Five-Fold Ministry and Modern Apostles
Minister Oscene Barrett 09/2011
 I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted (Rev 2:2-3).
The issue concerning men usurping the office and ministry of an apostle is not a new one. The Apostle John in about 97-98A.D. had the same problem with many in Ephesus. John would have us in 2011 to know that the Ephesians saints tried these men (How did they?) and found them to be liars (What lie?). Two things are important:1. They were tried. How were they tried and by what rule was it determined they were not apostles
2. They were liars. What was the lie they told or believed?
The answer for these two questions will be answered below, but first, a little history.
In 2003 I left home for university, which was 100+ miles away. I immediately attached myself to an Apostolic Campus Ministry; known as Universities and Colleges Apostolic Ministry. This Jesus name group composed of universities and colleges apostolic students was entrusted with the mandate of evangelizing these campuses across Jamaica. It was on campus, for the first time in my life I heard the term five-fold ministry (FFM). There was no teaching on the FFM is the church I used to attend, but in practice and teaching they did not believe in live apostles in our days. The other churches we were in fellowship with had similar belief, but here for the first time I encounter a new revelation teaching on the FFM. The term FFM caused raised eye brow at first, but I did not opposed it since I knew of the Ephesians 4 text and the five ministries recorded there. Here is the Text:
 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
What I did oppose was the many false interpretations of the FFM based upon the said text. Here are some of the false teachings I heard:1. The church cannot be perfected without living apostles in our times. It was taught that if there are no living apostles, then the FFM is not in the church; hence it cannot be perfected according to Ephesians 4 with the missing ministry of apostles. This view ignores and makes void the work of the original 12 Apostles and Acts 2:42, which said, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine " Which apostles? Jesus of course and the ones recognized by the early Church after the day of Pentecost.
2. The church without living apostles is not on the rock foundation, since Ephesians 2:20 said the church is built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus himself being the chief corner stone. It was taught that without allowance of live apostles the church was not built on the rock Jesus, but it was like man laying a different foundation. 1Corinthians 3:10-14 was used as their reference text. Again, this view makes void the work of the Apostles of the first century and shows that the proponents of this view haven't grasp the teaching on the apostolic foundation in Revelation 21. The foundation was laid by the original 12 Apostles. The foundation the Apostles laid was Jesus the Messieh and his (Jesus) teaching on His name, God-nature, coming, salvation, holiness, judgment, etc. so by we continuing in these essential teachings like those original Apostles in the first century we have the foundation right. We do not need modern apostle, which ALL of who I know are in false doctrine. False doctrine is not the foundation at all.
3. The church of Jesus locks power because modern ministers do not allow all of the FFM to be operative. It was taught that for the totality of God's power to be seen we need to have living members of the FFM in the church. As a result of this belief there was a great push by these novice ministers to "Restore" as they say the FFM. This led many to think that miracles and signs are qualification for apostles. Stephen, the deacon and martyr in Acts 6-7 did many signs and wonders according to our apostolic heritage and no one of rationale mind will try to make Stephen an Apostle. Many also believed that live members of the FFM should be in and/or in each and every assembly. In cases where the ministries of Apostles and Prophets are not reckoned, it was believed that these offices are present, but pastors refused to recognize and/or ordain the persons so called. This led to the belief that what a man needed was a call, which they refer to as an anointing for an office, but not an ordination. They relegate ordination to man's approval; hence not necessary, and not God setting every man into their proper order and place as he sees fit. What would Jesus (Mark 3:14; John 15:16), Peter (Acts 1:22), and Paul (Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5, Hebrews 5:1-6) thinks about this new FFM doctrine.
4. Prayers can only be effective if you pray from one of the position in the FFM. When entering into prayer you first have to state verbally, which of the ministry position you are praying from, that is, you have to say something like, "I stand in my governmental position as an apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, or evangelist." In other words, all the powers of Jesus was believed to be invested in the FFM alone and can only be harnessed by praying from one of the ministry office they refer to as governmental position. I know a man who is an evangelist and whenever he prays he always wants to pray from the apostle ministry position. Many are not content with being in a lower rank; they covet the apostle ministry for the prestige and authority that comes along with it. Also, it was believed by some that all ministries should be represented every time one prays for greater effect and demonstration of the power, so if you are alone, you should pray from all FFM positions and when there is company, you can share the ministries. However, the greatest authority we have is because of the Holy Ghost, which when appropriated properly will make the recipient a son-child of God. Even the Devil knows this, so he tempted Jesus to prove his sonship by saying, "If thou be the son of God command these stones to be made bread." Clearly, indicating the authority that was resident in "Sonship". The Devil was saying indirectly that a true son of God had authority to make bread out of stones, so "IF" you are what God say you are, then show me. Jesus did not make bread from stones, because he had nothing to prove to the devil. Some will say Jesus is the son of God in a way that no other human can; in fact he was the ONLY begotten son of God, so this have nothing to do with us who are sons by adoption. Jesus, however, taught his disciple to pray from their position of sons/daughters and not from any office or position in FFM by saying, "Our Father (that is, I am a son/daughter-child) who art in heaven." The above doctrine attempts at correcting Jesus teaching on how we ought to pray, which should never be treated lightly.
5. Every person saved is called into one of the five-fold ministry. Here the saints are divided into five groups, the FFM and each placed into one of these ministries. All that was required to be a part of FFM according to these false teachers was to be saved by grace through faith according to Acts 2:38. Points 4 and 5 allowed females not only to have a desire to be a part of the FFM, but claiming to be members of it, something prohibited by scriptures. Also, I know as young as 4 year old being Acts 2:38 saved, which means you can have Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists as young as 4 years old.
6. There are many more falsehoods about the Five-Fold-Ministry that need to be dealt with.
I was the only voice opposing these errors at first, but little by little I was able to transfer it to others who joined in the battle-fight against these errors. We were eventually brought to the issue of qualifications of Apostles; hence, how can we know who is or is not an apostle became a very important question deserving a scriptural answer.
I pointed to Peter in Acts 1:21-22, who required a Jewish man (male gender) who was in their company for a set period. I point to the Apostle Paul, born out of due time. Though he did not satisfied Peter's definition apart from being a Jewish man, but he was taught by Jesus and saw him physically after his passion. I pointed to the fact that Apostles are witnesses of Jesus' resurrection (Acts 1:22), which is why it is required of all them see him literally after his resurrection. Yes, Paul did see Jesus physically and literally after his passion according to Paul's own claims in 1Corinthians 9:1-5 and 15:1-8.
I maintained that the FFM was a calling into which one must be properly ordained. The Apostles and all other members of the FFM were ordained according to our apostolic heritage (See scriptures under point #3 above). None of them just jumped up and assumed an office and occupied them being un-ordained, unlike the new doctrine now on the FFM. I maintained that ordination was necessary and required a man of equal or higher ranks to do it. Jesus ordained the Apostles (Mark 3:14); Peter (and the other 10 Apostles) ordained Mathias as an Apostle (Acts 1:26); Peter ordained 7 deacons (Acts 6:5-6); Paul ordained Elders in the Churches (Acts 14:23); Paul ordained Timothy and Titus Bishop (1Timothy 4:14; Titus 1:5); Bishop Timothy was entrusted with privilege of ordaining bishops and deacons (1Timothy 3:1-13); and Bishop Titus was to also ordain Bishops and elders (Titus 1:5). In the examples it must be concluded that a man will ordain another man to an equal or lower office than his, but never higher. So only an Apostle could ordain an Apostle, which was NEVER practiced in Jamaica. The problem can now be easily seen. In other words, in order for a man to claim ordination to the ministry of Apostles he has to find a legitimate Apostle who can trace his ordination back almost 2000 years to the first century Apostles. If he cannot, then by ordination principle alone he is disqualified.
I maintained that the ministry of the Apostle was still active in the church without the need for living apostles in 21st century and that when we preach and teach from the New Testament faith, doctrine, order, and conduct, etc. it is the apostle's ministry in operation which is assisting us as we seek to perfect the saints. I emphasized that it was a far stretch to get Ephesians 4:11-16 to mean that every single assembly must have in operation living members of the FFM. These ministries are in the ENTIRE Church body of Jesus Christ: not each assembly. Also, the church will always have the original ministry of the Apostles, even though they are dead: they are still in the church. I maintained that the church remains on the rock foundation with Jesus Messieh as the chief corner stone, by us adhering and continuing in the Apostle's doctrine. No live apostles are here needed, and yes we have the backing of the apostles in this regards, since we are continuing in THE SAME doctrines they transferred to us, which described how we are to believe and behave.
Some claim a man is an apostle if he can perform miracles. One of their reference scripture is Mark 10:7-9, where Jesus gave his 12 Apostles power to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, and to cast out devils. I point out to them that the qualification of Apostles or to be a minister in FFM does not include gifts of healing or working of miracles. I can see they are required to preach the Truth of the Gospel, and in the book of Acts Jesus supported this preaching of the Truth with many signs and wonders. I also note in Matthew 7:21-23 that there were some doing great signs and wonders who Jesus said were workers of iniquity who had no relationship with him. So signs and wonders are not qualifiers for the ministry of the Apostles. Others claim if you preached at a church in a new area, that is, if you are the first to evangelize in an area, you are an apostle to that area. Here they play on the word "apostle" claiming it means "sent ", which they interpret to mean ordained to "preach first". Thus, by their own interpretation all the Brethren scattered throughout Judea and Samaria preaching only to Jews in Acts 8:3-4 were Apostles. The question is, were they? Let these false apostles come out of the abyss and speak up! I maintained that starting a church does not make anyone an apostle or even a pastor. You need ordination. One female I know claims she is the Chief Apostle, because she was the "founder" of her church. She ordained her husband to be a Bishop. She is head over him. This is unscriptural.
The climax here is on holiness and truth. I maintained that the original Apostles were holy, something these modern claimers have not measured up to. They are largely Laodicea or Laodicea-Near. Also, I maintained that the Apostles could not be in error on any doctrine, that is, they must come with the same doctrines of the original Apostles. I said then and maintain that if these who are claiming to be apostle were doctrinally pure, they would have won more followers with much less opposition, but they were far from such. Man in doctrinal error is the same as a man preaching another gospel and he is accursed. I said then and again, a cursed preacher will never be an apostle, even if he raised the dead. I pointed to Paul's letter to Galatians where he said, "If we or an angel come from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." This is why all modern apostles are cursed. I have never met in person or read about a modern apostle who is not in doctrinal error, thus, according to Paul, they are accursed. Now, a man or woman accursed is not saved, but is a lost soul. That man CANNOT be a part of FFM. Never, unless he repents!
Now, answers for the two questions. The Ephesians saints tried those claiming the ministry of the apostles against what the Apostle Peter and Paul taught. They tried them on holiness and their acceptance of the Apostle's doctrine and found them to be false. They fell short because they were not of the original. They did not have hands of the original laid upon them. They were self called, self ordained, and self sent. Their doctrine did not line up with the doctrine of the original Apostles. It their doctrine was not that delivered they were false apostles. Of such were the Nicolaitans, which Jesus Messieh counts abominable (Revelation 2:6, 15). Therefore, they were proven to be false teachers; hence liars. We know if you claim to be something you are not, you are first, a liar, then false, then a hypocrite. So any man that usurps the ministry today of Apostle is a liar, false, and a hypocrite. If they are proven to be false in doctrine, they are false apostles.
Whenever I hear a man claiming ANY office in FFM especially those claiming the high office of Apostles and Prophets I want to know his faith, doctrine, conduct, and order. I want to know who his pastor was and who ordained him in all his offices ending with that of apostle. In other words I want to know his REPORT. Why? I want to see if they are in agreement with the first Apostles. I take Acts 2:42 and 2John 1:8-11 very seriously. The Apostle's doctrine is the doctrine of the New Testament Church of Jesus Messieh. Anyone who abides not in the doctrine of Jesus as preached by the Apostles should be avoided.
We need more men who will refuse to be called by titles they are not eligible to wear. We need men who refuse to promote themselves for fame and prestige. We want men who will sit under a man of God and wait on the promotion from Lord in his time and refuse to run ahead of Jesus' time.
Peace be upon the Israel of God
Thank you Bishop Reckart, you have my support.
Minister Oscene Barrett
We know that any man can get a ministerial license or certificate if he have enough money to pay. I am not against ministerial license or certificate in anyway; I think this in many ways is good and proper, but, Jesus and his Apostles did not have any. So, ordination, which I made lots of mention of, is more than obtaining license or certification to preach from a church or organization. What we want is first a call of God; then recognition of that call by a seasoned holy man of God who will set you into your proper place in the body whenever you are mature enough. This according to our apostolic heritage is very important. Our heritage caused us to believe that for a successful ministry you need both a call and a proper ordination. Many have a call but they believe no man must ordain them. All ministers must obtain ordination, this is Apostolic doctrine that began with Jesus. Every minister needs a man of God in his life, under whom he will serve and be happy to be ordained. Note this, no priest in the Old Testament served without being consecrated and ordained. Wait your turn or you will be out of line.