The Fivefold Ministry For Today
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (NKJV)
In this scripture, Paul is referring to the patriarchs of old, of Moses and Abraham, and he is saying, "All the things that happened to these great men of God was so that they could be a model for us to learn from."
So all the tough times poor Moses had to go through with those horrible Israelites in the Wilderness was so that we might learn from his mistakes, from his glory, and I think most of all, from his trials. If I think of anybody who had more trials than anybody else, it had to be poor Moses having to lead those Israelites who were forever turning their backs on God.
There is encouragement in that. God actually allowed those things to happen to Abraham and to Moses for them to be recorded, so that we might so many thousands of years later, learn from those lessons.
Being a Model
This is a pattern that the Lord has set up in His Body, and as we stand as the New Testament Church, we, as leaders of the fivefold ministry, have been set as models again to represent Christ to the Body of Christ, that they may look upon us and our lives as what we go through, and then be able to use it to apply to their lives.
So, do you want to know why you are going through such a hard time? Why it seems like you are going through so many different conflict situations, why you face more than most? It is so that you may be a model for others to relate to.
Understanding Your Journey
When you grasp the concept that God is trying to form you into a model, then you will start to understand the pressures you have gone through to make you into the person you are today. Below, I am going to give you a quick list of what each of the fivefold ministry offices looks like. As you go through the experiences you have faced in life, you will start to see how these characteristics have been formed in your life on purpose!
Since the day you were conceived, the Lord has been gearing you for the call on your life!
Identifying the Evangelist
So, what does a prophet look like? What does an evangelist look like? I know you are dying to know, so I want to share a couple of points here that we have learned from experience mostly as we have trained the fivefold ministry. What I am going to share with you here is more based on personal experience though, and what we have come to find.
Let's start with the evangelist. It says in Acts 8:35:
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. (NKJV)
Philip is a wonderful example of an evangelist. So, what does an evangelist look like? How would you know if you bumped into an evangelist on the street?
1. Passion for Souls
An evangelist has a passion for souls. He is always talking about winning the lost. An evangelist works in the external anointing. He has often had a powerful personal salvation experience. He is somebody who was taken out of sin. He is somebody who was taken out of a bad situation, and he really appreciates what it is the Lord has given to him in salvation.
You know, some of us who have grown up in a home of believers do not sometimes appreciate what we have in the Lord. It is so commonplace for us. We have had it all our lives, and we forget the gift the Lord gave us in salvation. But you take somebody who was drowning in sin. You take somebody who was on the edge of despair, and you get them saved, and the fire that is in them is so contagious that they want to tell everybody about it. They had to work for their salvation. It wasn't just handed to them.
When they came to the Lord, something radical happened, and when that happened, they wanted the whole world to know about it. So, the evangelist, nine times out of ten, you will find had a miraculous conversion. They were steeped in sin, the Lord pulled them out, and they have a story to tell.
2. Simple Understanding
An evangelist, however, does not have an extensive knowledge of the Word. This we have come to find. Usually their knowledge is limited to the gospel message and deliverance, because that is about as far as they went. They were saved, and well, that is their message. The whole world must now be saved... and what more do you need? He is a very strong leader but doesn't have a very extensive knowledge of the Word.
An evangelist will emphasize heaven and hell, because they knew what hell was, and now they know they are not going there anymore. It is very important to them. They will emphasize heaven and hell, and they will also emphasize holy living. That is because the evangelist, because he moves in the external anointing, will concentrate on the righteousness of God. He will know the rights and wrongs, and he will preach them. They can be a bit judgmental, like "Thou shalt and thou shalt not!" but that is how the external anointing operates.
3. Passion and Conviction!
It brings conviction. Without that conviction, people would not come to the Lord, because an unbeliever needs to know he is a sinner. So, when an evangelist stands up, he is preaching conviction, holy living, and exposing sin. They often sound like they are condemning, but without that conviction, nobody would come to the Lord.
They are very zealous in their views. An evangelist has one sight, he is on that road, and he is heading out. Heaven help anybody who gets in his way, because he is going! They are very strong in their views. Don't tell them that they are wrong, and don't tell them that they must change, and certainly do not tell them that they must shut up, because they are going to do what they are going to do.
It is a passion that is contagious. You know when you are around an evangelist. You want to win the whole world, because they are so excited about. It is something so wonderful to them that you want to get in on that. There is just something about the fire in an evangelist that is contagious.
4. Sometimes Pushy and Headstrong
They can however, be pushy at times. An evangelist thinks that everybody should be an evangelist.
"Forget the other fivefold ministries ladies and gentlemen, what more do you need other than an evangelist? You have the anointing, you are extending the Kingdom of God. Come on, what more is there? What do you need all these other gifts and the Word for? You have the gospel message, and you are winning souls to the Lord. What more do you need?"
So, they can be a bit pushy and if you say, "No, I feel the Lord has led me in this direction," they say, "Yeah, but the Word says we must go out and make disciples of all men. You are a second rate Christian if you are not evangelizing."
Speaking about Christ comes naturally to an evangelist. They don't even have to try. They will just meet up with people in elevators, in shopping malls, at hotels, walking down the street, and speaking Jesus to them as Philip did is just something that flows off their tongue. They don't have to even think about it.
You don't have to go to an evangelist and say, "Well, what is your mode of operation?"
It is just part of what and who they are. They are speaking about the Lord all the time. It just comes out of them. They cannot help themselves. It just bubbles up out of them.
5. Evangelistic Maturity
They have a desire for a specific nation or group of people. If an evangelist has a desire for a specific nation or group of people, it denotes maturity, because then he is going out. He is not just doing one-on-one evangelism anymore. He is now extending his horizons, and he is evangelizing the world universal.
Evangelists bring the lost to the Lord with ease. You look at these guys, and you just don't know how they do it. Let's be honest, for those of you who are not evangelists, you look at them and say, "How do they do it?"
You look at somebody and say, "There's no way they'll get saved. They never listen to anything." However, you get an evangelist who will go and speak to that person, and he gets them saved like this.
You go, "How did you do it? I couldn't even get them to listen to me for five minutes."
They just have this way of leading people to the Lord with such ease, and that is what is so contagious about them.
So, now, can you see what an evangelist looks like? Do you have a picture in your mind? If you had to see one walking down the street, would you say, "Hey, you're an evangelist!"
Identifying the Pastor
What does a pastor look like? Jeremiah 23:4 says:
4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking, says the LORD. (NKJV)
I want you to scratch the stereotype pastor out of your minds. I want you to try and create a new image and forget about the old one for now. What does a real pastor look like? Not the ones who have kicked you out of their churches. I am talking a fivefold ministry pastor, God's order. I am talking about the real thing here, not the stereo-type.
A true pastor or shepherd has a compassionate heart. I can spot a pastor from a mile. He is the guy who sits and listens to everybody's problems for hours and hours. He is a good listener. He cares about people. He cares about their needs. He worries about them.
He lies awake at night thinking, "Man, I wonder if so-and-so got the house payment. I wonder how so-and-so's child is doing. I hope they are feeling better."
He has a compassionate heart, and he cares about people. He agonizes with others over their difficulties. He is the kind of person that when you come to him with a problem he goes, "Man, that's tough!" He might not necessarily have the right counsel. He might not even necessarily have the right answers. But he is the kind of person who will sit through and agonize with you. He is the kind of person that will sit in the hospital with you next to the deathbed of somebody.
He is the person you can phone at 3:00 o'clock in the morning and say, "I really need you to stand with me. I'm going through a hard time," and he will sit and agonize with you and stand with you.
2. A Desire to Protect
He has a desire to protect and guard against attack. He stands up for the little guy. If he sees somebody being beaten down, he wants to get there to pick him up. He is just like a shepherd who, if he had to see a sheep that had fallen in a ditch, would immediately bend down and pick the sheep or the little lamb up and try and protect it. If a wolf had to come, he would be there with his rod to beat that wolf out of the way. He is very zealous about the people that the Lord has brought him.
If you are the kind of person that has this nature, that keeps wanting to reach out and protect all the time and to shield people and pick them up and put them in cotton wool all the time, that is what a pastor looks like. He may at times seem austere from the outside, perhaps even unemotional, but on the inside is a tenderness. Just be speaking to him, you can usually pick up that tender heart.
Have you ever spoken to somebody like that? At first, you look at them and think, "I don't know about this guy. I don't know how to take him." However, as you start speaking to him, you find he has such a tender heart of compassion for people.
3. The Pastor ‘fusses’
That is what a pastor looks like. He is like a parent over a child. He fusses. You know how we fuss as parents over our children. We straighten their hair, and we wipe the grazed knees. We fuss over them. That is what a pastor is. He fusses over the sheep. He wants to make sure that they are fed. He wants to make sure that they are healthy. These are things that are important to him.
He desires to see people go the right way, and he will nurture them in that direction. It grieves a pastor to see somebody go off the rails. It grieves him. He agonizes over it, because he wants to see them go on for God. He wants to see the potential in them coming out. Can you see that nurturing?
4. Desire to Preach and Make a Difference
He has a desire to preach. Although a pastor doesn't necessarily have to stand in the office of teaching, he should be apt to teach, and he can preach. He has a desire to preach, to stand up and present the Word.
He has a desire to make a difference in the Body of Christ. He wants to see the Body of Christ come to maturity. He has a desire to see the best come out in people. He is the kind of person who will look at somebody and just see the good in them. Do you know people like that, that always just seem to find the good in people? I know they are few and far between, but I am sure you can think of at least one person. Pastors are always seeing the good in somebody, unlike us prophets who always see the bad things.
"You need that dealing with. You have that curse in your life. You have that issue, and that sin needs to be dealt with. The Lord's going to chisel you over there and that weakness is going to be exposed. That strength needs to be brought to the cross. You need to sort yourself out."
5. Can’t Mix Prophet and Pastor
Prophets have a problem seeing the potential in people, because all we see is what needs to be fixed! We want to do all the chiseling and breaking down and say, "Now that needs to be changed, and that needs to be taken out, and that program has to go!"
The pastor is not like that. He is the complete opposite. That is why you cannot wear the hat of prophet and pastor at the same time. It is practically impossible. The prophet is always breaking down, and the pastor is always building up and bringing the potential out in people.
He is also a good organizer and a natural leader. People want to follow this guy. He doesn't have to stand behind the sheep and whack them on the butt with his staff. He walks, and they follow. They look up to him. They respect him. The pastor has the heart of the sheep. He has their love and their adoration and their respect. Their hearts are knitted to him, because he is the one that reached down, picked them up and held them, fed them and nurtured them.
The End Times Pastors
That is what a real pastor looks like. And just as in these End-Times the Lord has raised up the prophets and the apostles, believe me when I say that He is raising up the pastors, the evangelists, and the teachers that are true pastors, evangelists, and teachers. And just as the apostles and the prophets have spent time in obscurity, so have the other three also spent time in obscurity.
There is now coming a new move, not just of prophets and apostles. Don't think that we are just so special that it is the only two ministries that the Lord is resurrecting at this time. He is bringing out of obscurity the true pastors who have a true pastor’s heart.
If you have been feeling the Lord pushing you in that direction, you are looking at the pastor and thinking, "I don't want to be that." You are looking at the stereotype and saying, "Uh uh, I'm not even going there."
You have a wrong image of what a pastor is. Your stereotyped image of what a pastor is, is not what the Lord has called you to be. This image that I have painted in your mind is what a real pastor looks like, and that is what the Lord is calling you to be. It is a very different picture from what we have grown up to now, isn't it?
Identifying the Teacher
1. Passion for Knowledge
What does the teacher look like? Matthew 13:52 says:
52 Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” (NKJV)
A teacher has a passion for knowledge of spiritual matters. He is hungry to know the why, the where, the what, the how. The teacher does not sit in church on Sunday and just feed on what is given to him. He questions everything.
He says, "That answer wasn't good enough. How do I do it? The Lord says, 'My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory.' Wonderful, but how do I apply that to my life here and now? How do I use the Word? How? Why? What?"
They don't just accept every cliched and pat answer. They are the guys who are so annoying that when you stand up to give a lecture, they come to you after the meeting and say, "What can you expand on this scripture? You know, while you were sharing, this scripture came to mind. How do you feel it relates to that?" and they bombard you with a hundred questions, because they want to know the how. They want to know the why.
It is not enough for them to just look around and say, "Oh, so that's what a wheel looks like." They want to know why the wheel is round. They want to know how the wheel is round. And most importantly, they want to know how to do it better than anybody else.
2. Knows Something About Everything
The teacher is somebody who consumes books. He is the guy who has read everything about everything, and you can just say any name and he is going, "Yeah, I've read so-and-so and so-and-so, and he's written this and this and this."
They have a wide range of knowledge about practically everything. They know a little bit about everything, and usually because of that, they can be pretty arrogant. They are know-it-alls. They think they know everything about everything, and you know what? They do know everything about everything.
They do not just sit on one subject. They are hungry for everything they can get their hands on. They are like a child when it starts discovering new tastes, and it grabs on everything it can find. Some of the things they put in their life may not be too tasty or too healthy, but they are going to give it a taste to see.
3. Questioning and Inquiring
They have an inquiring mind. They don't just accept anything. They have a desire to preach. A teacher does not want to know simply for his own interest. He wants to take that word, take that knowledge, and set people free with it. He wants to stand up at the pulpit and say, "Thus saith the Lord, from the Word of God." He wants to preach it at them and change lives.
When a teacher sees a problem in the Body of Christ, the first thing he wants to do is get his answer and solution from the Word, and then he wants to stand there and confront that problem with the Word of God. Us prophets confront that problem usually with prophecy and decree, but a teacher will confront the problem with the Word, and he will apply the Word to that problem, and he will change the mindsets of men and women.
You will hear a teacher preaching the same thing over and over and over in about five different ways. Why? It is so that you can get it through your thick skull, because people don't remember it the first time. How many times do you have to read the same Scripture before it finally gets in? So, a teacher has quite a job ahead of him. He has to sit there, and he has to hammer and hammer and hammer. He is changing templates and renewing the minds of people.
4. Changes Mindsets
He has to change the way you think. He has to change your mindsets, the archetypes you have been caught in. That is why the Mosaic apostle is the teaching apostle. Think of poor Moses having to change the minds of those Israelites, having to over and over again teach them the law. Day by day standing and instructing them in the law, instructing them in it again, over and over and over again until it finally would sink in. It was the same message over and over and over again.
Now when a prophet stands to speak, the chances are you don't remember the words he said five minutes later. Think about it. All those prophetic words that were brought tonight. I challenge you to remember one of them. But you can remember the pictures, and most importantly, you can remember what it did to you. You can remember the Holy Spirit coming upon you and bringing a change inside, but you don't remember the words they brought.
That is one major difference, and you can tell if somebody is a teacher or a prophet. You remember what a teacher instructs you. You remember. They give principles. They give solid based doctrine. You go away feeling like you have had a full meal. After you have gone away listening to a prophet, you feel like you have splashed out on dessert, and man it was good! However, it doesn't fill you like a teacher fills you. It may have been tasty, but all it did was put on calories.
5. Makes the Complex Simple
A teacher has the ability to take complex matters and make them simple. I have seen some people who call themselves teachers who take simple matters and make them complex, and they call that teaching! No, I call that boring. I don't want to sit and listen to somebody like that who quotes Strong’s for ninety percent of his message, and the other ten percent is Scripture.
Have you ever gotten those teaching emails from somebody who is trying to teach? I guess they are afraid you are not going to believe them, because they have to back every second word up with a Scripture. By the end of it you want to say, "I believe you. I believe it's in the Word. You know what? I take your word for it. For goodness sakes, give me a break."
How many times do you even read those Scriptures? I skim over them. I get bored. I take their word for it. I wish they would give me a break and just give me the essence of what they are trying to say. They are the sort of people who are always interrupting themselves every five minutes to give you another scripture. You go away from them with your eyes watering. You want to explode.
"My goodness, I just can't take another scripture right now."
That is not a teacher! A teacher is somebody that can take a very complex matter that you didn't grasp before and make it so simple that you go, "Why didn't I think of that? Obviously. It is so clear."
Do you know somebody like that that you can go to with a really difficult question that you think is really going to come with a philosophical answer, and they will answer you with a couple of words and you think, "Oh, obviously!"
6. Fresh Revelation that’s Tasty!
That is a teacher. He opens up new revelation in the Word in amazing ways. A teacher will take a scripture that you have heard a hundred times and give it such fresh revelation and a way you have never seen it before. They will take a scripture that you have probably believed in and quoted and misquoted all your life, and they will come with a new revelation, and you will see that scripture in a new light, and in a new way, and it just amazes you. You look at people like that and say, "How did he do that?" You want to listen to somebody like that. You are drawn to them.
7. Angered by Heresy
A teacher is angered by heresy. You don't want to ruffle the feathers of a teacher. He is a great guy when you are asking him questions, and he will talk to you for hours, because now you have him on his strong point. But if you ever want to ruffle the feathers of a teacher, present him some heresy and that strong, calm exterior disappears, and he is in for the attack.
A teacher cannot bear heresy. He is a fighter. You present him a heretical doctrine, and he is going to jump down your throat in ten different ways with a thousand different scriptures to prove to you why you are wrong and the Word of God is right. Suddenly, he can become very passionate. He desires to expose heresy by the Word.
I have really seen this in the prophetic. People say, "No, that's heresy," or, "What you are preaching is wrong."
I say, "Okay, well what foundation do you have in the Word on that?"
"I just sense that it's wrong. I just don't feel good about that."
That is not good enough!
8. The Teacher is a Certified “Know-it-all”
A teacher always has an answer. He can actually be quite annoying, because you will come with an argument and he will say, "No, but the Word says that."
Then you have to wrack your brains and say, "Okay, but then what about this?"
He says, "The Word says this, this, and this."
You can't fight the guy. He is like a loaded gun. The Word is so saturated in him that when you come with an argument, it is bang, bang, bang. He knows his stuff too. Prophets do not stand a hope in an argument with a teacher. He will level you.
Don't do it! Whether he is right or wrong is irrelevant because his knowledge of the Word is so strong and secure that with your one argument he will come back with ten, and he has a solid foundation to base it on. So if you are getting into any arguments with teachers, you had better be full of the Word first, because they are so full and saturated with it that they will run circles around you. They will argue the scriptures for their view.
9. Teachable and Willing to Change
A teacher will have changed his doctrinal stand many times. You would think that a teacher would be so steadfast in his views. Not at all. A teacher is always changing. He is always renewing his mind. Because he has such a passion for the Word, he is always feeding and feeding. He is the kind of person that wants to listen to every teacher out there. He is out there listening and getting information and feeding it in.
He may have started off in this belief system, and as he gets into the Word, he starts realizing, "Uh oh, this isn't based on the Word. What I believed all these years is wrong."
And so, it is very common for a teacher to have changed their doctrinal views. Maybe you know somebody who preached something fervently ten years ago, and you meet up with them ten years later, and they are preaching the absolute opposite.
Signs of a Mature Teacher
The signs of a true teacher is he is prepared to humble himself and say, "Whoops, I missed it."
A teacher is always renewing his mind. He is always changing. Whenever you speak to him, he has something fresh and something new.
"Ooh, have you heard the latest?"
Bold and Arrogant
They are bold and often arrogant in their views. They can be arrogant though. They do know the truth. They want to do it better than the other guy. If there is one motivation that I can say that the teacher has, it is that they look at something and say, "I could preach that subject better than him." They are that arrogant. They always want to do it better.
A lot of their motivation is, "You know what? This is a new revelation that nobody heard before. They're going to want to hear this. This is good. This is good, powerful stuff. Everybody needs to hear this. This is better than any of the big guys out there. Wait until they hear me preach this. You think you've heard teaching on inner healing? Wait until you've heard me preach on it. Then you will know what inner healing is."
A teacher is like that. They want to create a better looking wheel than the next guy. That is what motivates them.
They are steady and steadfast in their commitment because they are so solid in the Word. It is very seldom that a teacher will go off the rails, backslide or give up their commitment, because he is so saturated with the Word. The Word has been burned in him. It is as gold in him, and so he is the kind of person who is steady.
They keep going and going, and when us prophets are falling down and saying, "Oh Lord I can't go on," and swinging the pendulum from one end to the other. One day, we want to conquer the world, and the next day we are going, "Oh Lord, I don't want to do this anymore. I don't know why you called me. I'm going home."
No. The teacher doesn't do that. He is steady. He is the middle line kind of guy who keeps you going. He is the guy who pulls the prophet in line and says, "Oh stop wallowing and get in order. Pull yourself right and just keep going. The Word of God says this and this and this." He keeps you on the straight and narrow.
Identifying the Prophet
Okay, let's see what a prophet looks like. James 5:10 says:
10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. (NKJV)
I know we know the suffering of affliction part, but many of us have to work on the 'and of patience' part. I actually think he put that in just to be sarcastic. I think he was being sarcastic when he said, 'an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.' I have yet got to see the patience part.
1. Black or White – Hot or Cold
A prophet sees in black or white. It is either yes or it is no, black or white, night or day. You are a sinner or you're not. It is either right or it's wrong. The program is either correct or it is incorrect. That prophecy was either anointed or it was unanointed. It is was either of God or not of God. That is just the way it is. There is no middle line with the prophet.
"This is the way it is ladies and gentlemen. It is this way, or this way."
They can be very frustrating to be around when you are trying to find your way sometimes, because you are still feeling around, and they are saying, "No, that's not good enough. You're either here or there. You're either committed, or you're not committed. You're either on fire, or you are not on fire. Make up your mind. We don't have time to mess around here. You decide now." They are black and white.
2. Desire to set captives free
A prophet has the desire to set the captives free. We have a question that says, "What burns in you for ministry?"
Everybody answers that question and says, "I have a desire to set the captives free, to see the hurting healed. To see those who have been broken restored, and to see the people who have been abused get healing."
Do you know people like that? That is the motivation of a prophet. He wants to set the captives free. He wants to see those in bondage set free. He wants to see the broken healed. He wants to see those who have been hurt by the church restored. He wants to go out on the highways and byways and find all the sheep that have fallen along the wayside. He wants to get the rejects, the little nobodies, and he wants to bring them in and mend heal and heal them. It is a very strong passion and desire in the heart of a prophet.
Rejection is the middle name of the prophet. Colette Rejection Toach. That is the prophet. They know rejection better than they know anything else in this world. From the day that they were born, rejection is something that they have faced all their lives. They couldn't fit in here, they couldn't fit in there.
You would think that growing up in a Christian home, I would have found it comfortable in Christian circles. But you know, I didn't fit either here nor there. I did not fit in the world because I was one of those Christian people, you know with my dad being the preacher and all, so I had that stigma to carry around.
They said to me, "So, what does your dad do?"
"Well, he's a preacher."
You are labeled! "That's the preacher's kid!"
As a result, I didn't fit in with the world. And yet, when it came to church, I thought, "Well, here is where I should fit in. Here is where I should be comfortable."
No. I didn't fit in there either. I did not seem to have a place. I was just kind of tossed here and there. Does it sound familiar? It is the prophet and rejection. He does not fit in anywhere, and even when he should fit in, he doesn't fit in.
He has likely been kicked out of or left the church for a season. That is just such a trademark of the prophet, you will not believe it. People think I have revelation when I say to them, "You've been kicked out of your church haven't you?"
"How did you know that?"
"I knew. You're a prophet, aren't you?"
If you are a prophet, the chances are you have left the system for a while, you have rebelled against the system, you have been thrown out of the system. You name it, it has happened, probably a couple of times, depending on how many times it took you to get the lesson the first time. If you are hard-headed it, has probably happened a good many times.
4. Continual Conflict
The prophet has had conflict with the local church and they need to have it, because it is part of their training. And then the Lord brings them back changed. They rock the boat wherever they go. They don't even try. They do not even need to stand up and try and rock that boat, but it is rocking. They open their big mouths and say things they shouldn't say at the wrong time. Their foot is more often in their mouth than it is on the floor, and they almost do it subconsciously. They don't even need to try. They are forever stumbling.
They have not fitted in with anyone their whole lives. They are even the black sheep of their families, very often not even fitting in with their parents and their brothers and sisters. So, if you are not even fitting in with those you should be fitting in with, you are perfectly normally here.
5. Difficult Life
They have had a lot of difficulty in life. I find that ninety nine percent of the prophets that I have trained have had some form of abuse, be it mental or physical. The minute the enemy sees a prophet being born, he throws everything he can at them. So, a prophet has faced a lot of difficulty, not just rejection, but actual abuse as well from the world and often from those closest to them.
6. See the Wrongs
They can see the wrong where others cannot. A prophet just seems to see the wrong in everything. You go to church, and you just see, "That preacher is preaching that again. It is not in the Word, and it is wrong!" Nobody else can see it though.
You say, "What is wrong with these people. Are they blind? Can't they see that that's heresy? Can't they see that it's wrong?"
You see these people going back time after time, and it angers you. You see the sheep being beaten down. You see them being cast in the wayside, and it angers you, and you say, "Doesn't anybody notice?" and nobody else does notice, but the prophet does. That is what sets them apart.
7. Desire to Identify Ministries in Others
They have a desire to identify ministries in people. They don't just want to see somebody's potential. They want to say, "You're an evangelist. You're a pastor. You're a prophet." They want to identify ministries in people, and then they want to release them into those ministries.
8. Think in Pictures and Symbols
They think in symbols and pictures. A prophet cannot think straight. He has to think in symbols and pictures all the time. Whenever you ask them for a revelation or anything, they are always using symbols and pictures. They are using illustrations all the time. I live in illustrations and pictures.
I couldn't stand up and complete a single sentence without getting my inspiration from a vision. I live in it all the time. It is my world. It is the world of a prophet. Intercession comes naturally to them. They travail, they pray. They have a passion for prayer.
Prophets are musical in some way. The prophet has the ability to release the anointing through music. That could be through dance, it could be through an instrument or through singing. It does not matter if you have the ability. I never said that you had musical ability. I said you can release the anointing through music, and if you are prophetic and are not doing that, know that it is available to you and it is a trademark of a prophet.
The prophet swings the pendulum. One day he wants to conquer the world, the next day he wants to give up!
You are like Elijah saying, "The rain will stop until I say so." However, a little while later he is sitting depressed saying, "Nobody's listening to me. I think I'll just kill myself and die."
That is the prophet! One minute, he is a big mouth standing up there proclaiming, and the next minute he is saying he wants to die.
"Lord, I don't want to do this anymore."
One day, he has zeal that he is going to change the world, and the next day he is just going to turn his back on this whole thing. Death has become a way of life for the prophet. Death is something that they live every day. It is something that is very real to them, and they embrace it. When I say embrace it, they go from level to level to level.
We confronted somebody once who had all these great ideas, and we said, "You know that the Lord is going to bring that area to you to death, hey?"
They said, "Yes, I've died already."
"I have news for you!"
It is not a case of 'died already', it is a constant process that you are living through, like a metamorphosis over and over again.
Identifying the Apostle
What about the apostle now? 1 Thessalonians 2:6 describes it like this:
6 Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her children.
8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. (NKJV)
1. Spiritual Entrepreneur
An apostle is a spiritual entrepreneur. You can identify a business entrepreneur in the world. He is the guy who is always coming up with these new dazzling ideas. An apostle is the same, but he is a spiritual entrepreneur. He always has new ideas. He is always coming up with a new concept. Hey, they may not all work. If you have been with AMI for a while, you would notice this pattern. They may not all work, but there is always a new idea and there is always change, and there is always something happening on the horizon in the life of an apostle.
Just when he has finally reached the goal he says, "You know what? I was thinking about this revelation. I think we need to go for this idea. I think we need to add this. We are scrapping the whole program, and we're starting again! I've got a new direction." How many times have we done that? I can't even begin to count.
2. Experience in all positions
The apostle can do all the tasks in the ministry. He is able to step in and take the place of anybody. If somebody is missing, the apostle is there to fill that space.
He takes responsibility on his own shoulders. You don't have to tell an apostle, "Okay, now I want you to lead this, and I want you to do that. I want you to do the next thing."
He is the guy who automatically steps in and takes on the responsibility. If there is something that needs to be done, he does it. If there is something that needs to be organized, he organizes it. He gets in there, and he takes the responsibility on himself. When somebody goes wrong, he is the person who steps forward and says, "I am responsible." So, if you are headed for the apostolic and are waiting around for somebody else to do the job, forget it. You are the buck. It stops right by you.
3. Trend Setter
The apostle does not wait, but goes ahead of others. He doesn't sit around waiting to hear a mighty voice from heaven before he takes a step. He is always in communion with the Lord, and he is running ahead, setting a trend. He has had experience in various doctrines, denominations, and walks of life. An apostle is somebody else who knows everything about everything, but he has also lived everything about everything. He can tell you about the various denominations and walks of life. He has had exposure to the other fivefold ministries.
Somebody says to you, "I'm an apostle," and you go, "Well, what other realms do you function in?"
They go, "No, I'm just an apostle."
They lied. They should have functioned in at least two of the other fivefold ministries.
4. Lives by Faith
An apostle knows what it is to live by faith. They breathe faith, they eat faith. They will not take a step without faith. They are in communion with the Lord twenty-four hours a day.
5. Builds Own Foundation
He builds his own foundation, not on the foundation of others. An apostle does not want to put his name onto somebody else's name. He wants to make his own. He is the kind of guy who will go into the middle of the desert and lay his own foundation where nobody else has done it. He is not satisfied with anything else.
These people who are calling themselves apostles, and all they are doing is climbing on the shoulders of somebody else, are not apostles. An apostle is a guy who goes out on his own if he has to, making that house with his bare hands if he has to, but heaven help him, he is laying the foundation that God told him to lay.
That is a true apostle. People want to be like him. They cannot help themselves. People look at an apostle, and they are drawn to him.
They say, "Now that's what I want to be like!"
They can't help themselves. He is the kind of leader who stands out, that motivates just by who he is.
He is not complacent to say, "I've arrived. I'm the apostle, ladies and gentlemen. I'm upon my throne and seated, and here we are. We have this ministry."
6. Always on Cutting Edge
No! We are too busy jumping ahead to get complacent. There are new territories, there are new horizons. There are new visions and ideas and new goals. There is always something higher and better and greater. And of course, with the Holy Spirit, He never runs out of ideas.
The apostle is always growing and moving and expanding. He is never satisfied. It doesn't matter how big he gets, it doesn't matter how much he expands. He wants more. He wants to go deeper. He wants to go further.
The apostle always wants to be on the cutting edge. He always wants to be there. He is always listening, straining in the Spirit to hear when is that next step, and he is there. When the Lord starts moving the Body of Christ, he is there before anybody else is. He has heard, he has seen, and usually he is the one who is releasing it.
7. All Temperaments
The apostle is able to function in all the temperaments. Often, you cannot peg what kind of person he is. One minute he is explosive and expressive, and the next minute he is austere and unemotional. An apostle can be all four of the temperaments or a mixture thereof.
And so, if you are an expressive, the Lord is going to take away your emotion. You know, us expressives live on emotion. We cannot get up in the morning if there is no emotion. We don't feel like it. You know we just can't do anything without the emotion.
"But Lord, I don't feel like it."
He says, "Tough, I'm trying to swing you the other way. Learn to do without your emotions."
Or, you get the analytical that is totally unemotional and is logical and does things in order. And this is the way things are, and this is the way things go. We have step one, step two, step three. And so, the Lord will walk into the life of an analytical and just scramble it to mess with him.
He will say, "Stop relying on your mind. Let's see some emotion there, please," and swing him to the total opposite side.
Then, we get the amiable who is a nice guy. He is the nice guy, and everybody wants to be around him because he is always so helpful and always so friendly. He is always trying to make you feel comfortable. But he doesn't like to confront or cause a fuss. When there is a confrontation, he is the guy who will back down. He is so nice.
The Lord will say, "I'm tired of you being so nice all the time. For goodness sakes, get some fire in you and become a driver!"
He will start putting an amiable in a confrontation situation where he is forced to confront, where he is forced to change. It is a very painful thing for an amiable. He is used to being so nice all the time.
Or, the Lord will take the driver who is usually just bashing his way through and saying, "Come on, if I have a brick wall, I'm going to just bash and bash and bash until I'm through this wall." He is just determined, and he is right there in your face. The driver is right there and is just going to totally push through.
The Lord says, "You need to learn to be nice to people."
He will then put the driver in a situation where bash as much as he may, nothing is happening. He will be put in a job or be made a pastor, and the Lord will say, "Now you have to be nice to people. You have to listen to their problems and care about them for a change."
So, if you have been going through some of these things, it is called apostolic preparation.
8. Ability to Lead
He has the ability to lead, carry others, and show others to lead. Leadership comes naturally to an apostle. He may not have started out that way, but the end picture of what an apostle looks like is that he has the ability to lead. When he stands up and walks, people follow him. He is the kind of guy who, if you are standing mulling around and are not quite sure what to do, he is the person that, as he steps into the room, everybody notices him.
He carries with him an air of authority. He doesn't have to say anything, and he doesn't even necessarily have to do anything. As he walks in, you notice him. Not even by the way he looks, but just by the aura about him, the authority in which he stands. There is something about him that just draws you. You want to know more about this person. You want to get in there and ask a few questions and find out what he is about.
He is the kind of person that, if a whole big group goes to a restaurant, the waiter is just somehow drawn to him to make the decisions. They just kind of know that that is the decision-maker. People even in the world will identify the leadership in an apostle, because he carries an air of authority that people want to listen to. When he speaks, things get done! He doesn't have to rant and rave and scream and shout.
When he speaks he speaks with an air of authority that people know, "You know what? I should listen to this guy."
He does not need to try and convince people all the time, "You must do this, you must do that." When he speaks, people listen and they take him at his word, because he carries that kind of authority. That is what an apostle looks like.
9. Internal and External Anointing
He functions in both the internal and the external anointing. The apostle is able to flow with all the gifts of revelation. We went through the Workshop last night and went through all the gifts. The apostle can function in all the gifts. He can flow from the internal anointing, but yet, when it comes to praying, he can also flow in the external, in the signs and wonders and power gifts.
10. Left Local Church
The apostle has left the status quo church. Why? It is because he would not be caught dead building on the foundation of somebody else. You cannot call yourself an apostle if you are still sitting in the church. It is not going to happen. It cannot happen, because how can you possibly build a foundation on somebody else?
You know, often people want to say, "Well, he's a rebel. He's out of order!"
No. He's just an apostle.
You say, "Well, why does he have to leave the church?"
Well, where else is he going to build? Do you see a bricklayer come in here and start digging up our floors and saying, "You know what? This house would look better if it had a couple of changes. You know what? I'm going to build my house inside your house, and let's see how it comes out."
He would be mad. You have to go and get your own piece of land and build your own house and your own foundation. So, don't come and say, "I am an apostle."
You say, "How do you know that?"
"Oh, my pastor told me."
No. You may be headed that way, you may be in apostolic ministry and that may be the direction that the Lord is sending you in, but you know you are an apostle when you have built your own foundation, not when you are building on the foundation of somebody else.
An apostle has set up an infrastructure for others to follow. The apostle doesn't just give lip service. He doesn't just tell you how to do things. He doesn't just say, "This is right and this is wrong." He actually gives you something to work with. He gives you the tools. He builds the building, and he says, "Okay, now this is how you function." That is ideally what we are doing with our Training Schools. We are setting up an infrastructure for the fivefold ministry.
Putting it together
He has his own mandate and his own pattern, and he may have gotten some of that from various different sources, just like the builder gets the mortar and the bricks, sand and everything else from different sources. When he puts it together though, it is his house. It looks like something he designed and constructed. It doesn't look like anything else. The apostles are not going to build the same houses. They are not all going to look the same. Some of them are going to be brick. Some of them are going to be wood. Some of them will be stone.
Each apostle is given their own mandate, their own pattern. And so if you see somebody calling themselves an apostle, and really all they are doing is copying the next guy, that doesn't make him an apostle. But you see this rebel who sticks out like a sore thumb, that does everything different. He has this wayward idea of building something that just looks nothing like anybody else has built. You will start seeing that guy as an apostle. You see the entrepreneurial qualities of him always wanting to go out and do thing differently with new ideas, new concepts.
He has a sound doctrinal foundation. An apostle has not only been exposed to the many doctrines. He is sound in the doctrinal foundation on which he stands, and he ministers forth that doctrinal foundation, just like the apostles in the New Testament. They set a doctrinal foundation for the Body of Christ.
An apostle is not wishy-washy, changing his mind every five minutes. He is sound in what he believes, he is firm in what he believes, and he trains up others in what he believes. That is how you can identify the disciples of an apostle, because they follow along the same path of doctrine and the same path of belief, because that is the same foundation that has been built into them.
Forming the Image
No matter what you calling, the Lord is going to take you as a little lump of clay, and He is going to form you into that image. When He has finished you will look like this image I have painted for you. He is the one who will do the work.
When He is finished, that is what you will look like. Right now, you may just be an unrecognizable lump of clay, but when He is finished, you will be an image others can follow. Can you see the end goal? Can you see the image and the picture? Now God has something to work with and He can take you there.