions as titles for themselves are not apostles or prophets or evangelists or shepherds (“pastors”) at all. Neither do they teach what they are supposed to teach as stated in scripture.”

        In Ephesians chapter two, note the time frame of what I will loosely call the “past” (verses 2,3,11,12 specifically speak of the past). In verse 13 Paul brings us up to his present time, “But now ...”. He continues in verse 19, “Now therefore,” Paul still speaking of his present time. (I am using the period of time in which Paul himself lived, as a reference point as to past, present and future). “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” (Ephesians 2:19) This is a key to understanding what he then says in verse 20: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:20).
        Paul then completes the building analogy: “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21,22).

        Since Paul has spoken of the “past” it should be clear that the apostles and prophets he is speaking of in verse 20 are the New Testament apostles and Old Testament prophets—not those coming after he made the statement (but see the Jamieson, Fausett and Brown Commentary, below). It is they who laid the foundation. That was their purpose, their calling, their anointing. They laid the foundation for the building of which Paul speaks in verses 21 and 22.
        The Jamieson, Fausett and Brown Commentary on Ephesians 2:20:
        20. Translate as Greek, “Built up upon,” &c. (participle; having been built up upon; omit, therefore, “and are”). Compare 1Co 3:11, 12. The same image in Eph 3:18, recurs in his address to the Ephesian elders (Ac 20:32), and in his Epistle to Timothy at Ephesus (1Ti 3:15; 2Ti 2:19), naturally suggested by the splendid architecture of Diana’s temple; the glory of the Christian temple is eternal and real, not mere idolatrous gaud. The image of a building is appropriate also to the Jew-Christians; as the temple at Jerusalem was the stronghold of Judaism; as Diana’s temple, of paganism.
        foundation of the apostles, &c.—that is, upon their ministry and living example (compare Mt 16:18). Christ Himself, the only true Foundation, was the grand subject of their ministry, and spring of their life. As one with Him and His fellow workers, they, too, in a secondary sense, are called “foundations” (Re 21:14). The “prophets” are joined with them closely; for the expression is here not “foundations of the apostles and the prophets,” but “foundations of the apostles and prophets.” For the doctrine of both was essentially one (1Pe 1:10, 11; Re 19:10). The apostles take the precedency (Lu 10:24). Thus he appropriately shows regard to the claims of the Jews and Gentiles: “the prophets” representing the old Jewish dispensation, “the apostles” the new. The “prophets” of the new also are included. BENGEL and ALFORD refer the meaning solely to these (Eph 3:5; 4:11). These passages imply, I think, that the New Testament prophets are not excluded; but the apostle’s plain reference to Ps 118:22, “the head stone of the corner,” proves that the Old Testament prophets are a prominent thought. David is called a “prophet” in Ac 2:30. Compare also Isa 28:16; another prophet present to the mind of Paul, which prophecy leans on the earlier one of Jacob (Ge 49:24). The sense of the context, too, suits this: Ye were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (in the time of her Old Testament prophets), but now ye are members of the true Israel, built upon the foundation of her New Testament apostles and Old Testament prophets. Paul continually identifies his teaching with that of Israel’s old prophets (Ac 26:22; 28:23). The costly foundation-stones of the temple (1Ki 5:17) typified the same truth (compare Jer 51:26). The same stone is at once the corner-stone and the foundation-stone on which the whole building rests. Paul supposes a stone or rock so large and so fashioned as to be both at once; supporting the whole as the foundation, and in part rising up at the extremities, so as to admit of the side walls meeting in it, and being united in it as the corner-stone [ZANCHIUS]. As the corner-stone, it is conspicuous, as was Christ (1Pe 2:6), and coming in men’s way may be stumbled over, as the Jews did at Christ (Mt 21:42; 1Pe 2:7).
        Excerpted from Vine’s Expository Dictionary:
        “FOUNDATION (TO LAY), FOUNDED 1. themelios, or themelion is properly an adjective denoting “belonging to a foundation” (connected with tithemi, “to place”). It is used” ... “ metaphorically, (a) of “the ministry of the gospel and the doctrines of the faith,” (Rom. 15:20; 1 Cor. 3:10,11,12; Eph. 2:20), where the “of” is not subjective (i. e., consisting of the apostles and prophets), but objective, (i. e., laid by the apostles, etc.); so in (2 Tim. 2:19), where “the foundation of God” is “the foundation laid by God,”—not the Church (which is not a “foundation”), but Christ Himself, upon whom the saints are built; (Heb. 6:1); (b) “of good works, (1 Tim. 6:19).”
        Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians states that Jesus Christ is the only foundation to be laid:
        1 Corinthians 3:10-12:
        10 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.
        11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
        The New International Version states verse 11 more clearly: 1 Corinthians 3:11 (NIV): “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
        We find the same thought expressed by Paul in his letter to the Romans:
        Romans 15:20-21:
        20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:
        21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.
        Paul’s thought is consistent: where someone has laid the foundation of Christ, be it apostle or prophet or another servant of God, then that is all sufficient. No other foundation can be or should be laid.
        The sense of the meaning of Ephesians 2:20 then is: You were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (in the time of her Old Testament prophets), but now you are members of the household of faith of the true Israel having been built up upon the foundation, which is Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, laid by the New Testament apostles and Old Testament prophets.
        It should be easily understood by this short study on Ephesians 2:20 that the New Testament apostles and the Old Testament prophets were responsible for laying the foundation of Jesus Christ Himself as the chief corner stone in the household of faith of the true Israel. Jesus is the foundation, not the apostles and prophets, who were simply the instruments by which the foundation was laid. No servant of God can or should attempt to build another foundation. We are to build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ which has already been laid in place.
        Moving to chapter three of the same book, Paul in a long parenthetical statement makes another observation. Please note that Paul has now moved from the “past” to his “present,” again, loosely speaking.
        Ephesians 3:2-7:
        2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
        3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
        4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
        5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; [emphasis mine]
        6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
        7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
        Note in verse 5 he refers back to the “past” (“which in other ages’) in which the mystery of Christ (and the Gospel) was not made known unto the sons of men. He then brings himself current to his own “present” and makes the statement “as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;” (Emphasis mine.)
        There is an overload of information in this verse, however, I’ll just point out a few things. Law transited to grace, and grace involves, among other things the giving of the Holy Spirit to the saints. By the Spirit, then, God’s holy apostles, still speaking of the New Testament apostles, wrote the New Testament, just as the Old Testament prophets wrote the Old Testament.
        However, the prophets (and apostles) he refers to in verse 5 are those of his “present” time, not the Old Testament prophets (“as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets”). We have to keep in mind also, that the Apostles of the Lamb, the Twelve, were also either prophets or prophetical, especially in their New Testament writings.
        The New Testament apostles and the Old Testament prophets are the ones who laid the foundation of Jesus Christ Himself as the chief corner stone of Paul’s allegorical building. However, the revelation of the inclusion of the Gentiles as “fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” was given to the apostles and prophets of the New Testament period in which Paul lived. The Old Testament prophets had written of it, but the meaning of what they had written was a mystery to them. This was a sovereign act of God to progressively reveal His plan of salvation for all of mankind. This revelation has now been made known in all of its fullness as I’ll discuss in following paragraphs.
        First the established building, then further revelation knowledge. All by the apostles and prophets at different times (the past and Paul’s present).
        In Ephesians 4 Paul speaks again of apostles and prophets (and the gifts from Jesus of apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher). Paul has spoken of the past, and the present. He is now transitioning from his present time and speaking of the “future” (his future). It was during his lifetime that the transition from Paul’s “present” apostles and prophets to his “future” apostles and prophets occurred.
        Speaking of Jesus, Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-16:
        11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
        12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
        13 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 fulness of Christ:
        14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
        15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
        16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
        Note that the “future” apostles and prophets (and the evangelists and shepherds and teachers) now have a different gifting from the “past” and from Paul’s, “present” apostles and prophets. This is simple to determine because the scripture says in Ephesians 4:8: “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”
        Were there not already prophets? Were there not already apostles? Yes. But scripture says “he ascended up on high ... and gave gifts unto men”—gifts which include “prophets,” and “apostles.”
        Old Testament prophets proclaimed the law until John the Baptist. Then Jesus, and His ministry of grace, began a new era of the administration of the kingdom of God. “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John” (Matthew 11:13; see also Luke 16:16). “John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:15-17). “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:” (Galatians 1:6). “... for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14b). “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).
        Jesus had spoken of the ministry of the Old Testament prophets: “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them” (Matthew 13:16,17).
        The Apostle Peter expanded on this thought: “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven ...” (1 Peter 1:10-12).
        Paul the apostle confirmed the witness: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:21-24).
        The manifestation of the secret of the mystery attested to by the Old Testament prophets establishes the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His grace: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27).
        Jesus fulfilled the law (and Old Testament prophets) (Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:44). Refer also to Daniel 9:24 and the six prophetical promises fulfilled by Jesus. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,” (1) “to finish the transgression,” (2) “and to make an end of sins,” (3) “and to make reconciliation for iniquity,” (4) “and to bring in everlasting righteousness,” (5) “and to seal up the vision and prophecy,” (6) “and to anoint the most Holy.”
        In the phrase “... and to seal up the vision and prophecy ...” “seal up” is chatham, meaning to close up, especially to seal. The word “vision” used here is chazon which signifies the method and the message of prophecy. The word “prophecy” is nabiy meaning a prophet. “... seal up the vision and prophecy ...” actually means to close up the method and message of prophecy, and the prophet. This brought the Law and the Old Testament prophets to an end, to be fulfilled in Jesus which is inferred by the phrase “... and to anoint the most Holy.”
        It’s clear from all of these scriptures that the gifts of Jesus to His church (Ephesians 4:7-11) are not founded upon the Law, as the Law and the Old Testament prophets came to an end, and when Jesus came He fulfilled the law. “... for ye are not under the law, but under grace” Romans (6:14b). “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Ephesians 4:7).
        When Jesus ascended and gave gifts to men the Old Testament prophets and prophecy had ended. Jesus gave new gifts, under grace, instead of under the law, for His ekklesia, which now would include Gentiles also.
        I discovered an interesting thing about verse 11 in my studies. In the phrase “pastors and teachers” the word “and” in the Greek ‘is the article “kai.” This word is used in a copulative and also an informational sense. So it doesn’t mean just “and.” To make a long study short, I believe what Paul said was that Jesus has given gifts to mankind, some to be sent, some to speak the mind and counsel of God, and some to be itinerant preachers and some shepherds. In the phrase “pastors” [shepherds] “and teachers” the word “kai” is used in the informational sense and would be better translated as “namely” or some such intent. In other words, Jesus has given us those four gifts of public service—apostles, prophets, evangelists and shepherds—namely as teachers for the maturing (perfecting) of the saints and etc.
        So all of these gifts given by Jesus are for the purpose of teaching the body of Christ.
        The word for “gifts” in verse 8 is doma. These gifts are called “ascension” gifts because when Jesus ascended He gave these gifts to His ekklesia.
        Doma gives greater emphasis to the concrete character of the gift by giving more prominence to the specific qualities and characteristics than to the fact that it’s a present freely given. The influence of the qualities and characteristics are implied or stated. In Matthew 7:11 and Luke 11:13 Jesus talks about giving gifts to your children. “Gifts” in both texts is doma. It’s coupled with the word “good” in the original, which states the influence of the gift. Doma is used in Philippians 4:17 where Paul is commending the church at Philippi concerning their giving to him: “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” The same meaning is found: that of the specific qualities and characteristics of their gifts to Paul. Verse 18 explains the influence of their gifts: “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God.” The influence of their gifts to Paul was to cause God to be well pleased with the givers.
        (The Holy Spirit is also a doma gift and the influence of His qualities and characteristics are fully explained throughout scripture. The Holy Spirit is also a dorea “gift” (Acts 2:38; 8:20; 10:45; 11:17; Hebrews 6:4). A dorea gift is a supernatural gift emphasizing it is a present freely given without persuasion, reasoning, or a cause. The Holy Spirit is yours as a gift for the asking.)
        In Ephesians 4:8 the specific qualities and characteristics of these gifts that Jesus gave when He ascended and their influence upon the body of Christ are explained in verses 12 through 16. These gifts given unto men — apostles, prophets, evangelists and shepherds, as teachers — are to prepare and equip and make us fit for the work of the ministry. That means works of service in building up the body of Christ, “Till we all come into 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” (Ephesians 4:13). We are to stop being children, tossed and blown around by the cunning craftiness of men to deceive, speaking the truth in love, building ourselves up in love. Each of us is to be the part that God has empowered us for.
        New Testament prophets (including those in today’s ekklesia) were given a prophetical portion of the personal ministry of Jesus as an ascension gift. They are to continue to proclaim repentance, righteousness and restoration. They are anointed (equipped, enabled and empowered) in a way corresponding to Jesus’ ministry of teaching repentance, preaching righteousness, and healing for restoration (which healing I believe includes body, soul and spirit).(Matthew 4:23; 9:35).
        Matthew 4:23:
        23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
        Matthew 9:35:
        35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
        The effects of the “spirit and power” of the prophetic are revealed in scripture.
        In Matthew 17:10-13 (see also Mark 9:11-13) we read: “And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”
        In the same way the prophetic, in the “spirit and power of Elias” (Elijah) (Luke 1:17), will “first come, and restore all things.” The word “restore” is a key to the purpose of the prophetic. The prophetic message teaches repentance and preaches righteousness so that human beings will be healed and restored back to their Creator and Saviour.
        The existing building and its foundation still stands. The revelation knowledge of the original apostles (that is to say, those mentioned throughout the New Testament) still stands. There is no “new” foundation to put in place (unless, of course, you have replaced the chief corner stone, Who is Jesus Christ Himself, in which case what I’m saying is pointless to you).
        Jude said in verse 3of his letter: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
        In verse 5 he said: “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.”
        The phrase he used in verse 3 “which was once” and the word “once” in verse 5 is the word hapax, about which Vine’s Expository Dictionary says: “hapax denotes “once for all,” of what is of perpetual validity, not requiring repetition, (Heb. 6:4; 9:28; 10:2; 1 Pet. 3:18; Jude 3), RV, “once for all” (KJV, “once”); (v. 5) (ditto).”
        The phrase “should earnestly contend for” is epagonizomai which according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary “signifies “to contend about a thing, as a combatant” (epi, “upon or about,” intensive, agon, “a contest”), “to contend earnestly,” (Jude 3). The word “earnestly” is added to convey the intensive force of the preposition.”
        Jude is reemphasizing what was already understood by the saints: be a intense combatant in contending for the faith that was delivered once and for all to the saints.
        The book of Revelation is clear in its warning about adding to or subtracting from the word of God, which includes the Bible’s message of perpetual validity of the faith delivered once for all:
        Revelation 22:18-20:
        18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
        19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
        20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
        There are no “new” revelations of Jesus and the Gospel which can replace the revelations of the New Testament.
        In the King James Version, 2 Peter 1:12 we read “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.”
        The word “present” is pareimi about which Vine’s Expository Dictionary says: “... signifies (a) “to be by, at hand or present,” of persons, e. g., (Luke 13:1; Acts 10:33; 24:19; 1 Cor. 5:3; 2 Cor. 10:2, 11; Gal. 4:18,20); of things, (John 7:6), of a particular season in the Lord’s life on earth, “is (not yet) come,” or “is not yet at hand”; (Heb. 12:11), of chastening “(for the) present” (the neuter of the present participle, used as a noun); in (13:5) “such things as ye have” is, lit., “the things that are present”; (2 Pet. 1:12), of the truth “(which) is with (you)” (not as KJV, “the present truth,” as if of special doctrines applicable to a particular time); in (v. 9) “he that lacketh” is lit., “to whom are not present”; (b) “to have arrived or come,” (Matt. 26:50), “thou art come,” RV; (John 11:28; Acts 10:21; Col. 1:6).
        We see from this that “present truth” should read “the truth which is with you” or in words that convey that same thought.
        What truth is he talking about? In his “Introduction To The Second Letter Of Peter” in the Charles C. Ryrie Study Bible, he makes this comment: “The letter is a reminder (1:12; 3:1) of the truth of Christianity as opposed to the heresies of false teachers ...”
        The theme of this first chapter of 2nd Peter is words of instruction to the body of Christ for the purpose of making one’s calling and election sure. The phrase through or in the “knowledge” of God and/or Jesus is found in verses 2, 3 and 8.
        In verse 2, the apostle tells us: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord ...”
        In verse 3 Peter tells us: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”
        And in verse 8 we read: “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
        I skipped a lot of excellent teaching and preaching in the omitted verses by selecting these three verses to point out just one thing:
        Do you want grace and peace multiplied unto you?
        Do you want all things that pertain unto life and godliness that God has given us by His divine power? By the same God that has called us to glory and virtue?
        Do you want to prevent becoming barren and unfruitful in the eyes of your God?
        So what’s the one thing I’m pointing out? All of these things come to us through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, through the knowledge of Him, in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
        When Peter says “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth” he is speaking to the 1st century ekklesia and is referring to “the truth which is with you.” The truth and knowledge of the gospel, the good news of the kingdom of God and His Christ. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.
        The truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ which was “... by, at hand, or present” at the time Peter wrote it is what is being referred to by Peter.
        In checking out different translations, they all convey that same thought:
        Young’s Literal Translation:
        12 Wherefore, I will not be careless always to remind you concerning these things, though, having known them, and having been established in the present truth,
        Jay P. Green Sr. Literal Translation:
        12 For this reason I will not neglect to cause you to remember always concerning these things, though you know and have been confirmed in the present truth.
        The Net Bible:
        12 Therefore, I intend to remind you constantly of these things even though you know them and are well established in the truth that you now have.
        The New International Version:
        12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.
        The Amplified Bible:
        So I intend always to remind you about these things, although indeed you know them and are firm in the truth that [you] now [hold].
        The New American Standard Bible:
        Therefore, I shall always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.
        The Living Bible:
        I plan to keep on reminding you of these things even though you already know them and are really getting along quite well!
        The Jamieson, Faucett, Browne Commentary remarks on this verse in 2 Peter 1:12:
        “12. Wherefore—as these graces are so necessary to your abundant entrance into Christ’s kingdom (2Pe 1:10, 11).
        “I will not be negligent—The oldest manuscripts read, “I will be about always to put you in remembrance” (an accumulated future: I will regard you as always needing to be reminded): compare “I will endeavor,” 2Pe 1:15. “I will be sure always to remind you” [ALFORD]. “Always”; implying the reason why he writes the second Epistle so soon after the first. He feels there is likely to be more and more need of admonition on account of the increasing corruption (2Pe 2:1, 2).
        “in the present truththe Gospel truth now present with you: formerly promised to Old Testament believers as about to be, now in the New Testament actually present with, and in, believers, so that they are “established” in it as a “present” reality. Its importance renders frequent monitions never superfluous: compare Paul’s similar apology, Ro 15:14, 15.”
        As mentioned before, the subject of the 1st chapter of 2nd Peter is making your calling and election sure.
        Nelson’s Bible Dictionary comments on election in these excerpts:
        “Election is not to be a source of complacency (2 Pet. 1:12) or presumption (Rom. 11:19-22) on the part of Christians. They are to make their calling and election certain by growing in godliness (2 Pet. 1:2-11) as they respond to God’s electing love with gratitude (Col. 3:12-17).
        God has chosen Christians to bear the image and glory of Christ (Rom. 8:29; 2 Thes. 2:14). They have been elected to be holy in conduct, like Christ (Eph. 1:4). Like Him, they are also to be glorified in their whole being in the life to come (2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 3:21). The ultimate goal of our election is that we might bring praise and glory to God (Eph. 1:6; Rom. 11:33; 2 Thes. 2:13).”
        “Growing in godliness” comes from studying God’s word. Responding to God’s electing love with gratitude requires spending time in praising and worshipping God and allowing His Holy Spirit to teach us all things in that word that we read that may not as yet have been revealed in all their fullness to us.
        You will not bear the image and glory of Christ and be holy in conduct, like Him, without knowledge of Him. Without an understanding of the Bible you will not bring praise and glory to God. Quite frankly, without knowledge of God and His Christ, you will not be glorified in the life to come.
        It’s interesting to note that immediately following, in Chapter Two, Peter discusses at length the subject of false prophets and false teachers.
        Hear what the apostle says about the false teachers in 2 Peter 2:20:
        20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
        Note the word “knowledge” again. They had knowledge, but allowed themselves to become polluted again so that their final end is worse with them than before they had knowledge. More than knowledge is required, best summed up by: “You have to walk the walk, before you can talk the talk.”
        Failure to walk out in your life the knowledge you have of Jesus will put you in the same category as the false teachers as summed up by Peter in 2 Peter 2:22:
        2 Peter 2:22:
        22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
        What I have presented here is not a complicated or difficult thing to grasp and to understand or to apply to your life.
        The “present truth” Peter spoke of refers to the fullness of the gospel, the good news of Christ, at the time he wrote the letter we know today as the epistle of 2nd Peter. The canon of scripture is closed, Peter’s “present truth” has been given unto us, passed on to us by the writings we read today in the Bible.
        Somewhere, somehow, someone has twisted this clear biblical understanding of the meaning of “present truth” to mean “progressive revelation.” They have also taught and preached that this “progressive revelation” is superior to the “knowledge” of which Peter spoke.
        You have read the biblical facts. You should at this point, understand the lie that has become so popular today.That lie, dear saint, is the real “present truth” of today. If you wish to disregard the scripture, then you disregard the God who inspired the scripture. If you choose to follow men, and their “progressive revelations” then you do so in the full knowledge that you have chosen the teachings of men over the written word of God.
        Choose you must. May God have mercy on your soul if you don’t act on what has been written for your benefit.
        There are no “new” revelations of Jesus and the Gospel which can replace the revelations of the New Testament.
        The “future” apostles of which Paul spoke have a detailed job description as given by Paul. I repeat that it was during Paul’s lifetime that the transition from his “present” apostles and prophets to his “future” apostles and prophets occurred. And those future apostles and prophets are the ones that continued after the New Testament and include what is our present-day apostles and prophets.
        These present-day apostles and prophets have a different gifting from the Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles—a difference as stark as the contrast between law and grace. Today’s apostles and prophets (and evangelists and shepherds—as teachers) are to mature the saints by preparing them for works of public service, or ministry. And to teach them how to build up the body of Christ. The purpose is to bring about unity of the faith that comes with the knowledge of the Son of God so that the body of Christ will mature into the full measure of Christ Himself.
        Why? So we won’t be like a bunch of babies, tossed around like ships in a storm and blown around with self-serving and erroneous doctrines by those clever, crafty and cunning persons with their lying schemes and tricks and deceptions.
        Isn’t that what we have today?
        Instead we must speak truth—God’s word is truth—in love and grow up in Christ. And we have to connect with each other, and support each other, and build each other up, all in Christ and in love as we grow up.
        Wouldn’t you like to have that instead?
        When we rightly understand that the gifts that Jesus has given to mankind are described by Greek words which convey a functional meaning, rather than being a title for men and women then we can clear up some fuzzy thinking. Jesus has gifted some individuals to be sent, some to speak the mind and counsel of God, and some to be itinerant preachers and some shepherds—namely as teachers for the maturing (perfecting) of the saints and etc.
        Throughout history, God has always gifted some individuals to be sent, and always gifted some individuals to speak His mind and counsel, and always gifted some individuals to be itinerant preachers and has always gifted some individuals to be (under-)shepherds.
        Has there been a failure on the part of mankind to respond to that gift from God? Has there been a failure on the part of mankind to ignore those who did respond to that gift of God? Has there been tremendous and overwhelming opposition to those who responded to that gift of God and who stepped out boldly to do what God told them to do when so gifted?
        It should be readily apparent that these gifts of Jesus to His ekklesia have never been “lost.” Failure to utilize the gifts falls squarely upon the shoulders of men and women throughout history who have themselves ignored those gifts, or others who ignored their gift and/or those who opposed those so gifted to the point of persecution and death.
        God has always utilized teachers in His economy because He wants His body to grow and mature and join Him in bringing about His stated eternal purpose of bringing all things together in one. He will do this through His ekklesia, His called out ones in order to show his manifold wisdom to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies (Ephesians 1:9,10; 3:10,11). To state it another way: God wants us to grow up. It’s the false teachers of the kind of stuff I’m discussing here that want you to remain in a perpetual state of babyhood.
        To say that these teaching gifts somehow have been “lost” is to say that God doesn’t care about His ekklesia, His people and that He wants us to remain forever as babies. Present day teachings that these gifts have been “lost” and that God is restoring them is just another fantasy land scenario dreamed up by those who want to control you and your time and your abilities, but most of all, your money by keeping you at the babyhood level.
        If somebody gave you an expensive beautiful new suit as a gift and you put it away in your closet for 20 years, was that suit “lost” because you didn’t wear it? And then on the day that you decided that it was truly a beautiful suit and would certainly sharpen up your appearance and you put the suit on to wear it did you “restore” the suit? Or did you simply exercise your choice not to wear it because of a variety of different reasons that you thought were valid at that time? And later realized that the suit was a good thing in that it was beneficial, utilitarian, valuable and desireable?
        These same people claim that they are the “apostles” and “prophets” being “restored.” Therefore they will make “new rules” for you. The people who dream up these unscriptural ways to become your human master are at the very least failing to exercise their human responsibility to God and to you, as a member of the body of Christ. Because of their irresponsibility, their corresponding authority with God is greatly diminished. So in their scramble to get at least some degree of authority back into their lives, they have discovered a way that they can lord it over you and I. They will succeed, just as long as we continue to cooperate with them. I have to admit that I have been stupid and ignorant in following these aberrant teachings for many years because I thought these people “knew.”
        Now, let’s talk about these servanthood gifts from Jesus being the “government” of God.
        During the time of Moses God communicated to His people through the vessel of human instrumentality. God formed a theocracy which needed human administrators for it to operate because it was God’s sovereign choice to use human vessels. So we see Moses, Joshua, the judges, king Saul, king David and king Solomon communicating to God’s people those things that God told them. Subsequent kings, classified as good and evil, communicated God’s purposes with a considerable difference in effort and effectiveness.
        The word “judges” in the book of Judges is shaphat. Strong’s concordance defines it as a primitive root; to judge, i.e. pronounce sentence (for or against); by implication, to vindicate or punish. Excerpts from Vine’s Expository Dictionary further inform us that “In many contexts this root has a judicial sense. Shapat refers to the activity of a third party who sits over two parties at odds with one another. This third party hears their cases against one another and decides where the right is and what to do about it (he functions as both judge and jury). ... Shapat also speaks of the accomplishing of a sentence. ... In some cases “judging” really means delivering from injustice or oppression. ... This sense (in addition to the judicial sense), “to deliver,” is to be understood when one speaks of the judges of Israel (Judg. 2:16): “Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that [plundered] them.” Shapat can be used not only of an act of deliverance, but of a process whereby order and law are maintained within a group. This idea also is included in the concept of the judges of Israel: “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time” (Judg. 4:4).”
        We see Moses enacting laws (legislative), the judges (judicial) and the period of the kings who administered the laws and affairs of the kingdom (executive).
        The legislative and judicial branches of God’s government under a theocracy have been established and codified and written down as a result of God speaking to and through His people in the Old Testament, i.e. Moses, Joshua, the judges and Samuel and etc.
        Subsequent to that, it is God’s people who administer the laws and affairs of the kingdom in an executive capacity. We have our citizenship in the kingdom of God and are His ambassadors. In addition to that we shall be kings, priests and prophets unto our God in the eternal state.
        This then, is the establishment of the governmental structure of the kingdom of God. It’s all written down for us in our Bibles. We don’t legislate new laws and we don’t function in a judicial capacity in that we don’t enforce justice.
        Justice is the use of authority and power to uphold that which is good. Only God in His wisdom, can exercise Godly judgments and execute Godly justice. This is why God referred to human judges in the Old Testament as elohyim, the Hebrew word for “God” or “gods.” Of course, we cannot preclude the possibility that some very mature prophets may be used by God to express His judgement and even possibly execute His justice.
        However, we are empowered, and in fact required, to administer the laws and affairs of the kingdom of God as we go about our Father’s business.
        To those who would say that the five-fold ministry is the government of God I would say that you are both right and wrong. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 5:17). We look to Him, not the law, as God’s government. The doma ascension gifts are gifts given by Jesus Himself. Any study of the scripture will reveal that Jesus is the consummate special messenger sent by God, the consummate speaker of the mind and counsel of God, the consummate itinerant preacher, the consummate shepherd and the consummate teacher. Yes, we use these as titles for apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher. I’m describing them by the functions that they are, which is scripturally correct.
        Since Jesus is the government of God, and is so gifted, and He has given His gifts unto mankind, then the assembly of those so gifted may be referred to collectively as the government of God. The problem is that we have not recognized our limitation to the executive branch of God’s government and administer the laws and affairs of the kingdom of God as we go about the Father’s business. Needless to say, we include our own laws and our own affairs and our own personal business.
        There are no five-fold gifts of God’s government that have been lost and need to be restored. This is simply a clever device by which unscrupulous persons are attempting to gain control over you, because of the widespread biblical illiteracy. God has always gifted His saints in order to achieve His eternal purpose. Lack of understanding of what the true ekklesia of God is has allowed a corrupt system, called the institutional church, to become a means whereby men and women can establish grand sounding titles for themselves and use the scriptures as a weapon against personal and corporate love, life and liberty. That we have come as far as actually giving credence to these foolish fads that continue to pop up in the affairs of men is testimony of the corruption of the human heart and the need for those very scriptures that are wrongly used. Instead of rightly dividing the word of truth, these people add to the word, subtract from the word and now, with declarations of stunning new “prophetic revelations” even multiply words to add to the word, the Bible.
        As regards this group who consider themselves to be the “elite” of a “new movement” by God the question has to be asked:
        How many more failed prophecies do you have to hear before you conclude that these people are either propagators of false prophecy or out and out false prophets? All of these highly visible people in the Pentecostal/Charismatic circles are responsible to God for their failed prophecies. If you don’t know about their false prophecies then start checking out the internet by those who call themselves “discernment ministries” or equivalent. There are many such watchman organizations who keep track of what these apostate leaders are saying and doing.
        How many more times will they and you continue to bind the devil? The book of Revelation says he will bound by an unnamed angel, who will also later loose him. Everybody keeps binding the devil, but he’s still as active, or more so, as he’s ever been.
        How many more empty hands will be laid on empty heads to “impart” that which scripture fails to say can be imparted? This is simply a variation of the “little gods” theme. Nothing’s been imparted except a bunch a hot air from your mouth. And sometimes something a lot more foul.
        How many more times will you claim healing for yourself and/or others and they and you continue to walk in sickness all the while claiming you are healed?
        How much more money will you continue to give away to these unscrupulous people in hopes of a “100 fold” return? God’s not in the lottery business folks. You’ll just go deeper and deeper into debt.
        How many more times are you or one of these hotshot leaders going to tell God how to run the universe and watch absolutely nothing happen? Then claim that something happened in the spiritual realm or on the other side of the world that you don’t know about, or some such other lame excuse for nothing happening?
        The institutional church has not exercised its responsibilities to God and has lost its corporate authority. Authority and responsibility go together. It started with Adam when he failed to exercise his responsibility and lost his authority. It’s still with us today.
        It’s only in the lives of those individuals who are the true members of the household of faith of the true Israel that operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit that true miracles from God happen. Signs, wonders and miracles in the lives of apostates are legion. Unfortunately, the gift of discerning of spirits has gotten so weak from disuse that it’s barely operating in the lives of nominal Christians. Because of this anything classified as supernatural is now attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit by the biblically illiterate. Get literate people, you are treading on very dangerous ground!
        How long, “church” before you recognize your human limitations and quit playing “little god” and turn to the true and living God Who created you and sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to die in your place for all the sin attributes that are being expressed today by those who name the name of Christ?
        How long will you continue to deny the power and sovereignty of a holy, pure and righteous God Who puts up with our human foolishness, awaiting a teachable moment to inspire us with His wisdom?
        True apostles and prophets and evangelists and shepherds have been teaching God’s people for many hundreds of years. They have been fulfilling the purpose of the function of these gifts and could care less about having credentials conferred upon them to print out on a business card or corporate stationery, or a multi-color glossy brochure expounding their miracle working powers and mighty anointing. As a matter of fact, I would say that those who claim those functions as titles for themselves are not apostles or prophets or evangelists or shepherds (“pastors”) at all. Neither do they teach what they are supposed to teach as stated in scripture.
        Nobody today has the authority from God to lay a new foundation. The foundation of Jesus Christ has been layed by obedient apostles and prophets of a previous time. True apostles and prophets today have only one option: to build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, by teaching of Jesus.
        Beloved, there are no “super-apostles” coming to lay a “new” foundation and to give us further “revelations” that surpass those of the New Testament apostles and prophets regarding Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Christ.
        The only thing that is being “restored” are heretical teachings that have been taught in the past and have been discarded by those who know what God says in His Bible to us.
        Refer to the scriptures and realize those things were done by the “past” and Paul’s “present” apostles and prophets.
        Today’s apostles and prophets have a different function and that is to help the body of Christ grow in understanding and experiential knowledge of that which has already been written for us.
        Peter’s statement in Acts is used as a proof text that God is “restoring all things.”
        Acts 3:20-21:
        20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
        21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
        As brought out from the biblical texts quoted earlier, the Old Testament prophets had no knowledge of the fact that God planned to include the Gentiles into the house of faith of the true Israel. Therefore when Peter quotes scripture from the Old Testament in Acts 3:20,21 about the restitution of all things, the prophets were referring to the past events occurring in the Old Testament, not historical events that would occur after Peter quoted the Old Testament prophets.
        When Peter spoke those words there were then in existence apostles and prophets (and evangelists and shepherds as teachers). What needed to be restored?
        The phrase “the world began.” in Acts 3:21 in the Greek is the word aeon about which this excerpt from Unger’s Bible Dictionary says: “ae’on (e’on; Gk. aion, “age”). ... in the NT aeon is used in the following ways:” ... “From the age is used in the sense of from the most ancient time, from of old (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21; 15:18).”
        The word “restitution” is in the Greek apokatastasis. Quoting excerpts from Vine’s Expository Dictionary: “from apo, “back, again,” kathistemi, “to set in order,” is used in (Acts 3:21), RV, “restoration” (KJV, “restitution”). See under REGENERATION, concerning Israel in its regenerated state hereafter.” “REGENERATION palingenesia “new birth” (palin, “again,” genesis, “birth”), is used of “spiritual regeneration,” (Titus 3:5), involving the communication of a new life, the two operating powers to produce which are “the word of truth,” (Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23), and the Holy Spirit, (John 3:5,6); the loutron, “the laver, the washing,” is explained in (Eph. 5:26), “having cleansed it by the washing (loutron) of water with the word.”
        “The new birth and “regeneration” do not represent successive stages in spiritual experience, they refer to the same event but view it in different aspects. The new birth stresses the communication of spiritual life in contrast to antecedent spiritual death; “regeneration” stresses the inception of a new state of things in contrast with the old; hence the connection of the use of the word with its application to Israel, in (Matt. 19:28).” (Matthew 19:28: “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”)
        Resuming the commentary of Vine’s Expository Dictionary: ... “In (Matt. 19:28) the word is used, in the Lord’s discourse, in the wider sense, of the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21), RV, when, as a result of the second advent of Christ, Jehovah “sets His King upon His holy hill of Zion” (Ps. 2:6), and Israel, now in apostasy, is restored to its destined status, in the recognition and under the benign sovereignty of its Messiah. Thereby will be accomplished the deliverance of the world from the power and deception of Satan and from the despotic and antichristian rulers of the nations. This restitution will not in the coming millennial age be universally a return to the pristine condition of Edenic innocence previous to the Fall, but it will fulfill the establishment of God’s covenant with Abraham concerning his descendants, a veritable rebirth of the nation, involving the peace and prosperity of the Gentiles. That the worldwide subjection to the authority of Christ will not mean the entire banishment of evil, is clear from (Rev. 20:7,8). Only in the new heavens and earth, “wherein dwelleth righteousness,” will sin and evil be entirely absent.”
        From the text it’s clear that Peter was speaking to the Jews and of the “times of restitution” (restoration) “of all things” which God had previously spoken about by his prophets from the Old Testament era.
        The text speaks of the restoration of Israel. It’s that simple.
        If you want to fight that truth then read the rest of Acts chapter 3 to set it in its proper frame of reference.
        Peter mentions Moses, who speaks of the promise of Jesus. Peter also mentions Samuel and “those” (prophets) “that follow after,” all foretelling of “these days,” i.e., of the days of the time of Peter. He then tells the Jews present and listening to him that they are the children of those prophets and that God sent Jesus to bless them, “in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”
        This is the rest of the text in Acts chapter 3:
        Acts 3:22-26:
        22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
        23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
        24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
        25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
        26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
        If you are a disciple of Jesus, i.e., a learner, supporter, follower and imitator of your Saviour, hear the words Peter spoke: “... it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”
        “That prophet” is a reference to Jesus. Beloved, hear Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith.
        W. E. Vine has stated the scriptural necessity of “spiritual regeneration,” which involves “the communication of a new life, the two operating powers to produce which are “the word of truth,” (Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23), and the Holy Spirit, (John 3:5,6); the loutron, “the laver, the washing,” is explained in (Eph. 5:26), “having cleansed it by the washing (loutron) of water with the word.”
        If you don’t have the Bible, God’s word of truth in you from continued study, then you are lacking the essential ingredient necessary for the Holy Spirit of God to “teach you all things” about God’s word.
        John 14:26: “but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and shall remind you of all things that I said to you.” (Literal Translation of the Bible translated by Jay P. Green Sr.)
        In my opinion the last part of that verse should read: “... teach you all things, namely, cause you to remember all things that I said to you.” Since Jesus is the word made flesh (John 1:14), “all things” that He said to us are included from Genesis to Revelation.
        How many times have you read through the Bible, each and every page, from Genesis to Revelation, inclusive? And then read it again and again and again and each time you gained more and more understanding? If you don’t understand the version you are reading, then use your intelligence and get a Bible version that you do understand. Get several different versions for cross reference.
        As I said, the text speaks of the restoration of Israel. It’s that simple.
        In addition, the “little gods” proponents allege that John 10:34,35—in which Jesus argues from the position of the greater to the lesser—substantiates their claim to be “little gods” because Jesus said “the scripture cannot be broken.” However, they then turn around and say that those to whom the word of God came, i.e., the lesser, speaking of the “new breed” of today’s apostles and prophets, are greater than the greater, i.e., Jesus Christ Himself, Who is the Word made flesh, and the written word, the Bible, as given to mankind, both of which emphasize servanthood of those who are to teach the people of God. In their attempts to justify their “little gods” status, they acknowledge the greater is greater than the lesser. But in stating their “prophetic revelations” of them now being “super” apostles and prophets being superior to those of the New Testament apostles and prophets they are saying that the lesser is greater than the greater. Is this line of thought contradictory, illogical or simply insane?
        Instead of recognizing Jesus Christ as the consummate servant, and apostles and prophets (and evangelists and shepherds—all teachers to the body of Christ) as functional teaching servants to the body of Christ, they want to claim the Greek derived words of “apostles” and “prophets” are positions, or “offices” of greater authority than the Bible, Jesus Himself (and their very own selves!) says they are. They are attempting to will themselves into a position of illegal authority for the purpose of being recognized as “greater” than that which the Bible says is lesser and to exercise unbiblical power over the “other” saints and to demand their time, money and abilities from them in order to keep them in this cast-iron “super” clergy/laity system.
        With this understanding of the scriptures you will be able to recognize the false prophets and false apostles. These false apostles and prophets will attempt to keep the body of Christ in a perpetual state of babyhood, tossed around like ships in a storm and blown around with self-serving and erroneous doctrines. They are clever, crafty and cunning persons with lying schemes and tricks and deceptions. They will also attempt to tear up the old foundation and lay a new one (and attempt to replace Christ as the chief corner stone), and will lay claim to revelations that are superior to that of the New Testament holy apostles and prophets.
        True unity of the faith is based upon the knowledge of the Son of God, which, of course, includes the truth of the word of God which teaches us of Christ. Unity in the body of Christ must be based upon the truth of scripture, not ecumenical councils or other humanly concocted fads and devices which overlook the truth of the Bible.
        Understanding the scriptural role of today’s apostles and prophets will help you recognize today’s false apostles and prophets that the word says are among us in these latter days. When we stop following them and trying to be like them then, and only then, we can “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 fulness of Christ:”
        How many know we will never come unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ by following anyone other than Jesus?

        Related articles:
“Americans religious faith in self and church, not Christ.” Americans religious faith is in self and church, not Christ, the Bible or God as biblically illiterate people obey flesh strongholds not the Holy Spirit.

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