The Fivefold: Not a Title, but an Office, a Function!
By Deborah Bell
(Lead Apostle DGAN Global Network and DGFC churches)
(Originally posted 9 April, 2015)
When we talk about the Fivefold Offices there seems to be a flurry of comments, always!
Few amens, though! We should be at the “more amens” stage than the apparent resistance to what God has ordered in the body of Christ, set in the Word.
There is a divine order given in Ephesians 2:20 & 4:11 and in 1 Cor 12:28 specifically. (We
all know the Scriptures), we all love and HONOUR the Word of God, therefore we must be
careful not to omit what makes us uncomfortable in it, for whatever reason.
Leaving out the Office of Apostle, is unbiblical. Not just calling it out (because then it is just a title) but the true originally intended functionality of these offices. Why? Because the word says that these two offices (Apostle & Prophet), are the foundation of the Church, with CHRIST as the Chief cornerstone. We cannot expect to have a fully functioning body of Christ without embracing God’s operational & spiritual strategy for the Church.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ himself as the chief cornerstone.
FUNCTIONALITY OF THESE OFFICES
I believe this struggle is not over titles but I truly believe it’s over the functionality of
theses offices. Because then, this text implies that without the proper foundation we are
not functioning as we should. If we leave out the foundation of a building it will fall over
very quickly. It’s the same in the church. I’m not talking about perfection, just about the
right model and function.
We can no longer be a “limping” threefold body of Christ and then call ourselves the
Fivefold body of Christ, when in effect perhaps that is being a little pious and not about
honouring each Office accordingly.
It’s not about lifting up anyone, any human being; it’s about honour, it’s about
acknowledging the role of that office because we have a genuine understanding of what
that office or any other office, brings to the body of Christ. I don’t need a title to know who
I am and where I fit in in the body of Christ. Titles are for others to know who we are, not
GETTING OVER MYSELF
I wrestled with that long enough to get over my spirit of ‘piety’, but I certainly do know that we so need to educate more on this topic and model it as leaders. Therefore as a mandate in my ministry I will continue to do what I have been called to do and teach on this. With the proviso that I am always open to hear godly counsel. We can never think we have arrived, as that too leads to self righteousness and arrogance.
So why do people seemingly “freak out” when any discussion on the Apostolic is talked
about? Or specifically when “Apostle” is used as an office or description? Why is this not so when people call out “pastor”?
Is it possible that we, or some of us in the body of Christ, could have become somewhat self righteous about this without realizing it, in thinking that pastors cannot “lord it”
or manipulate, but if we let Apostles be Apostles, what then?? Uh oh…
AARON’S BEARD – THE DIVINE ORDER
…Then the blessing is passed down the head to the beard then the body and it begins to
run, not limp, that’s what happens! But the offices have to function together in unity and
agreement. Honouring the office, ushers in the anointing attached to that office to which
some are called and are SERVING.
Unfamiliar territory, implication of stereotyping, lack of understanding, wrong teaching,
mistrust, all form some of the reasons why people don’t want to ‘go there’. The rest are
spiritual wars, whether people think so or not.
Because the office of Apostle does carry a governmental anointing that comes with the
office. To play it down for fear of Apostles “taking over the world” or something like that, is
To then also exclude that part of the function is to take away what that office does, which
is to establish, build, occupy, bring deliverance, carry the breaker anointing etc.
By excluding it or playing it down, we deprive ourselves of that anointing in our churches
or that impartation.
It’s the same as when a Prophet prophesies over us and we dismiss the word. We deprive
ourselves of what comes from God through that anointing. No wonder there is so much
For many years in our ministry, I refused to acknowledge this. I threw away the books that
were given to me on the Apostolic and got very religious about this Office thing.