The Fivefold Ministry Gifts
The Word of God will work with or without an anointing. But there also is an anointing that comes upon those whom
God has called and separated unto the ministry. It’s the same Holy Spirit, but the anointing to stand in a certain office is different from that anointing that abides within every believer.
With the anointing, you’re better able to teach, preach, and do more.
In the Old Testament, only the prophet, priest, and king were anointed.
We saw in Section 1 that Jesus stood in the fivefold ministry offices listed in the New Testament: (1) apostle, (2) prophet, (3)
evangelist, (4) pastor, and (5) teacher.
The Word of God teaches that there are other ministries as well, such as helps, but the fivefold ministries seem to be the
main pivotal gifts.
First Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 list the other ministry gifts. The anointing will come upon you to stand in these offices,
too, if you are called to them.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:28
28 And God hath set some in the church, first APOSTLES, secondarily
MIRACLES, PROPHETS, thirdly OF
TEACHERS, HEALINGS, after
HELPS, that then GIFTS GOVERNMENTS, DIVERSITIES OF TONGUES.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether PROPHECY, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or MINISTRY, let us wait on our ministering: or he that TEACHETH, on teaching;
8 Or he that EXHORTETH, on exhortation: he that GIVETH, let
him do it with simplicity; he that RULETH, with diligence; he that SHEWETH MERCY, with cheerfulness.
You can stand in more than one office, but you need to find out where you are and what your office is and yield to that. Then God will use you, and you will excel in your calling.
God didn’t call us all to do the same thing. Sometimes we ministers try to be a jack-of-all-trades and we become the master of none. We try to do too much, we spread ourselves too thin, and the anointing’s not there to do it. That’s the reason people get in trouble: They try to function in an office to which God didn’t call them. They do something just because somebody else is doing it. And that is very dangerous.
I remember something that Brother Howard Carter said. He was a great teacher and a great man of God. I never knew him personally, but I had an opportunity to hear him preach once in
Texas. After the service, I met him. He was about 70 at the time, and he lived to be over 80.
While we were talking, a woman came up to him, asking, “Brother Carter, would you pray for the healing of my child?”
He answered, “Go get my wife to lay hands on her. God doesn’t use me much along that line, but nearly everybody she
lays hands on gets healed, and nearly everybody I lay hands on gets baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (That’s a good combination, isn’t it?)
I’d seen him take 19 people into a side room that night, speak a few words to them, lay hands on them, and all 19 of
them began to speak in tongues the minute he touched them. He said, “That’s my ministry. That’s where my anointing is. My wife’s anointing is to lay hands on the sick.” When the woman left to look for Sister Carter, Brother Carter turned to us preachers and said, “Of course, I could have prayed in faith for her child, but if somebody’s anointed to minister that way, it’s a whole lot better.”
Yes, he could have prayed the prayer of faith—any one of us ministers standing there that night could have prayed the prayer of faith and laid hands on the child. The laying on of hands belongs to all believers according to Mark 16:17,18.
But what was Brother Carter recognizing? He was recognizing that in the ministry some of us are anointed to do one thing and some are anointed to do another, and if we’ll excel where our anointing is, we’ll be a greater blessing to the Body of Christ. No one is going to do it all. We need each other. I praise God for every ministry called of God and anointed with the Holy Spirit.
The Offices of Evangelist and Exhorter
Actually, the healing ministry—the gifts o f healings (1 Cor. 12:28)—should go with the office of the evangelist.
The Word of God also talks about the office of the exhorter (Rom. 12:8). We usually think of exhortation as being part of all these other offices, but there is a specific office of exhorter.
Those whom we call “evangelists” often are exhorters (I know it would hurt their feelings to tell them that). The word “evangelist,” however, is used only three times in the New Testament: (1) “Philip the evangelist” is spoken of in Acts 21:8; (2) the gift “evangelist” is listed in Ephesians 4:11;
(3) and Paul told Timothy to do “the work of an evangelist” in Second Timothy 4:5 . Philip, then, is the only model other than Jesus that we have for an evangelist.
In the early days of the Church, we see that Philip went down to Samaria and preached with great miracles resulting. At
that time, however, as we will study in Chapter 8, Philip was still a deacon.
5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached
Christ unto them.
6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things
which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did
[which HE DID!]
7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
There’s no doubt Philip was anointed by the Holy Spirit. Many who had the palsy were healed, the Bible says. Many who
were lame were healed. It doesn’t mention anything about anybody else being healed, but those healings were enough to attract attention to Jesus. People got saved, “and there was great joy in that city” (v. 8). Notice that not all of the people were healed. Verse 7 says
“MANY… were healed.” If everybody had gotten healed of all kinds of diseases, the Bible would have said so.
The Bible says of the ministry of Jesus, “And Jesus went about all Galilee,… healing ALL manner o f sickness and ALL manner of disease among the people” (Matt. 4:23).
It’s very interesting to notice how Jesus ministered. I wish we had time to trace it. Jesus ministered under the anointing in
all five pivotal offices. Because Jesus had the Spirit without measure, all manner of sickness and all manner of disease were healed under His ministry, as we have seen.
Remember, Acts 10:38 said, “How God ANOINTED [there it is again] Jesus o f Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with
power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.”
But any teacher of the Word could teach God’s Word, or any preacher of the Word could preach God’s Word, and people
could believe that Word and be saved and healed without any transfer of anointing. (Of course, it’s the Holy Spirit who anoints the teacher and preacher.)
Ministering under the anointing, however, is a different thing. God uses people differently. Notice that under Philip’s ministry, “unclean spirits… came out of many… and many
taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.” Why? Because Philip was gifted to minister only in those areas o f healing.
Our RHEMA Bible Training Center students all have read F. F. Bosworth’s classic book, Christ the Healer. I knew Bosworth. I’ve talked to him personally. He was 77 years old the last time I talked to him, but you’d have thought he was 55 just to look at him.
I heard him minister in another man’s meeting. Bosworth would teach in the daytime and this other man would minister in the night services. Bosworth would say, “Anybody who’s deaf or has any ear trouble, even if you’ve had an operation and had your eardrum
removed, come up here and I’ll lay hands on you and you’ll be healed.” Every single one of the people Bosworth prayed for— without fail—got healed.
Bosworth said, “I can’t tell you why—I don’t know why— but God uses me along that line. I usually never fail to get a deaf
person healed, or one whose hearing is impaired healed, or God will put a new eardrum in there if they’ve had an operation.” Bosworth was endowed by the Spirit to minister in that area. When Bosworth said he didn’t understand it, that started me thinking. If there’s something I don’t know, I’ll stay up day and night and burn the midnight oil until I find the answers. That’s just my nature.
We ministers used to compare notes at Voice of Healing conventions that were held during the great Healing Revival.
One preacher had great success in getting “deaf and dumb” (mute) people healed. Another said, “I don’t remember of one deaf or dumb person being healed in my ministry, but nearly every blind person I lay hands on gets healed.” The first man, who got deaf and dumb persons healed, couldn’t remember of a blind person ever being healed under his ministry. In comparing notes, I discovered that I got more people healed of cancer (usually in tumor form) than all the rest of them
put together. I’d seldom fail along that line with a tumor or growth in those days; that’s where my gift lay.
Minister where your anointing is—find out where it is.