x371........What God Could Have Said--But He didn't

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;" (Ephesians 4:11, KJV).

In the book of Ephesians, God chose to speak of ministry. He named out certain activities--He called out certain gifts---He called forth these anointings. These functioning anointings for the purpose of His service.

Now, When He did this--He could have related these ministries--these services--to anything He wanted to.

For example, if He wanted to make the point that only some people where going to be allowed into "ministry". If He wanted to make the point that "ministers" were a special--separate "breed" from the rest of Christians, He could have related these gifts of ministry to --say--perhaps one of these old testament scriptures--

5 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 6* Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him. 7* And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle. 8* And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. 9 And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel. 10* And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. (Numbers 3:5-10)

These verses describe the old covenant calling of the Levitical priesthood. Notice certain things--

1. they were called "ministers"

2. they served God

3. they had "charge" over the whole congregation--they were "in charge"

4. they were sanctioned to be the only group who could handle the holy things of God.

5. they were "appointed"

6. They had an "office" ----they were officially designated above all Israel to communicate with God--to do the right and proper service to God--and they were told to "wait on their priests office"---which means "to keep guard over" something. They were commanded to have a military-like guard over their service to God, to make sure all the right and proper functions were done according to His will.


Question? Doesn't this sound like our idea of what "the ministry" is?

Don't we believe that "ministers" have charge over all the congregation?

Don't we believe that "ministers" are specially appointed by God?

Don't we believe that they are the only ones who can handle the holy things of God?

Don't we believe that they are "separated" by God above other Christians, to do the service to God--and that only "some" Christians can be "ministers"?

Don't we believe that "ministers have an "office"--are officially designated by God to command and "have the rule" over others?

Now, if God had wanted the ministers of the new covenant to be like, and look like, and go by similar rules and the Levitical priesthood, He could have, if He wanted to, quoted from these verses in the old testament, with relation to the proclaiming of the new covenant ministry. Well, then it would seem perfectly sensible that we set up the new testament ministry along the same guidelines as the old covenant--right?


Question:---Haven't we set up the "rules" of ministry along these guidelines--without the command of God?

So, when God wrote ephesians chapter 4, He might have written something like this--

1* ¶ I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2* ¶ With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3* Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4* There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5* One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6* One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. -----7--But only unto some is given the grace of the ministry, to be officiated and to rule and to be separate unto Me -----8---Wherefore He saith " Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him. And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle.-----11* And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

But God didn't say this--right? Instead He said it this way.....

1 * ¶ I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (Ephesians 4:1-11, KJV).

Yet we persist on the idea that the leaders of our churches have the right of the Levitical priests--to have authority over the rest of us. We ought to read the new testament more carefully. The Levitcal priesthood is specifically done away with in the book of Hebrews...

11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. (Hebrews 7:11-12, KJV).

There is a change in the priesthood in the new covenant. There is NOT a ruling authority priesthood. There is NOT a minister who is the only person who has the right to do ministry within the temple and collect the tithe in order to operate his ministry. The changes are specific. In the new covenant, ministry is NOT authority over others, we are to be brothers and sisters on a common level---We are ALL given the gift and anointing to do ministry---We don't need to build temples to please God and make sacrifice for sin, since we ARE the temples of God. In the new covenant, there is no ruling ministry, Christ is the Head of the church---so there is no Levitical priesthood, our own homes are the house of God---And no need for a tithe, the offering for sin, since Jesus has made the one-time-for-all offering of His body and blood--the bread and the meat of the offering (which WAS the tithe!). And we are ALL granted the right to partake of the bread of the altar--we are ALL made priests---ALL.


Now, here is another idea--

What if God had wanted us to know that in the new covenant--we could have ministry--but "ministry needs a covering". What if God had wanted to make the point that we could do ministry--but we absolutely must have another Christian--a "real minister" to "cover" our ministry.

We can find this concept in the old covenant--(if you really interpret the heck out if it!)---

Nu 4:12 And they shall take all the instruments of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put them on a bar

Well, I have heard some of our modern--day ministers relate the gifts of ministry to this verse in the Bible. They will tell you--"See--if you want to be a vessel of ministry--you must have a covering" This means you must bring your ministry under the authority of the pastor--underneath the delegated authority.

Well, it's their right to preach this if they want to --But unfortunately for them, when God chose to speak of new covenant ministry (yes, including the pastoral ministry--this is the one and only time the word "pastors" is mentioned in the new testament!!)--He did not write it like this--


1* ¶ I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2* ¶ With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3* Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4* There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5* One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6* One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

------7-----But those who minister must have a covering of the authority of other ministers whom I have appointed to be rulers over the church

------8------Wherefore He saith "And they shall take all the instruments of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put them on a bar

11* And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;


Now, once again--God did not choose to write this (much to the chagrin of the preachers who have related ministry to the "covering" which is somewhat vaguely described in the Old Covenant)

We have to understand the situation. The apostle Paul was writing to the church at Ephesus. He is writing exactly what God is commanding him to write--he is writing the new testament. Now, one of the ways that God verified the new testament, was to quote from the old, by quoting from the established word of God.

And so it could have been possible for God to have quoted limiting scriptures when He proclaims the New Covenant ministries. He could have spoken them with the limiting ideas --with the ideas that only "some" people were going to be new covenant ministers--just as the old covenant priesthood (of course God dealt more directly with this and quite simply when He declares all Christians priests)--

Revelation 1:6* And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 5:10* And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

But, when God decided to proclaim the new testament ministries He chose to use a certain verse from the old testament to verify these gifts--explaining quite simply to whom these gifts are directed.


18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. (Psalms 68:18, KJV).


God chose to use this verse--psalm 68 and verse 18 to explain to whom the gifts of ministry are given. This verse says quite clearly that the gift being referred to are "given unto men". The word men used here is the Hebrew word "adam" referring to mankind. That means everyone, not just some people--right?!?

This is further defined by the statement that these gifts are given to "the rebellious also" Certainly not just to some selected people--certainly not under a covering--but rather to everyone--that's why God says clearly--

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

He defines it clearly, before He verifies this concept with psalm 68 18. God clearly chooses to say that these gifts are "given unto every one of us". And He verifies it by choosing to use the psalm that tells of gifts that are given to "men" (mankind)--"even the rebellious".

"Every one of us" God says the gifts of ministry are given to every one of us.......

Like it or not.