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Until We All Come To A Unity Of The Fatih

 
 
Brothers and Sisters, I have something to say to you. It is a present truth and a revelation for this very hour. I pray this word will penetrate the inner most parts of your being and birth within you a resolution to render to God the fruits of the increase of His Church in due season. As it is written:

Paul says,

“And he gave some, apostles; …some, prophets; and some, evangelists; …some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  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 fullness of Christ:”

Ephesians 4:11-13

From these passages of scripture, we know that the offices of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher were given TILL… The word “till” in the King James Version means “until” and is a scriptural time key relevant to the five-fold ministry. The question for all of us to ask is, UNTIL what?

 

The Five-Fold ministry has a end point

 

The underlying premise of this eassy is that the five-fold ministry occupies a particular and limited time in church history. The gift offices, therefore, are transitory. They are but a phase in the maturing of the body of Christ. So, the answer to our question is that the five-fold ministry was given UNTIL the body of Christ matures.

For a time, God placed Israel under the Law of Moses. The types and shadows that they kept were a schoolmaster to point them to Christ.  Likewise, the Church has been placed for a time under the tutelage of the five-fold ministry that it might muture into the fulness and stature of Christ. Those aspects of the law that prefigured Christ passed away when He fulfilled them. Likewise, those aspects of the five-fold ministry that are meant to complete the church pass away once the church is perfected.

 

We are the friend of the Bridegroom

 

As five-fold ministers, we are the friend of the Bridegroom. Our joy and purpose are to see that the bride is made ready to meet her Lord. Once this occurs, our purpose is fulfilled. While we do have a position of great importance and authority relative to our duties, once our course is run, we will fade into the background. This is the destiny of the five-fold ministry.

John the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord by calling the Children of Israel to repentance. He announced to the nation the coming of One greater than himself. The five-fold ministers are also preparing God’s people to receive One greater than they. Compared to the glory that shall be revealed in the manifested Sons of God, we will be unworthy to unlatch their shoes.

 

Workmen that need not be ashamed

 

As God anointed Bezaleel and Aholiab to build the tabernacle in the wilderness, God is anointing those of the five-fold ministry to build His spiritual house in this present age. He is filling us with His spirit, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, so that we can build His spiritual tabernacle.

Through the apostles and prophets, our Father is continuing to reveal the divine blueprint for His glorious house. Through God’s plan, every facet of this living temple that we are constructing shows forth Christ. Yet, know this, beloved, there shall come a day when the House of God is complete and we will have finished our work.

 

Is your identity wrapped up in your ministry?

 

For some of us, the completion of this task will be very traumatic, namely because our very identity is wrapped up in who we are in the ministry. God does not blame us. Many of us have suffered unspeakable hardships. We have toiled long and have given up much to answer the call of God on our lives. However, God is saying to you this day, the Spirit of ministry that is upon you is transitory, but His relationship with you is not. At some point in the future, the Spirit that empowers you shall decrease as it begins to increase upon the perfected body of Christ.

 

The Spirit and power of Elijah

 

 

For years, John the Baptist, clothed in camel’s-hair, lived alone with God in the wilderness. Perhaps the reason John was a voice crying in the desert was that no synagogue would let him in their doors. Yet, for one brief, shining moment, John rose above it all as the Spirit of Elijah came upon him. He said, “prepare ye the way of the Lord” as he baptized unto repentance in the River Jordan. The ministry that he had been preparing for from his mother’s womb was being fulfilled and his life’s purpose was being realized. Yet with all of his apparent success John says,

 

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

John 3:30

Like John, we of the five-fold ministry will have our day. God’s Spirit will come upon us, and we, too, will prepare the way of the Lord in His people. We shall shine and we shall do mighty exploits. Yet, when the body of Christ reaches the fullness of His stature, we must decrease.

 

The Body of Christ will do the work of the ministry

 

There shall come a time, my friends, when the body of Christ will arise to perform the work of the ministry that we have carried upon our shoulders for so long. At that time, they must increase and we must decrease. This is because God does not want the focus to be on us any longer. Some of us, like John, may even be removed. God did not want the eyes of His people to be upon John, but upon His son Jesus. This is why God allowed John to be put in prison and martyred.

Are we willing to let go and have God place the emphasis, anointing, and unction upon the body of Christ rather than upon us? Are we willing to step aside and watch as the manifested sons perform the ministry that we have labored so long in? Have we, as God’s husbandmen, been so long in God’s vineyard that we have begun to covet His land? Or, will we be faithful servants who will open wide the gates to God and say, “Look, Master, I’ve kept your vineyard, here it is, take it. My joy is that you have the increase.”

 

Until

 

The word is UNTIL, that is, until Christ comes to possess that which He has entrusted to us. The power of the Spirit, and all that goes with the five-fold ministry, are only for a time and a season. They are just anointed offices given to men and women by the Holy Spirit and are not part of our own inherent abilities. We must realize that we are servants that, without the Holy Spirit’s anointing, will become like anyone else.

God says:

Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

Matthew 11:2-3

 

When revelation lifts

 

What happened? Didn’t John baptize Jesus in the River Jordan and didn’t he know He was the Christ then? Didn’t the heavens open up, and the Spirit of God descend as a dove and say, “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Yet, in prison, John even doubted if Jesus truly was the Christ. The reason for John’s confusion was that his knowledge of who Jesus was did not come from intellect, but from the Spirit resting upon him. When the Spirit of God lifted, so did the revelation.

 

Thou art the Christ!

 

Another example of this type of heavenly knowledge is when Peter answered Jesus and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus answered him saying, “Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee.” Peter’s knowledge of who Christ was did not stem from what his eyes saw, but from whom his spirit knew.  John, in the same way, knew by revelation that Jesus is the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. Therefore, as the Spirit decreased, so did the revelation upon him, and he became only John.

 

The day is coming when we must decrease

 

God says the office and power that is upon us will lift and be transferred to the greater Christ.  Christ’s body, when connected to his head, will be God manifest in the flesh. Emanuel again walks the Earth and we do greater works. God then asks ministers to make the sacrifice of John and decrease that the Body of Christ might increase.

 

A short work

 

It is commonly taught in church that the return of Christ is imminent.  If this be the case, then it follows that the perfection of the church is also at hand. Furthermore, if the scriptures state that our ministries are given UNTIL the saints are perfected, then the duration of the five-fold ministry must necessarily be short. Therefore, how long do you suppose it will be, UNTIL we are out of a job?

How many of us are prepared for this eventuality? Would we suffer a major identity crisis if stripped of our ministry like John? Hardly  any one of us that would not find these circumstances a severe test of our faith. Subtly, our identity and worth are wrapped up in our ministries. In reality, our true worth to God is in our personal love relationship with Him apart from our works. Confusion of who we are before God is a very real and present danger in the five-fold ministry.

 

Hard sayings…

 

God says,

For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

Mark 6:17-18

 

God places us where He wills

 

If John thought about this particular hard saying, it might have occurred to him that such a course of action was not in the best interest of his ministry. As it was, he simply yielded to God as he had always done, and let the consequences unfold as they always did. God knew what the result of John’s action would be. Yet John’s apparent ministerial suicide was part of God’s greater plan, and justifies Christ calling him the greatest born among women.

Some of us find that we moderate or even refuse to speak the word that God gives us for fear of damaging our ministry. Many of us live and die by our precious reputations.  Wed protect our image even at the cost of disobedience to our heavenly Father.  However, if we neglect to take the course of action that God clearly sets before us, fearing that it will harm our ministry, we are idolaters.  Compromising our calling we make our ministry an Isaac before God.  You may be asked to sacrifice the thing you love most even if God gave it in the first place.

 

The “until” is here, set God’s people free

 

The UNTIL that God speaks of is coming sooner than we think. Herod removed John the Baptist at the very height of his ministry. Think about it. God is telling us these things in advance because He loves us. He does not want any of us to stumble when it is our time for the UNTIL to take effect. As ministers of the five-fold, our joy is to present a holy and spotless bride to Jesus. Step back and let Christ unite with His body.  Have faith that, together, the perfected saints will perform the work of the ministry.

 

…There hath not risen a greater…

 

Though John the Baptist died alone in a prison, Jesus says:

Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Matthew 11:11

In conclusion, let our hearts be set upon Paul’s hope. Paul says:

Philippians 3:8-11

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness that is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (KJV)
 
 

 

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