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)