Studying the “mind of God” over 1/2 a century has taught me that God has a purpose for everything and everything has a purpose. To understand His “Mind” you must understand just what He purposed, organizing His Church as He did!
There was and is a reason why He set first, in the Church, apostles. I have tried to explain that as thoroughly as the purposes of these articles would allow. Next, He gave some to be prophets. Ephesians 4:11 The Greek word ‘gave’ is didomi, it is a verb which means to give, give out, hand over, entrust, give back, or give up. This is the same word used in John 3:16; “He gave His only begotten Son”. See also John 1:12, Luke 7:44, Mark 11:28, Mark 6:28 (both times) Matthew 14:16, 19; 10:1; John 14:31, and Acts 11:17,18. There are seemingly three different categories of usage of this verb. One, is the giving of physical items (as John the Baptist head), secondly, a “divine” giving or blessing from either God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, and finally, that that man gives to God in terms that are immaterial or spiritual, such as ourselves. It is important to note the use of didomai for those things that God gave to Jesus in John’s gospel. It states that God gave to Jesus ‘all things’, John 3:25; ‘all authority’, John 5:27; ‘sheep or followers’, John 10:29; and finally ‘His disciples’, John 17:2. This verb is in the third person singular indicative aorist active which means the one who is spoken about receives one thing specifically, pointedly, at a particular time. In the indicative mood the time of action is usually past and does not cease. Impressed?? Next, I speak in tongues,ha, ha!!
These men (there were no women prophets of this category) had particular qualifications and particular reasons for existing. Prophets, by definition, are those who “speak for another”. For whom these prophets spoke sheds light on their purpose in God’s plan. It is reasoned by some of my brethren, they were spokesmen for God, and that they were, but SOME in a particular and designated role were spokesmen for the apostles they represented!! We see that Paul used Timothy and Titus all the time for jobs he couldn’t get to!! 2 Corinthians 2:13, Philippians 2:20 All who have studied their role in the Church have noticed they were those “on whom an apostle had laid hands” as directed by the Holy Spirit, but seemingly have overlooked they also performed a special function. This would not have been forced upon our minds HAD Paul’s epistles to Timothy and Titus not given us. They were evangelist with a special mission. As elders had particular qualifications, so did these men as evangelist, but they were prophets with power to “set things in order, having been appointed”. Titus 1:5, Acts 20:13, 1 Corinthians 9:14 It has to be noted that these were not just mere evangelists as were Philip, Stephen, of Acts 6, even though the apostles laid hands on these fine brethren; these men were spokesmen for the apostles of Christ and had a particular function to perform!!
There is something else that is very interesting when noticed: preachers were to be supported by the church where elders were forbidden to take oversight “for filthy lucre’s sake”. 1 Peter 5:1 When speaking of him “who feeds the flock,” the provisions of the Law of Moses are mentioned “which minister about holy things”. Paul says, “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:7-14 There is in the Church of Christ two governments that function to lead the House of God, the evangelistic and ecclesiastical (pastoral). The Pope is the outgrowth of assumptions of power by elders, not evangelist. The evangelical office was absorbed by their ‘bishop’, and the only barrier to an ecclesiasticism was removed!!