“It was he who “gave gifts”; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers.” (Ephesians 4:11 GNB)
Apostles “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God” Romans 1:1 NKJV Who is an apostle? An apostle is someone totally sold to Christ who is given or saddled with the responsibility of a-mission or assignment to spread the gospel of Christ in the area of his or her calling. The office of Apostles can be likened to that of a Church founder. Examples: The 12 disciples of Jesus were called to be apostles among the Jews, Apostle Paul was call to be an apostle among the gentiles to give them the good news of salvation, our mother, Dr (Mrs) Eunice Olufunke Babayemi is an apostle of Christ to JCLI as a founder. An apostle must be a person of right standing with God and filled with the Holy Spirit. The Office is accompanied with divine miracles and wonders, spirit of discernment, words of wisdom, prophesy and understanding of spiritual things. They also function as administrators to clarify foundational doctrines and give appointments to other offices in the vineyard through the direction of the Holy Spirit. For more understanding, please study the book Acts of Apostle.
“Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.” (Acts 21:9 – 10)
These are true children of God (male and female) who are endowed with the gift of divine prophecy. True Prophets manifest their gift through the power of the Holy Spirit to make the mind of God known to His Holy Spirit to make the mind of God known to His Church, to a person or to a nation as the case may be. The office of a prophet is occupied by individuals chosen by God Himself. You cannot choose to be a prophet; God would have to choose you by His divine plan. Anyone that occupies this privileged office must be truthful and faithful to God and man with the messages received from God in order not to mislead people and invoke the wrath of God upon themselves. A prophet of God must not be worldly in all things so that the message of God will not be compromised and the office will remain sacred. To have more understanding of the office of the Prophet, please study the books of the Prophets in the Old Testament.
“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10 NKJV)
These are set of Individuals that has given time to diligently study the scriptures and has been given divine understanding to first teach themselves to know and do according to the knowledge they have received from the word of God, and secondly teach others to also study to acquire the knowledge of the scriptures in order to live a Christian life that is worthy of emulation. To occupy the office of a teacher in the church, you must be truthful in dividing the word of God rightly, not to suit yourself but to echo the will of Christ to your listeners, one cannot achieve this except you are filled with the great Teacher of all, The Holy Spirit. As a teacher when you allow the Holy Spirit to have its space, then the spirit will make you eloquent in words or in writing to be able to pass across your knowledge to others. And finally as a teacher, you should strive at all times to leave what you teach so that your teaching can be effective and bring more people to the cross rather than taking them away from it.
SOLDIERS OF JESUS CHRIST (SJC)/USHERS/CHURCH WARDEN
“Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his brethren, from his father’s house, the Korahites, were in charge of the work of the service, gatekeepers of the tabernacle. Their fathers had been keepers of the entrance to the camp of the LORD.” (I Chronicles 9:19 NKJV)
“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” II Timothy 2:3 NKJV, II Timothy 2:3 NKJV. These offices are merged together in this study because their responsibilities are interwoven. These offices were recommended by God Himself to the Israelites through Moses, so they are not insignificant or mere in the sight of God, neither should we treat them as offices with less importance. The occupiers of these offices work as helpers to other offices in the church as well as being in charge of organization and orderliness in the service of God. These offices should be occupied by individuals that have right standing with the Lord, intercessors, endowed with spirit of selfless service to God and man, faithful in the matters of money, pure love to brethren, not rude, ability to ascertain order, be able to endure others, treat people with respect and without eye service.
DEACON & DEACONNESS
“Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.” (I Timothy 3: 9 – 10 NKJV)
“Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;” Acts 6:3 NKJV With the understanding gathered from the scriptures, the office of the deacons & deaconess is a respectable office which oversees the administration of wellbeing of brethren and other offices in the body of Christ. Individuals in this office are also involved in preaching the gospel of Christ. According to the scriptures, anyone in this office must be filled with the Holy Spirit, must hold on to the misery of our faith in Christ with pure heart, be blameless, have a reputable marriage (one wife, one husband) and faithful in their dealings.
“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (II Timothy 4:5 NKJV)
The office of an evangelist is all believers’ office because Jesus gave everyone that believe in His name the great commission to preach the gospel of Christ to the whole world, this being said there are some the whole world, this being said there are some individuals that have this call as their divine assignment, like we read in Acts of Apostle 8:29-35 about Philip and the eunuch from Ethiopia, after he witnessed to him, the spirit of God took him to another place to continue his work of evangelism. The work of an evangelist is to move from one location to another to spread the gospel of Christ and they are also Church planters. An evangelist must be a true child of God, have understanding of the scriptures, have love for souls to be worn to the Kingdom, must be faithful and filled with the Holy Spirit.
“This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;” (I Timothy 3:1-2 NKJV)
The office of a Bishop is of higher calling and the book of 1Tim3:1-7 gives us a great understanding of the personality of a Bishop. Any one that occupies this office must be of good conduct, a lover of God and people, filled with the Holy Spirit, be a good example to the congregation of God with understanding of the scriptures. Bishops are also referred to as the Pastor of pastors because one of their responsibilities is to see to the welfare of other pastors. Also they look after the administration of the Church organization.
“And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jeremiah 3:15 NKJV)
The office of a pastor in the body of Christ is a very important and delicate office. Individuals that occupies this offices deals directly with the lives of believers in their congregation to feed and nurture them with the undiluted word of God, shows interest in the wellbeing of their Church members without discrimination of status, gender or ethnicity. Pastors shares greatly in the burden of their members challenges. So to be able to do the will of God effectively in this office, a pastor must be a person that is filled with spirit of discernment so that he/ she will not be trapped by the enemy, they must be filled with the love of Christ to be able to empathize and give relevant counsel to members when needed. Finally, pastors must be persons of reputable character, trust worthy, have control over their homes character, trust worthy, have control over their homes and prayerful.
Lady Kemi Ayeni
16th January, 2021