The Apostolic today is hurting in function due to many false concepts and understandings. Not only did Jesus only commission apostles, but the fivefold “offices” in Eph. 4 are not listed as “offices” but listed as gifting. The word ‘gifting’ is the word “doma”. “Doma” comes from a word meaning ‘to give so you have an advantage, to supply something that is needed, to extend, and to give to one’s care’. Now this is where we see the confusion in many ways.
First, the word ‘office’ is not seen in scripture to describe five fold ministers. It is a definition to describe man made systems of structure and organization. It describes a chain of human authority. The gifting described here is really given to the entire Body. It is a stewardship of the charisma of the Spirit and the grace upon them and how it is transferred to the Body. It is a stewardship role, and not an ownership role that the word ‘office’ applies. By saying there are offices and not gifts, automatically brings a human authority structure to them, thus diminishing the gifting and loosing the spirit of jealousy. This is why the prophetic and now the apostolic Doma are struggling to fit into the Body in function. The Body is also struggling as they are not getting full advantage as God has intended.
Second, the gifting or doma carries a certain charisma with it. It is a spiritual charisma or function. 1 Cor. 12 talks of this “Charisma” or gifting. All members of the Body of Christ carry “Charisma” or functions of the Spirit. Most people today describe themselves or the fivefold ministry by defining the “office” which has a certain human charisma perspective. This is the reflection of a man’s personality and its influence upon others rather than the Charisma of how that person yields to the Spirit and the Spirit’s flow through them. In other words, people believe they are apostles based on their own Charisma and not the Spirit’s and based on seeing themselves in an ‘office’ instead of being a gift. This Charisma of a fivefold gifting is the release of grace the gift carries being seen and not the personality of man trying to give definition to the gifting. It even goes beyond the “Charisma” that all the members are to move in as found in 1 Cor. 12. It is the stewardship of that Charisma so they not only function but accomplish the work of ministry which is the advancement of the Kingdom of God. I see many drawn to the personality of a person, over the personality of God or the Holy Spirit the person is allowing to flow through them. The main difference is the charisma of man stirs the flesh and emotions, the charisma of the Spirit stirs the Spirit within us to come alive to expression.
Lastly, all fivefold ministry has a certain grace with it. Paul discovered it and even said he had been given a dispensation or stewardship of this grace. The word ‘grace’ means more than God’s favor. It means ‘the ability of God to produce change’ be it negative or positive. That is exactly what occurs before we are saved, God’s grace is working on us and in some ways He has allowed very negative things to occur. We say’ by God’s grace we are saved’ never seeing the negative as God’s grace as well. When we get saved, we see the grace only in a positive light. But even the hard times can be God’s grace. Paul said it best when he said “God’s grace is sufficient for me”. This grace is required to perfect the saints for the work of ministry. It is required to bring us to unity of the faith. When we try to operate or steward a grace that is not upon us, we do great damage to the Body of Christ. The outcome is lacking and many end up confused as the grace will produce results unless man gets in the way of its working. The reason we operate in a grace not flowing from us is we do not understand the ways of God, or the way His grace is working. For the most part, the mercy “charisma” tries to step into fixing situations not realizing God has allowed the situation to bring change, thus short changing the full impact and intention of God. Many today are struggling in their calling because of trying to be in an office, overseeing themselves as a gift, defining themselves by their own charisma and not the Spirit’s, and by trying to steward a grace that actually belongs to another. We must know the ways of God!