OFFICE OF MINISTRY--OFFICER OF THE CHURCH
1. Is it in the Bible?
Yes...(all references speak of the old testament Levitical office, except for 1Timothy 3.....)
1Ti 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office
of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
1Ti 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2. What do we believe it means?
Every Christian has a ministry--but only some have an "office of ministry". An office ministry is a minister who operates in a greater degree of power than other ministers and therefore has authority over others within the church.
3. What does it really mean?
In some churches, you are told to evangelize--but don't ever think you are an "evangelist'! How much we place on a few letters in a word! The "office" of ministry is a very similar false teaching in the church. It is all about power and the judgment of power and authority in people. It is all about the human government we believe the church needs. And it is yet another big clue on how we operate the new covenant church through old covenant types and shadows.
In the old covenant there was an "office (an official authority) granted to one tribe of Israel. The Levites, according to the law--had the office of the priesthood. they had God's authority to operate the ministry of the temple (a ministry which was entirely for the purpose of cleansing of sin--a ministry entirely fulfilled by Jesus at the cross and annulled by his work. (see priestly raiment)
Now, look closely at the uses of the word "office" in the new testament. Most refer to the old covenant "office of the high priest", which of course still existed in the times of the Bible. However, there is one area of new testament scripture which seems to refer to a new covenant "office"--it is only found in 1timothy chapter 3 (as shown above).
The use of this one word, opens a gate to the old covenant--and serves to verify our experience and tradition which comes from these old covenant types.
There is only one problem.
The word "office", is NOT contained in the original Greek text!
This word was inserted by the King James translators, 500 years ago. The KJV translators also had "church experience". In those days, the church was intricately linked to human government. King James himself was a king who supposedly had God's right to have "authority"--"over"--his "subjects"--who had to "submit" to his "rule".
One of the ways King James operated his government was through the church itself (collecting taxes and levies) which had been a well-established government for centuries in Britain and most of Europe (it was in fact the governmental system of the catholic institution). The local pastor working under the bishop--who in turn reported tot he king. The "office of the bishop" was an important function of King James government and translators certainly had to find some place to "squeeze it into" their Bible translation!
500 years ago they did this--and so we are still stuck with their mistranslation--which serves as a "jumping off point" to lead us to believe that God wants human rulership and authority in the church.
He doesn't--but we haven't asked Him lately!