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Chapter 5    Serving The Gift To One Another

We have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but manifesting (exhibition of) the truth. II Corinthians 4:2  Here, Paul contrasts craftiness and the truth. It is available to exhibit the truth of God by honest handling of the word of God. When we handle the word deceitfully, (for our own purposes) we are walking in craftiness, which is of the devil.

As we saw in the case of diakonos, we have to deal with crafty and deceitful translation of the word.  The KJV was translated by the Church of England. The Church of England was controlled by King James. It essentially was the Roman Church with a new pope, the King. Most of the paganistic beliefs that had diluted the truth and power of God in the Roman Church were still in effect. The translators believed the Church of England doctrines to be true. They translated the KJV according to "their" understanding. They were sincerely concerned about doing a good job of translating, but they were in a position of servitude to the king. A simple reading of the translator's dedication to the KJV will reveal the position and purposes of the translators. They were bound to translate according to the doctrines of the king.

Thanks be to God that we can look beyond that to the critical Greek texts to find the true meaning and power of the word of God. Within the state controlled church in England, there were many levels of rulers. Each position carried varying amounts of authority to exercise dominion over the people under their supervision. One only need read history to see the degradation and offenses of this type of system. Jesus said, "Ye shall not be so". Luke 22:26

We must look honestly at the word of God and sift out the organizational craftiness. There is much sifting to be done in the area of our ministry of reconciliation.  We have no rulers to exercise dominion over us. We lead one another by example, in the power of God, through Christ in us. My observation of your operation of the gift makes it easier for me to operate the gift in me. My operation builds your believing in the same way.
If I rule over you, I suppress your believing in the gift and build your believing in me and my organization. Jesus said, "Ye shall not be so." Luke 22:26

Dominion and ruler-ship have been so ingrained in us that it is difficult to get past it. We automatically think that there must be a hierarchy. But honest translation of the word of God proves differently. Let's look at some examples of how the word has been deceitfully handled and exhibit the truth:

The word "apostle" is not a translation. It is a transliteration. A transliteration is a transfer of a word from one alphabet to another. "Apostle" is an English alphabet spelling of the Greek word apostolos. By transferring the word to English letters, the meaning of the word is obscured.  The word apostolos means "messenger", or "one sent with a message."
Remember our ministry of reconciliation? Our one errand to run for God? Part of that errand is to carry the gospel message.

Jesus while on earth chose his first "messengers". He spent a lot of time training and teaching them the message that they were to carry. He himself was a messenger. Did he rule by force or constraint? In the book of Acts we see the record of the message being taken to the Jews, then the Gentiles. But the first messengers did not exalt themselves and make themselves rulers. They were servants (diakonos) that carried the message, and taught others to carry the message to still others. Any one who places themselves in a position of dominion becomes a psuedoapostolos. (false messenger)

In each of the 81 times that the Greek word apostolos is used, the word "messenger" should be read and understood. This rendering conveys the simplicity and truth of the mystery of the body of Christ.

Again, the word "prophet" is a transliteration of the Greek word prophetes. The meaning of the word is "one who speaks forth."   In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for prophet means "inspired person." The context of each usage must be read to find out who inspired the speaker, God or the devil. The same is true today. There are many inspired speakers in the world around us. By the manifestation of discerning of Spirits we can know the Spirit or spirit inspiring the speaker. We also can compare what is being spoken to the written word of God to verify the authenticity of the message.

A "prophet" (inspired speaker) is one who speaks forth and "foretells" or "forthtells" by the revelation manifestations, or by the written revelation of the Bible.  One who speaks by any other inspiration is a "false prophet", or speaker inspired by Satan.  For a proper understanding of the word "prophet", it should be read "inspired speaker" and understood as such.

The word "evangelist" is a transliteration of the Greek word euggelistes. This word means a "good message carrier." An evangelist is one who proclaims the good message. This is part of each born again persons responsibility as a minister of reconciliation.
Paul exhorted Timothy to "do the work of an evangelist, (good message carrier) make full proof of thy ministry." (ministry is diakonia, the ministry of reconciliation)
The word "evangelist" only appears three times in the New Testament and should be read as "proclaimer of the good message.

The word "pastor" is of French origin. It is translated from the Greek word poimen which means shepherd. Of the 17 times poimen is used, it is translated into English as shepherd 16 times. Why then is it rendered once in French as "pastor?" The Church of England had a ruling position called "pastor."   Let's be consistent in our handling of the word.  Poimen means "shepherd" every time it is used.

Teacher is a good translation of didaskolos. It is interesting to note that this word is used 48 times in the gospels and only once is it translated "teacher". Yet in the Acts and Epistles it is translated "teacher" all but once. Didaskolos means "one who teaches" in every case.

    As every man hath received the gift, even so minister (serve) the     same one to another.   I Peter 4:10

Every born again person has received the gift of holy Spirit. In that one gift is all the power, authority, and enablements that anyone ever receives in this body of flesh. We are to minister (diakoneo, serve) that gift to one another.

Some of the ways that the gift is served one to another is listed in Ephesians 4:11: "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."

With proper translations of the ministries and the word "some" which is not in the Greek removed, Ephesians 4:11, 12 reads as follows: "And he indeed gave messengers, inspired speakers, proclaimers of the gospel, and teaching shepherds, for the equipping of the holy ones, for the work of the ministry, (of reconciliation) for the building up of the body of Christ." Eph. 4:11, 12   These ministries (ways to serve) have been called "gift ministries" but more accurately should be called "ministries of the gift."

To exalt the persons that believe to serve the gift to others is contrary to the word of God and honors the flesh. "Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet we know him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things (new) are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation." II Corinthians 5:16-17

Each of us who are born again of God's Spirit has the gift of holy Spirit. Our ministry of reconciliation is part of that gift. Let us, by love, serve the gift to one another.

Link to Chapter 6

    By Neil Tolman

Neil's House