Lesson 6




Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

C Name four divisions of spiritual gifts used in this study.

C Identify the special gifts of the Holy Spirit.

C Explain the difference between the special gift of being a prophet and the gift of


C Explain the difference between the special gift of being a teacher and the gift of



And He gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11)


Before studying this chapter read the Bible passages below. These references list the gifts of the Holy Spirit:

-Romans 12:1-8

-I Corinthians 12:1-31
-Ephesians 4:1-16
-I Peter 4 : 7 -1 1

Turn to the Appendix of this manual. Read these same passages as they are translated in the Amplified version of the Bible. For study purposes we have divided the gifts into four major categories:

-Special Gifts
-Speaking Gifts
-Serving Gifts
-Sign Gifts

The Bible does not make such a division of the gifts. We have made it to help you remember the various gifts more easily. This chapter discusses the special gifts. Following chapters explain speaking, serving, and sign gifts.


The previous chapter explained the unity and diversity of spiritual gifts. Although there are many different gifts, they all come from one source. That source is the Holy Spirit. God has a specific place in the Church for each believer:

But now hath God set the members, every one of them, in the body, as it hath pleased Him. (I Corinthians 12:18)

Every member has a place which God has chosen for him . He is equipped to fulfill his special purpose in the church through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

When each believer is filling the place God has chosen for him and using his spiritual

gift, the church operates smoothly. God compares it to the operation of the human body in which each member…from the eye to the toe…knows and performs its function (I
Corinthians 12:1 -31). Remember as you study these spiritual gifts that each is equally important in the Body of Christ just as each member of the human body is important:

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary. (I Corinthians 12:21-22)

As you study spiritual gifts, remember also that they are not natural abilities. They are abilities from the Holy Spirit to equip believers for Christian service.

(Note: In this and the following three chapters suggestions are given "For Further Study" as each spiritual gift is discussed . This is done to permit you to complete your study of each gift before going on to the next one.)


The first group of spiritual gifts are what we will call "special gifts.” We use this title for these gifts because each one is a special leadership position in the church:

And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets, and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11)

These leadership positions are sometimes called "offices" in the church. "Office" means a place of responsibility and duty. The special leadership gifts are:




And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets… (I Corinthians 12:28)

And He gave some apostles; and some, prophets… (Ephesians 4:11)

An apostle is one who has a special ability to develop new churches in different places and cultures and to oversee a number of churches as a supervisor. Apostle means "a delegate, one sent with full power and authority to act for another.” The apostle has a special authority or ability to extend the Gospel throughout the world by developing organized bodies of believers. Modern terms used by the church for an apostle are
missionary and church-planter.

The Bible speaks of three different categories of apostles. Jesus Christ was called an apostle:

Wherefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him… (Hebrews 3:1-2a)

The twelve disciples of Jesus were called apostles:

Now the names of the twelve apostles are these… (Matthew 10:2)

The twelve apostles had a special function . They were part of the founding of the Church. While they had a function which no other believers will ever have, there is also a general apostolic gift of the Holy Spirit:

And He gave some apostles… (Ephesians 4:11)

According to this passage, God is the one who selects apostles. Paul again confirms this:

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles…

(I Corinthians 12:28)

The Bible speaks of special signs which confirm that a person has the gift of being an apostle:

Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. (II Corinthians 12:12)

And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people… (Acts 5:12)

The special leadership of apostles over the churches is illustrated in the book of Acts:

And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren and
said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be

When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this
question. (Acts 15:1-2)

And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to

keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number

daily. (Acts 16:4-5)

Apostles extend the Gospel message by raising up churches . They give leadership to

these churches and have special spiritual signs in their ministry. The calling and desire to be an apostle comes from God:

Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. (Galatians 1:1)

This special gift is usually recognized by a local church who does the sending of the apostle to other places:

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch, certain prophets and teachers…

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they

sent them away. (Acts 13:1-3)

An apostle desires to minister in places where others have not worked:

Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation;

But as it is written, To whom He was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. (Romans 15:20-21)

To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s line of things made ready to our hand.

(II Corinthians 10:16)

The apostle is willing to adapt to other cultures and lifestyles in order to win people for Christ:

For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law of Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

And this I do for the gospel’s sake… (I Corinthians 9:19-23)

The apostle develops churches with trained leadership that can carry on without him :

And when they had preached the gospel to that city and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch.

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the
faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of

And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

(Acts 14:21-23)

This verse reveals that follow up ministry and the raising up of qualified leadership for new churches are responsibilities of an apostle.

The seal, or evidence, of the apostolic gift is the spiritual result it brings in the lives of others. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth which he had organized:

…of the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. (I Corinthians 9:2b)

The ability to raise up communities of believers and organize them into a church body is the seal of the gift of apostleship .

The Bible warns of false apostles who are deceitful but can be recognized by their works:

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according their works. (II Corinthians 11:13-15)


The New Testament gives several examples of those who had the apostolic gift. Use these references for further study :


-Andronicus and Junia: -Apollos:


-Apostles of Jesus:

Galatians 1:1

Romans 16:7

I Corinthians 4:6 ,9

Galatians 1:9

Gospels; book of Acts


And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets… (I Corinthians 12:28)

And He gave some apostles; and some, prophets… (Ephesians 4:11)

There are two prophetic gifts. One is the special gift of being a prophet. The other is the

speaking gift of prophecy. In general, prophecy refers to speaking under the special
inspiration of God. It is the special ability to receive and communicate an immediate
message of God to His people through a divinely-anointed utterance. To this point, the
definition applies to the special leadership gift of a prophet as well as the speaking gift of

But a person is not a prophet just because he prophesies. Paul told the whole church to desire the gift of prophecy:

Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. (I Corinthians 14:1)

For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. (I Corinthians 14:31)

But Paul indicated that not everyone was a prophet. He asked:

Are all prophets? (I Corinthians 12:29)

The difference between a prophet and prophesying is apparent in the following passage:

And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea; and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. (Acts 21:8-11)

Philip’s daughters had the speaking gift of prophesy. But Agabus was a prophet who not only gave prophetic messages but held a leadership position in the church. God used him in a leadership role regarding Paul’s ministry. Agabus gave Paul spiritual direction
regarding what would happen in Jerusalem (Acts 21:11 ).

Those with the special gift of being a prophet do not just speak under the inspiration of God . They also hold an office of authority and leadership in the church . This is
confirmed in Acts 13:1 -4 where prophets and teachers were used in a leadership capacity to guide Barnabas and Saul into the special ministry to which God had called them .

In the Old Testament people went to prophets for guidance. The gift of Holy Spirit

infilling was not yet given. The presence of God was shut up in the Holy of Holies .

Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we now have access to the presence

of God. The gift of the Holy Spirit has been given and, as you previously learned, one of His purposes is guidance:

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14)

It is no longer necessary to go to a prophet to receive spiritual guidance. This is one of

the functions of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Each believer should learn how to be led by God’s Spirit. The New Testament gives no record of believers seeking
guidance from prophets after the gift of the Holy Spirit was given.

But God still uses this gift to confirm guidance He has already given to a believer

through the Holy Spirit. This is what happened in the case of Agabus and Paul. Paul

already knew he was to go to Jerusalem . The prophecy of Agabus revealed what would happen to him there. It was not a prophecy of guidance telling Paul whether or not to go to Jerusalem .

The words spoken by a prophet under divine inspiration are called prophecies . To prophesy means to declare openly words from God that exhort, edify , and comfort:

But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. (I Corinthians 14:3)

Prophecy ministers not only to believers through edification but also to the unsaved. Prophecy can convict unbelievers and cause them to turn to the Lord:

But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:

And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. (I Corinthians 14:24-25)

One of the purposes of a prophet is to bring people to repentance:

Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them; but they would not give ear.

(II Chronicles 24:19)

The Bible refers to prophecy as a great gift and more to be desired than the gift of tongues:

Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the Spirit he speaketh

But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification and exhortation and comfort. (I Corinthians 14:1-3)

I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied; for

greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. (I Corinthians 14:5)

Wherefore brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. (I Corinthians 14:39)

The Holy Spirit is always in control of true prophecy and directs attention to Jesus Christ:

Now, concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed; and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (I Corinthians 12:1-3)

Prophecy is never to replace the written Word of God. The Bible says prophecy will cease, but the Word of God abides forever:

…but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail… (I Corinthians 13:8)

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (I Peter 1:25)

The Bible warns of false prophets (Matthew 24:11,24; Mark 13:22). A person called "the false prophet" will be evident in events at the end of the world (Revelation 13:11-17;
16:13; 19 :20; 20:10).

Because there are false prophets, God’s word provides several ways to identify true prophecies. You can recognize them by:


Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.
(Romans 12:6)

The phrase "in proportion to faith" means in right relation to the faith . The way to

recognize true prophecies is by whether or not they agree with the basic doctrines of the Christian faith revealed in the Bible. For example, false prophets do not confess the deity of Jesus Christ:

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is the spirit of antichrist… (I John 4:1-3)

False prophets teach sexual immorality and permissiveness:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be
false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even
denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift

And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise

of you… (II Peter 2:1-3)

False prophets try to lead people away from obedience to God’s Word (Deuteronomy 13:1-5). This type of prophecy is not in right relation to the Christian faith.


False prophets deceive people with miraculous signs:

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great

signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:11,24)


The evidence of spiritual fruit is the true test of any ministry:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Ye shall know them by their fruits… (Matthew 7:15-16)

In Chapter Eleven you will study the fruit of the Holy Spirit. These are spiritual qualities which a true prophet will have.


Any prophet who claims to be divine or the same as Christ is false:

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it

For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:23-24)


The final test by which a true prophet can be identified is whether or not what he has prophesied comes to pass:

But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?

When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)


Prophecy can come from three different sources:

-The human spirit: Jeremiah 23 :16 ; Ezekiel 13 :2,3

-Evil and lying spirits: Isaiah 8:19 -20; I Kings 2 2:22 ; Matthew 8:29 ;

Acts 16:17

-The Holy Spirit: II Samuel 23:2; Jeremiah 1:9; Acts 19:6; 21:11

This is why we must judge prophecies to determine whether or not they are from the Holy Spirit.

The Bible gives many examples of Old and New Testament prophets for you to study to increase your understanding of prophets and the gift of prophecy. As you study these references try to distinguish between those who had the special gift of being a prophet [leadership] from those who had just the gift of prophecy.

Old Testament Prophets:

Abraham : Genesis 20 :7

Moses: Deuteronomy 34:9

Habakkuk: Habakkuk 1:1

Isaiah : II Kings 19:2

Micah: Matthew 2:5-6

Hosea: Matthew 21:15

Ephriam : Hosea 9:8

Joel: Acts 2:16

Jeremiah: Jeremiah 1:5

Gad: I Samuel 22:15

Zechariah: Zechariah : 1:1

Ahijah: I Kings 11:29

Samuel: I Samuel 3:20

Jehu: I Kings 16:7

Nathan: II Samuel 7:2

Michaiah: I Kings 22 :7-8

Jonah: II Kings 14:25

Iddo: II Chronicles 13:22

Azzur: Jeremiah 28 :1

Ezekiel: Ezekiel 2:1 -5

Hananiah: Jeremiah 28:17

Daniel: Matthew 24:15

Balaam : II Peter 2 : 1 5 -16

Amos: Acts 7:42-43

Shemh: II Chronicles 12:5

Elisha: I Kings 19:16

Elijah : I Kings 18:22

Haggai: Haggai 1:1

David: Acts 2:29-30

Aaron: Exodus 7 :1

Azariah: II Chronicles 15:8

Obed: II Chronicles 15:8

Asaph: Psalms 78:2

Old Testament Prophetessess (female):

Miriam : Exodus 15:20

Deborah: Judges 4:4

Huldah: II Kings 22:14

Noadiah: Nehemiah 6:14

Isaiah’s Wife : Isaiah 8 :3

New Testament Prophets:

Jesus: Matthew 21:11

John the Baptist: Matthew 11:7-11

Agabus: Acts 11:27-28; 21:10

Judas: Acts 15:32

Silas: Acts 15:32

Antioch Leaders: Acts 13:1

New Testament Prophetesses (female):

Anna: Luke 2:36

Philip’s Daughters: Acts 21:8-9

Study the guidelines for using prophecy when the church meets together: I Corinthians 14:29-31


And He gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11)

An evangelist has a special ability to share the Gospel with non-believers in a way that men and women respond and become responsible members of the Body of Christ. The meaning of the word "evangelist" is "one who brings good news.”

The Word evangelist occurs three times in the New Testament. In Ephesians it is listed as one of the special gifts:

And He gave some…evangelists… (Ephesians 4:11)

Timothy is told to do the work of an evangelist:

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (II Timothy 4:5)

Although all believers are to "do the work of an evangelist" and share the Gospel with others, God gives some the special gift of being an evangelist. Philip was one who had the spiritual gift of being an evangelist:

And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea; and we entered in to the house of Philip the evangelist…
(Acts 21:8)

Philip is actually the only person in the New Testament called an evangelist. His tendency towards this gift was evident from early in his experience with Christ. When Philip met Jesus the first thing he did was to share the news with Nathanael:

Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of

And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. (John 1:45-46)

Later Philip directed spiritually hungry Greeks to Jesus:

The same came therefore to Philip…and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.

Philip cometh and telleth Andrew, and again, Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. (John 12:21-22)

Philip was chosen as a disciple (Matthew 10:3 ) and was in the upper room when the Holy Spirit came (Acts 1:13). Philip was ordained by man as a deacon in the church (Acts 6:1-

6) but set by God as an evangelist (Ephesians 4 :11-12).


Further study of the ministry of Philip will expand your knowledge of the special gift of being an evangelist:

-His message: Acts 8:35

-Deliverance, miracles, healings: Acts 8:5-8

-Baptized: Acts 8:12,36-38

-Preached [the Kingdom of God ]: Acts 8:12

-House was set in order: Acts 21:8-9

-Traveled to spread the Gospel: Acts 8:4-5,26,40

-Ability to persuade groups: Acts 8 :6

-Stirred entire cities: Acts 8 :8

-Ministered to individuals: Acts 8:27-38

-Led by God: Acts 8:26,39

-Knowledge of the Word of God: Acts 8:30-35

-Known by effectiveness of ministry and response of people: Acts 8:5-6,8,12,35-39


And He gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11)

This is the only place in the King James version of the New Testament where the word

"pastor" is used. The Greek word "pastor" actually means shepherd. (The New Testament was originally written in Greek). Pastors are leaders who assume long-term personal
responsibility for the spiritual welfare of a group of believers. Because the word means
shepherd, pastors should follow the example set by Jesus Christ as a "pastor" or
"shepherd" of people:

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep… (Hebrews 13:20)

And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (I Peter 5:4)

Jesus also referred to Himself as the good shepherd and listed some of the functions of a shepherd in John 10:1-18.

The Bible mentions the office of a bishop (I Timothy 3). Many believe this is the same as a pastor because of the following verse spoken of Jesus:

For ye were as sheep going astray: but are now returned unto the Shepherd

and Bishop of your souls. (I Peter 2:25)

The spiritual requirements for bishops, elders, and deacons, which were positions of

leadership in the early church, should certainly also be met by one who would lead these people as a pastor. Study these in I Timothy 3:1-13.

The responsibilities of a pastor are to spiritually feed and protect those under his ministry. This is to be done with a proper motive and not just for financial gain:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20:28)

Feed the flock of God which is among you taking the oversight thereof, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready minds;

Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (I Peter 5:2-4)

The word "pastor" is used in the Old Testament only in the book of Jeremiah. Here, God gives special warnings to pastors:

…the pastors also transgressed against me. (Jeremiah 2:8)

For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord; therefore
they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered. (Jeremiah

Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate because no man layeth it to heart.
(Jeremiah 12:10-11)

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and drive them away, and have not
visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the

Lord. (Jeremiah 23:1-2)

Study the requirements for being a bishop or deacon in the church in I Timothy 3: 1-1 3. These also apply for one who serves as a pastor. Study the characteristics of Jesus as the Good Shepherd given in John 10:1-18.


And He gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11)

Teachers are believers who have the special ability of communicating the Word of God effectively in such a way that others learn and apply what is taught. Teaching involves training, not just communicating information. The Bible records:

And He gave some…teachers… (Ephesians 4:11)

And God hath set some in the church….thirdly, teachers…

(I Corinthians 12:28)

…Or he that teacheth on teaching… (Romans 12:7)

Not all believers receive the special gift of teaching. Paul asked:

…are all teachers? (I Corinthians 12:29)

His answer to this question was "no.” God gives some the special gift of teaching.

The special gift of being a teacher differs from the speaking gift of teaching just as being a prophet differs from the speaking gift of prophecy . You will recall that Acts 13:1-4
showed teachers in a special leadership position [along with the prophets] in guiding the
ministry of Paul and Barnabas. All believers do not have the special gift of teaching or
the speaking gift of teaching. But all believers are to be involved in teaching the basic
Gospel message:

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God…
(Hebrews 5:12)

All mature believers are to be involved in teaching the Gospel whether or not they have

the special gift of teaching. (Because of this, CmdssInternational Institute offers a separate course entitled "Teaching Tactics" to provide further instruction in this area).

The Bible warns of false teachers. These are people who claim to have the gift of teaching but do not teach the true Word of God :

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift
destruction. (II Peter 2:1)

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto

fables. (II Timothy 4:3-4)

…thy teachers have transgressed against me…(Isaiah 43:27)

II Peter chapter 2 and the book of Jude list some of the personal characteristics by which you can recognize false teachers.

It is possible to have a wrong motive for teaching as well as false doctrine:

Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not for filthy lucre’s sake. (Titus 1:11)

Those who have been taught God’s Word should teach faithful believers who will be able to teach others:

Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. (Galatians 6:6)

And the same thing that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (II Timothy 2:2)

This is the pattern of continuous teaching that, if followed, rapidly multiplies to spread the Gospel throughout the world.

A person with the spiritual gift of teaching does not teach man’s wisdom :

Which things also we speak, not in the word which man’s wisdom teacheth,

but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (I Corinthians 2:13)

A teacher should have Godly understanding and wisdom. Paul warns against those who

…desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. (I Timothy 1:7)

He stresses the importance of teaching with wisdom :

…Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all

wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. (Colossians 1:27-28)

Teachers must live what they teach:

Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?

Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
(Romans 2:21-22)

Teachers will be judged on the basis of what they have taught:

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (James 3:1)


Study the following examples of teachers in the New Testament. Who do you think

might have had the special gift of being a teacher [a leadership position in the church]. Who might have had only the speaking gift of teaching?

-Appollos: Acts 18:24-25

-Aquilla and Priscilla: Acts 18:26

-Paul: Acts 20:20-21,27; 21:28

-Unnamed: Acts 1 3:1

-Peter: Acts 5:28-29

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The five special gifts of leadership function together in the ministry of the church.

Apostles extend the Gospel message to various regions and raise up organized bodies of believers. God gives special miraculous signs and wonders to assist in this extension of the Gospel. The apostle provides special leadership to the churches he raises up.

Prophets also provide leadership in the church. One of their functions is to give special messages from God through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Evangelists communicate the Gospel in such a manner that people respond to it and

become believers. They may minister individually or in large groups, but their ministry always produces new believers. These believers then come under the care of apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers of the church who guide their spiritual development. The example of Philip in Acts chapter 8 illustrates this. He brought the Samaritans to Christ, then turned them to the apostles for further teaching.

Pastors exercise long-term leadership and care for those who have believed through the message of the evangelist . They provide pastoral care to those who have become
believers through the ministry of apostles. Their ministry is a picture of the loving care of a shepherd for his sheep.

Teachers provide instruction which goes beyond the presentation of the Gospel by the

evangelist. They teach believers to be spiritually mature. They train faithful people who are capable of teaching others.

The main responsibility of those with special leadership gifts is to train other believers to discover and use their spiritual gifts (Ephesians 4:11-16). The following chart illustrates how the special gifts function together in the church:











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