A More Effective Five-fold Ministry
Issue No. 370
On March 22-24, 2001, God led us to conduct a prayer campaign with the awkward title: He is Building Effective Apostleship. In recent weeks our home team began to discern that this was soon to be revisited (on the next level, of course). Then this topic disappeared from sight until April 21, when we were suddenly given revelation needed to understand the next phase of this emerging ministry.
Apostleship can be seen as the leadership of the five-fold ministry that Paul mentions in Eph. 4:11-13,
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
An Ineffective Five-fold Ministry
Previously, in verse 8, Paul identifies such ministers as God’s “gifts,” which He gave to the church when He rose from the dead and “led captive a host of captives.” It is significant, therefore, that we were given the present revelation on April 21, on which day Christ’s resurrection was celebrated in 2019.
During the past two millennia of the Age of Pentecost, the church has had this five-fold ministry available, yet much of the time it was ineffective, ignored, or suppressed. The Latter Rain movement in 1948-1952 revived interest in the five-fold ministry, and the Charismatic Movement later adopted it as best they could within the parameters (and limitations) of the Age of Pentecost.
Nonetheless, it remained largely ineffective and did not produce the results that Paul described. The main reason for this was that they did not really comprehend the purpose of these ministries gifted to the church. Yet these ministries were to remain with the church until “all” come into unity, until we all know God as we ought, and until we all come to full spiritual maturity using Jesus Christ as the standard of measure.
The problem is that the church usually interpreted this in a limited way, turning revelation into traditions, claiming “all” referred to the church, rather than to humanity as a whole. In other words, they thought it applied to all believers, rather than to “all men,” as we see in Rom. 5:18.
In similar manner, many interpreted 1 Cor. 15:22 to mean that all believers would be resurrected to life, instead of seeing the verse in the context of all humanity which died in Adam.
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each in his own order….
The Church has had an ineffective five-fold ministry, mostly because it lacked understanding of its full purpose. Men did not believe that God was actually able to save all of mankind and thus fulfill His New Covenant oath. They thought it depended upon the promises, vows, and decisions of men, and so they could not comprehend that God’s will might be stronger than man’s will or that His sovereignty gave Him the right to overrule the authority of men.
If men had sovereignty, then God would surely fail to fulfill His promise to save all mankind. Only a sovereign God can have the ability to fulfill His promises. Without the power to fulfill promises, one ought not to make them.
By not comprehending the law of God, the Church failed to see the difference between God’s absolute sovereignty as Creator and man’s limited authority as a created being. By assuming the sovereignty of man (i.e., “free will”), they relegated God to a mere referee, an all-powerful God whose power was restricted to rewarding or penalizing the real players in the game. But He invented the game and rigged it so that He would win in the end.
An Effective Five-fold Ministry
Eighteen years ago we received revelation that an effective apostleship was being built. Now we have been given the rest of the revelation—that God is building an entire five-fold ministry that will be effective. “Effective” means to be successful. In other words, God’s purpose for the five-fold ministry will be successful.
Being successful begins with a revelation of success, for this gives us the vision of how it will turn out in the end. God always imparts a vision of the end before sending His laborers into the harvest. In fact, His laborers usually get that vision even before they are trained to do the work. For some reason, God neglects to tell those laborers that they need a lot of training before they really can be effective. When long years of training ensue, the laborers tend to become discouraged.
So in 2001 when we first received this revelation, we all thought that “effective apostleship” was imminent. We did not realize that we faced eighteen years of further training just to learn the rest of the revelation! I can see why God withheld a revelation of timing until the end, for if men in the past had known that the age would drag on for many centuries, it would have discouraged them.
The Revelation of April 21, 2019
One of our team members called me on the morning of April 21 with the revelation that we needed to go to the divine court and combine it with a divine council meeting. It had something to do with gold and a paralyzed hand.
We called such a meeting and decreed the release. Suddenly, an evil spirit manifested itself, and I cast it into outer darkness. When it was gone, we saw gold and a paralyzed hand coming out of the ground under Achan’s tent. That, of course, took us to the story of Achan in Joshua 7:20, 21, where the man had buried some gold and other items taken from the battle of Jericho.
Recall that all of the gold, silver, bronze, and iron from Jericho were to be placed in the treasury of the Lord (Joshua 6:19). As early as 1991, I had linked this incident to the prophecy of the great image described in Daniel 2:32, 33,
32 The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
These metallic parts of the statue, or image, represented nations that were to rule the earth after the kings of Judah lost the dominion mandate due to their continual sin. Hence, the metals generally represented the people of the earth—fleshly people, of course. On the surface, the story in Joshua 6, 7 is about the overthrow of Jericho, but it is a prophetic type of Babylon being overthrown at the end of the age.
Joshua’s instructions about what to do with the gold, silver, bronze, and iron tell us what to do with the people when end-time Babylon is destroyed by the army of God. All of the people (assets) of Jericho/Babylon were to be put into God’s treasury. In other words, they were not to be lost forever but were to be saved. God held them as being of great value and forbade anyone from trying to bury them in the ground or lose them in any way.
Achan, however, disagreed with Joshua’s instructions. He stole some gold, silver, and a Babylonian garment and buried them in the ground under his tent. The “Achan Doctrine,” as I came to call it, sets forth the idea that sinners and “enemies of God” ought to be buried in the ground (annihilated) or sent to the pit of hell, where they would be separated from God and eternally tortured without hope of forgiveness or parole.
But God judged Achan as a thief, because God claimed ownership of all of the gold, silver, bronze, and iron by the law of Creator’s rights. In fact, Achan’s foolish act caused the deaths of 36 men of Israel in the next battle (Joshua 7:5). He probably did not realize that the consequences of his actions would cause others to die.
But yet it happened.
Likewise, the doctrine of eternal hell or even eternal annihilation have caused countless people to turn away from God over the centuries. The Church leaders teaching eternal torment probably did not intend to cause this, for their thinking was that if the threat of punishment were severe enough, men would run to Jesus and never stray into sin. However, their doctrine had an opposite effect, for more are drawn by love than by fear.
Counterfeit Five-Fold Ministries
The image in Daniel 2 were composed of four metals, plus clay—five in all. In the context of present revelation, it appears that these five may also be seen as counterfeits to the real five-fold ministry, when viewed in terms of spiritual callings.
By this view, the gold speaks of apostolic ministry which shows men how to regain the divine nature through Christ. The silver speaks of prophetic ministry which sets forth the message of redemption that was prophesied from the beginning.
The bronze speaks of evangelistic ministry whose message speaks of judgment (copper) and forgiveness (tin) to produce a strong and balanced gospel message (bronze). Tin is number 50 on the period table of elements, and this is the number of the Jubilee. The law of Jubilee limits all debt to a period of 50 years. The “tin” of Jubilee does not weaken the gospel but strengthens it by modifying the metal of divine judgment (copper).
Iron speaks of a strong pastoral ministry, where Yahweh is revealed to the people daily. Iron is 26 on the periodic table of elements, and Yahweh has a numeric value of 26.
Clay speaks of a teaching ministry. It is not a metal but represents human nature. It is a form of dirt, from which God fashioned Adam (Gen. 2:7). In Isaiah 45:9 we read,
9 Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—an earthenware vessel among the vessels of the earth! Will the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing?” Or the thing you are making say, “He has no hands”?
When a potter forms a clay pitcher, the clay does not question the potter, nor does he insult the potter by telling him that he is handicapped and incapable of creating a beautiful vessel that is useful and valuable.
Clay is a teaching ministry—or, better, a teacher is called to shape clay vessels through his or her teaching.
The empires of men during “the times of the gentiles” (Luke 21:24) were given the dominion mandate, which also put into their carnal hands the responsibility to bring righteousness to the earth. These nations, of course, were never destined to accomplish this calling, but yet they were held accountable when they failed.
Their version of the five-fold ministry was carnal and self-serving, because they sought slaves to enhance their own power and comfort, rather than using their authority to bring about spiritual maturity that would make men free.
Hence, they sought gold to enrich themselves so that they could purchase slaves. They sought silver, not to redeem slaves from the power of sin, but to further enslave them. They sought bronze as a metal but knew nothing of the law of Jubilee, and so they judged men unjustly by their own man-made laws, or “traditions of men.”
Their iron became an iron yoke (Deut. 28:48), which was used to steal men’s labor.
Their “clay” too was mixed with iron, making it impure and impossible to create a useful vessel for the Kingdom of God. In other words, their teachings were designed to cause people to accept the iron yoke upon their necks.
The clay mixed with iron in prophecy was the extension of Imperial Rome in what we know as Papal Rome. Daniel 7:8 sees it as a little “horn” extending from the fourth beast empire (Rome) after its fall in 476 A.D. So the Roman Church puts men in bondage to itself and taught its members to submit to the traditions of men. In so doing, they set aside the laws of God, even as the Jewish rabbis had done in previous centuries.
Such teaching kept the “clay” impure and weak, unless the people themselves were able somehow to rise above their circumstances and develop their own independent relationship with Christ.
The Church became the empire of iron mixed with clay in Daniel 2. In Daniel 7 it was pictured as the little horn that extended the life of Rome, adopting many of its ways and interpreting the laws of God for its own benefit to keep the people in bondage. But now God is building effective apostleship, along with other effective ministries.
The New Hand
On April 21, when we made our decree and cast out the evil spirit, the gold (divine nature) came forth and the hand was released or exposed. We may also view this in terms of the paralyzed five-fold ministry (hand) being replaced by a new hand. The old hand was degraded and ineffective. The new hand coming forth is “effective,” in that it will indeed succeed in bringing the entire world into the unity of the faith, the knowledge of God (i.e., His divine nature), and to spiritual maturity.
The restoration of all things will not take place all at once, of course. We still have a lot of time ahead of us before the Creation Jubilee. We are only at the end of the first “six days” (6,000 years) of Adamic history, coming up on the first Sabbath. There will probably be another six “weeks,” (6 x 7 “days/years”) or 42,000 years before we reach the great Jubilee at the end of time.
Right now, we are at the end of the six days of history and are entering into a Sabbath Millennium. We must view prophetic history in that context, rather than see the second coming of Christ as the end of all things. We are at the climax of an age but NOT at the climax of the divine plan.
We are at the point where the heavens and the earth are being shaken as part of a lengthy process of aligning all things with the Kingdom and putting all things under the feet of Christ.
The five-fold ministry was given to the church to keep the promise of God alive in our hearts that in the end we will all come to a place of “unity” in Christ. The reconciliation of all things will become a reality, however improbable this may seem to the average Christian today.
Since the year 400 A.D., when the Roman church began to fight against the mainstream Christian belief in universal salvation, the divine plan for the earth has been less and less understood. Prior to that year, most Christians believed that God would save all mankind in the end. Even Augustine, the champion of endless torments, complained in the early fifth century that “most Christians” did not believe his view of an eternal hell. When universal salvation was lost, the five-fold ministry lost its vision and its primary message to the world.
The Notre Dame Fire
On April 15, 2019 the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France burned, destroying its roof and its tall spire. Just before the fire, however, its large statues of the 12 apostles were removed and transported to another location. Their reason for this, they said, was that the cathedral was soon to undergo a massive renovation.
That explanation seems a bit weak to me, making me suspicious that they were planning for this fire in advance. Nonetheless, we must focus our attention on the prophetic implications of this fire.
The 12 apostles were lifted by helicopter after the heads were removed from the statues. Hence, the news showed photos of 12 beheaded apostles. When we received the revelation of the hand and the five-fold ministry on April 21, just six days after the Notre Dame fire, we saw this as a manifestation of the apostolic ministry (the thumb).
The fact that the apostles were being removed from the cathedral seemed to indicate that (1) the true apostolic ministry had been rejected by the church, and (2) men had beheaded the true apostles and had replaced them with carnally minded popes who had no vision or revelation of the true purpose of the five-fold ministry.
Furthermore, the gargoyles adorning the cathedral did not protect the church from the fire but stood watching as it burned. A gargoyle is an evil spirit that men conjure up to protect them from other evil spirits. Such protection does not work, of course, because evil spirits will always betray men in the end.
The Bible School
In 1993 God drew me back into the ministry after being in my “wilderness” for 12 years. It was not long before I began to sense that I was to start a Bible School where the word of God could be taught without the encumbrances of state requirements.
So I began to write textbooks for a curriculum. This took many years, and it is doubtful that I will stop writing for as long as I live and can still think clearly. Yet we are now at the point where we have all of the basic courses necessary to start the school. We are even now training teachers and facilitators to lead discussions online, and when God provides enough to obtain buildings for classrooms, we plan to establish those as well worldwide.
Our curriculum is composed of five “modules,” which are modelled after the five-fold ministry. The first module, for example, is designed to train people in evangelism, based on a New Covenant gospel message. From there, we will move into the Pastoral studies, teaching people the things they need to know from the word to make them effective and knowledgeable pastors.
The third module is designed to train teachers, so that they know the word well enough to be effective teachers.
The fourth module is designed to train prophets, so that they do not prophesy things that run contrary to the word of God or interpret true prophecies incorrectly.
The fifth module is designed to train apostles for an effective apostolic ministry.
None of these courses in themselves can substitute for one’s calling itself. One cannot take courses, learn the material, and then assume that he now has a particular calling. All callings come from God, not from men’s certificates or diplomas or degrees. Men’s affirmations are limited in value and, at best, can only bear witness to what God is doing in the lives of others.
Nonetheless, we believe that if we teach them the word of God with understanding, we can make their ministries more effective. As long as we always point people to Christ, we will fulfill our own callings as teachers of the word.
Above all, we recognize that we are not to set up a denomination whereby we seek to increase membership or to be concerned with finances. We believe that if God is in it, then He is responsible to provide the means to get the job done. We are confident that the provision will be there when it is time to do it.
Having said that, we believe that the time to launch the Bible School is drawing near, so we are training teachers to prepare for this. They are not only studying the material but are also devising test questions for each textbook that will be used in the curriculum.
Even now, the school is already open for everyone, because all of the textbooks are posted online for everyone to read free of charge. So we encourage everyone to take advantage of our free schooling.