There are many men and women today who claim to be apostles, prophets or bishops. How do we know if their claims are true or false? What are the requirements for someone before they can be ordained as an apostle, prophet or bishop? How has the authority to ordain people to these ministries? The only way to answer these questions is to examine everything that the Bible says about these people.
Most people know that in the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) there are references to prophets and shepherds, some people are even aware that teachers are also mentioned there. But very few people are aware that every ministry listed in the New Testament is also in the Hebrew Scriptures. When Jesus and the apostles spoke of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers they did so with the understanding of how these men functioned in their Bible (which was the Old Testament). In the New Testament time period the church understood the functions of each ministry in the Hebrew Scriptures and expected the ministries to continue in the same manner.
This book focuses on the positions of those who have been set into the church to serve as leaders in the Body of Christ. It features an in depth examination of the ministries of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, bishops, elders and teachers starting with their first mention in the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) and following the description of their service through to the end of the New Testament (Revelation). There is also a briefly examine each of other ministries mentioned in the Bible, such as deacons.
The Bible gives a complete description of the qualifications of each ministry, how a person is called to minister and who can ordain a minister. The Bible also clearly warns that they will be many false apostles and false prophets who will mislead many people. In the Bible clear definitions are given as to how to tell a true from a false apostle; a true from a false prophet and a true from a false bishop. If you do not know these definitions you will easily be led astray.
The following is a list of many of the subjects included in this book:
Apostles in the Hebrew Scriptures
Apostles in the Gospels
Apostles in the Acts of the Apostles
Apostles in the Writings of Peter
Apostles in the Writings of Paul
Other Uses of the Word Apostle in the New Testament
Are Apostles Perfect?
The True Sign of an Apostle
How Did Apostles Travel?
Prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures
Jesus as a Prophet in the Gospels
What Does a Prophet Do?
Some Examples of Prophets
New Testament Prophets Always Operate in Plurality
Practical Aspects of New Testament Prophets
The School of the Prophets
What is a Shepherd?
Three Related Titles of a Shepherd
The Function of a Shepherd, Bishop and Elder
The Shepherd as a Spiritual Leader in the Hebrew Scriptures
Jesus as the Pattern for a Shepherd
The Relationship between Plurality and Leadership: The Elders of the Jews
The Relationship between Plurality and Leadership: The Elders of the Believers
Safeguards against the Abuse of Authority
The Relationship between Local Shepherds and Trans-local Ministries
Qualifications for Shepherds
The Mutual Responsibility of Shepherds and Sheep
Good Lessons from Bad Shepherds
Teachers in the Hebrew Scriptures
Teachers in the Gospels
Teachers in the New Testament
What does a Deacon Do?
Evangelists in the Hebrew Scriptures
Evangelists in the Gospels
Evangelists in the New Testament
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About the Author
Stephen Hedges was born into a Jewish family and raised in Kenya (East Africa). Since the turn of the century Stephen Hedges has taught the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) at an institute in Bulgaria.