This is a continuation of the nine-part series, I’d Like to Prophesy, But…
Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6: 46)
Why did the Lord create the callings of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher? Yes, we can read Ephesians 4: 11 – 16 for ourselves, but in simple words that are easily understood, why did He do it?
I believe the Lord created the callings because He gave the church certain specialists, and also, examples for us believers to pattern our own lives after.
For instance, the Greek word apostolos which is translated into the English language as apostle really means the “sent ones.” But if you look at the Great Commission, aren’t all believers told to “Go,” and thus, are sent ones, too?
And by the same token, evaggelistes is translated into the English as evangelists (“bringers of good tidings“), poimen is translated pastors (“shepherds”), and didaskalos is translated teachers (“ones who teach”). But once again, each believer is called to evangelize or shepherd or teach someone, if only their own children or loved ones, right?
But the one calling, which causes today’s Christians to get all bent out of shape, is the Greek word prophetes which is translated into the English word prophets. The Greek word actually means “the ones who speak for God.”
Now, the ones who speak for God (the prophets) have discomforted and irritated people throughout history. And the reactions of the people to the words spoken by the prophets have not always been pleasant. Abel was murdered by Cain. Isaiah was sawed in half by King Manasseh. Jeremiah was tossed into a cistern. Countless numbers of other prophets were slaughtered in the Old Teastament.
Yet, there was a quiet time when God did not speak through His prophets to Israel. This four hundred year period occurred between Malachi and the New Testament, but the quiet was broken when John the Baptist arrived on the scene.
John’s words of “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” were well-received by the people who flocked out to hear him, but his words were not accepted by the Jewish leaders (Pharisees, scribes and priests). They ended up beheading him.
Later, Jesus was asked by the temple leaders about His authority and Jesus asked them an interesting question in return.
“Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men? Answer Me.” They began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From men?” – they were afraid of the people, for everyone considered John to have been a real prophet. Answering Jesus, they said, “We do not know” …. (Mark 11: 30)
So far, the American church has only seen a few forerunner prophets. But as yet, we have not seen prophets with John the Baptist anointings whose words cause leaders to worry about what the people will think or say. When this happens, what will the leaders say?
(Continued in Part II – 10)