4/19/2010

THE 8-FOLD MINISTRY: How the Coming Restoration Will Usher the Church into a New Era of Influence & Power

A Satire

And God has appointed these in the Church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues (1 Cor. 12:28).

The passage above, 1 Cor. 12:28, clearly teaches an 8-Fold Ministry. God is about to restore this ministry to the Church. This will be the final stage of the restoration that has been going on since the time of Luther. Many, no doubt, will do a disservice to the body of Christ by continuing to promote the old, traditional 5-fold ministry, for it is still true today as it was when Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day, You reject the commandment of God in order to keep your traditions (Mk. 7:9). Like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, many will reject the revelation truth of the 8-Fold Ministry in order to cling to their old, traditional 5-fold ministry. But for those who are willing to embrace this final work of restoration, they will experience a new and unprecedented release of God’s glory and power in their lives.
In this article I will share 4 compelling reasons why the 8-Fold Ministry should be recognized and implemented in the Church today. The reasons are: (1) God’s Prophetic Timetable indicates that 2010 is the year the restoration of this ministry will begin; (2) The prophetic significance of 8 is far superior to that of 5; (3) There is obviously more power generated by an 8-Fold Ministry than by a 5-fold ministry; and (4) There is a good chance that Paul knew nothing about a 5-fold ministry. I will also discuss the unique characteristics of the 8-Fold Ministry.
Reason #1
God’s Prophetic Timetable

The prophetic significance of the number 8 strongly suggests that the restoration of the 8-Fold Ministry will begin this year. God works through times, seasons and numbers. This is the year 5770 on the Jewish calendar. If you multiply the number 8 by 470 and subtract it from 5770, you get 2010. Is this a mere coincidence? I don’t think so! This is God’s prophetic timetable for restoring the 8-Fold Ministry to the Church.


Reason #2
The Prophetic Significance
of 8 is Far Superior to that of 5.

Are there any significant 5s in the Bible? The best I have heard for 5 is that the 5 smooth stones that David took out of the brook, when he went out to face Goliath, represents the 5-fold ministry. David, however, only used one of these stones to kill Goliath. To use this example we would have to conclude that God has set 5 ministries in the Church, but He only uses one of them to defeat the enemy. So, if we go this route we are eventually left with only a 1-fold ministry. But maybe this has validity and actually confirms the many churches today that are functioning with a 1-fold ministry.

Nonetheless, there is much more prophetic significance to the number 8. Eight is the number of “new beginnings.” Jesus arose on the 1st day of the week, which is the 8th day. I have heard some talk about the Church being in the 3rd day. They are obviously lagging behind. This is the time of the 8th day Church--the Church of new beginnings. We recently entered a “new century” and a “new millennium.” Only the 8-Fold Ministry, the ministry of “new beginnings” can lead us into the “new thing” that God has for us in this new century.
Reason #3
The 8-Fold Ministry Will Generate More Power

We see from Scripture that in the realm of the spirit there is a multiplication of power when there is an increase in numbers. For example, Deut. 30:30 says that one chases a thousand but two puts ten thousand to flight. From this we can see that the 8-Fold Ministry will be far more powerful than a mere 5-fold ministry.
Reason #4
The 5-Fold Ministry May Not Have Been Paul’s Idea.
There is a good chance that Paul never wrote about the 5-fold ministry, but that someone using his name came up with the idea. For example, Paul was very close to the believers in Ephesus, having founded the church there and many or most of them being his converts. But none of them are ever mentioned in this very generic letter to the church at Ephesus. Just look at Acts 20:36-38 where Paul is about to depart from a meeting with the elders of the church at Ephesus. As he makes preparations to leave, they all start crying and hugging and kissing him. What a sight! That Paul would write a letter to these same people and never mention any of them is kind of far-fetched, and has led some scholars to conclude that Paul didn’t write this letter. So, right up front, there is a question whether Paul himself ever knew of a 5-fold ministry. On the other hand, nobody questions that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 12:28. So, we are on much safer, Biblical ground if we let go of the 5-fold ministry and go with the 8-Fold Ministry.


The 8-Fold Ministry of the Apostle
In his 8-Fold Ministry list, Paul lists the apostle first. We should not make too much of this since in 1 Cor.4:9 he thinks God has put the apostles last and says they have been made as the scum of the earth. And in 1 Cor. 13:13 Paul lists faith, hope and love, these three, and then turns around says that love, which he listed last, is the greatest of the three. So, it is not always that easy to tell what Paul thinks about something by the lists he makes. Sometimes the very thing he esteems the most, he puts at the end of the list; and the thing he thinks least of, he puts at the top of the list. And sometimes he puts something on one list and then leaves it off another list.
Pastors & Evangelists Not Needed
For example, in the 8-Fold Ministry there is no mention of a pastor or evangelist. Paul obviously did not see these as being important or he would have listed them here. This is confirmed by the fact that in all his letters to churches, Paul never addresses a pastor or evangelist, or even refers to one. In a personal letter to Timothy, he tells him to do the work of an evangelist, but that is about it in regards to pastors and evangelists. This is because the 8-Fold Ministry brings the Church into a place of maturity where these ministries are no longer necessary.
Restoring the 8-Fold Gift of Steering
One 8-Fold Ministry gift that is desperately needed today is that of “steering.” The NKJV calls it administrations. The Greek word is kuberneseis and it originally referred to a steersman who guided a ship. In his Greek-English Interlinear, Alfred Marshall translates the word as "governings" and it obviously refers to steering, guiding and giving direction. This gift is greatly needed to steer the other ministry gifts in the proper direction. Many thought that with the recent restoration of apostles and prophets everything would be fine. Instead, things have gotten worse because the new apostles and prophets have had no one to steer them in the right direction. As we see a restoration of the kuberneseis, and the other ministry gifts becoming aligned with it, we will see a release of power in the Church unknown since the 1st century.

To get the restoration of this gift moving, I am considering calling myself “Steersman Eddie Hyatt,” or maybe “Governor Eddie Hyatt.” But since others will also be using this as a title once the restoration gets under way, I will probably use “Senior Steersman” or maybe “Presiding Steersman.” I would use the Greek word, but I don’t think “Kuberneseis Eddie Hyatt” sounds impressive enough--and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Conclusion
If you feel challenged in accepting my argument for the 8-Fold Ministry, don’t feel badly. I have the same problem with much teaching that is being propagated today in charismatic circles. Nonetheless, I think I have presented a pretty valid argument. Maybe there is something to this 8-Fold Ministry after all.

This article is a satire. I wrote it using the same sort of erroneous methods that so many in charismatic/prophetic circles are using today. It is supposed to be funny and at the same time communicate a very serious message. The erroneous methods and ungodly mindset it addresses are:
(1) Taking a single Scripture out of context and making it the centerpiece of a new "revelation."
(2) Using numbers, dates and calendars to come up with far-out, ridiculous claims and appear clever, knowledgeable and very spiritual.
(3) Using the word "prophetic" to justify bizarre claims and erroneous interpretations of Scripture (the adjective "prophetic" is not fround in the Bible. No one in the Bible ever used it. So why are we using it so much?)
(4) Making erroneous applications of Scripture (David's 5 stones, 2 puts ten-thousand to flight, etc. etc.) to futher the "revelation" and to appear "spiritual."
(5) Using the new "revelation" to promote one's self and minstry. (In their zeal to promote themselves they eventually go too far and expose themselves as fleshy and not spiritual)

4/07/2010

2000 YEARS OF CHARISMATIC REVIVAL, WHERE ARE WE TODAY?

It is true that genuine revivals go astray. It has happened again and again in Christian history. The link below is to an interview I recently did on Grace TV out of Toronto, Canada. In the interview I discuss how to detect when a revival movement is getting off track. To watch this interview, click the link below

4/03/2010

THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION

The Christian belief in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is not blind faith. In fact, there is more empirical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus than for any other event in ancient history. This is because there were numerous eyewitnesses who saw Him, talked with Him and ate with Him both before and after His death and resurrection. The first person to whom He appeared after His resurrection was Mary Magdalene, but then to the Twelve, to others and, on one occasion, to over 500 at one time of whom, according to Paul, most were still alive at the time of his writing his 1st letter to the Corinthians (I Cor. 15:6). The testimonies of these primary, first-hand witnesses are recorded in the 4 gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Not a Myth

Some, of course, refuse to accept the historical facts and claim that these stories are myths fabricated by followers of Jesus who wanted to deify Him. If this were the case, then those who created these myths were literary geniuses beyond anything we can imagine, for they created a person and a narrative that changed the course of human history and continues to move millions to forsake everything to follow this so-called mythological figure they created.

This reminds me of C.S. Lewis, an agnostic professor of Renaissance Literature at Oxford University, who exposed the shallow claims concerning the mythological character of the New Testament. Lewis was an expert in mythological literature and he tells of his astonishment the first time he read the gospels. His surprised response was, “This is not myth!” Lewis, of course, became a believer and an astute apologist for Christianity. It was at this time that higher criticism was being popularized in seminaries in Germany and certain theologians, such as Rudolph Bultman, were claiming that the New Testament accounts of Jesus, His miracles and His resurrection were myths created by His followers. Lewis replied, “I would like to know how many myths these people have read!” Lewis went on to explain that he had been a long-time professor and critic of mythological literature and knew how a myth sounded and felt, “And the gospel story is not myth!”

Ours is Not a Blind Faith

Yes, the evidence is there for those who are willing lay aside their prejudices and open themselves to truth and the Holy Spirit. This evidence includes, not only the eyewitness accounts, but also consideration of questions such as how the earliest disciples of Jesus were suddenly transformed from cowering individuals to bold witnesses willing to lay down their lives for their testimony of Christ and His resurrection? And why didn’t the Jewish and Roman leaders in Jerusalem, who tried to suppress the new Jesus movement, produce His body, display it publicly and, thereby, put an end to the preaching about the resurrection of Jesus? Many skeptics have been convinced of the resurrection of Jesus Christ by being willingly to lay aside their prejudices and honestly examine this sort of evidence.

A Harvard Law Professor is Convinced

For example, Dr. Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853) was the Royal Professor of Law at Harvard University and one of the principle founders of the Harvard Law School. He authored the famous three-volume work, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, which is still considered one of the greatest single authorities on judicial legal procedure. Greenleaf originally set out to disprove the biblical testimony concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ, believing that a careful examination of the internal witness of the Gospels would reveal the myths at the heart of Christianity. Instead, this legal scholar came to the conclusion that the witnesses were reliable, and that the resurrection did in fact happen. As a result he became a believer and wrote a book entitled, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice. Greenleaf concluded that, according to the jurisdiction of legal evidence, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the best-supported event in all of ancient history.

A British Lawyer is Convinced

A brilliant young British lawyer, Frank Morrison, decided that he would write a book showing that, based on the testimony of the eyewitnesses, Jesus Christ could not have risen from the dead. Unfamiliar with the earlier work of Greenleaf, Morrison’s plan was to examine and compare the testimonies of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the same way he would examine and cross-examine the testimonies of witnesses in a court of law. He felt confident that by doing so he would be able to show that their testimonies could not be corroborated. His book was never written for in the process of examining the eyewitness accounts of the resurrection and the questions raised by such an examination, he too became convinced that Jesus did, indeed, rise from the dead. Instead of a book disproving the resurrection he wrote a book entitled, Who Moved the Stone?, demonstrating, from a lawyer’s perspective, convincing proof that Jesus did rise from the dead.

The Foundation of Our Faith

The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of our faith. If He did not rise from the dead, then His birth, His life and even His miracles are void of meaning. However, He did rise from the dead just as He predicted, giving meaning to all of life. His resurrection is the guarantee that everything else He promised, such as eternal life and His personal return, will also be fulfilled.

The Same Power that Raised Jesus
From the Dead is at Work in the Believer

According to Paul, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is now at work in the believer. He clearly spells this out in Ephesians 1:15-23 where He says that the same power that broke the power of sin, Satan and death on that first resurrection morning is the same power at work in you and me. Paul says that this resurrection power, not only brought Jesus out of the tomb, but raised Him to the pinnacle of the universe far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named both in this world and that which is to come. In 1:19 Paul makes the point that this same power is in us by using the Greek preposition eis, which the NKJV translates as “toward” and the NIV as “in.” It literally means “into.” In other words, that same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the pinnacle of the universe (the right hand of God) is now directed “into” us.

You see, there was a great cosmic shift in the spiritual realm when Jesus was raised from the dead. Satan was absolutely defeated. Sad to day, many Christians are still relating to the devil from an Old Testament perspective, and even formulating concepts of spiritual warfare that are based on the Old Testament. Don’t let anyone tell you that you do not have authority over Satan and all demonic forces!! This also means that you do not have to run here and there looking for an impartation from a preacher, a revival, a relic or a shrine. You already have something in you that is far more wonderful—the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Knowing this is a key to victory over the world the flesh and devil now, in this life.

The Resurrection is Personified in Jesus

In Jesus, the resurrection became personified. When Jesus discussed with Mary and Martha the death of their brother Lazarus, He made the statement, I Am the resurrection and the Life (Jn. 11:25). During one of the darkest periods of my life when it seemed that a vision God had given me had died, I heard Him say to me, “Don’t be afraid of death, because I Am the Resurrection.”

At this time of the year—and all during the year—let’s remember that the resurrection is a reality and is a person—Jesus Christ—Who is living in you. Yes, at some future point in time He will raise from the dead all those who have trusted in Him. However, His resurrection power is at work in us now and will, through the Holy Spirit, resurrect hopes and dreams and give meaning to all areas of our lives. Rom. 5:10 says, For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His [resurrection] life.