The Bible is filled with many different roles – some big, some small. Many of us have heard about the role of an apostle, a teacher, and a prophet being given out of the Bible, but what are they really?
Teachers, Prophets, and Apostles all have their places that they occupy in the Christian faith.
If you want to better understand the differences between these three roles and what they all mean, then read on!
The gifts of apostles, teachers, and prophets all serve distinct purposes, but they all rely upon one another.
Prophet and Teacher
- The Prophet waters from above, the Teacher from below.
- The Prophet takes care of refreshing and cleansing rain, and the Teacher takes care of the necessary groundwater.
- The Prophet brings medicine, sometimes bitter but useful if taken with enthusiasm. Every so often it gives vitamins, sometimes bitter herbs, and sporadically a sweet dessert. The Teacher gives potatoes and meat. His words frequently need to be chewed well.
- The Apostle finds a family, and the Prophet wakes her up if she has fallen asleep.
- The Teacher helps her not fall asleep at all, but stay awake and sober.
- The Teacher covers the more general meaning of the biblical texts. The Prophet – their meaning for a specific situation.
- The Teacher makes us stable; the Prophet makes us mobile.
- Without the Prophet, the stabilizing action of the Teacher leads to sluggishness. Without the Teacher, the openness, and mobility brought by the Prophet make us “wind-shaken”.
- The Teacher teaches us to stand, the Prophet teaches us to listen.
- The Teacher teaches us to fly the plane of our Christian life. He teaches us blind and night flight, the handling of tools, and the treachery of the weather. The Prophet shows us where and why to fly. It also helps us recognize an impending thunderstorm in time and prepare for it in advance.
- Flying without proper training threatens disaster; flying without prophetic guidance means flying back and forth without orientation.
- The Teacher shows us how to light our spotlight; the Prophet shows us where to direct it.
- The Teacher gives us vessels of the Word to pour new wine into them; the Prophet fills the existing vessels with new wine. Without a teacher, new wine often disappears or is spilled; vessels often dry up without a prophet.
- The Teacher shows us how to handle weapons and how to fight. The Prophet helps us choose the battlefield, the enemy, and God’s instructions for today’s battle.
There are many doors in a big prison – and the whole world is ultimately a prison with a very evil overseer. The various compartments are locked, and cells, windows through which one can only glance at the freedom of the Kingdom of God.
Therefore, God sends “Keymakers” again and again so that as many people as possible from different departments and cells have the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God.
In this regard, we can consider the pentahedral ministry as a kind of “key service” of God.
But we need to know, recognize and call this service! There’s not much going on without it. With great effort, only individual prisoners can be freed.
How do these “key service” commands work?
The apostle has the keys to the major departments of the prison: cities, nationalities, countries, nations. He thinks and acts from a broad perspective. Strategically, he opens access to the whole department.
He plans the entire action for the release of prisoners and controls it.
The evangelist has the keys to individual cells; he brings individual people and individual families to freedom.
The prophet opens the windows so that the prison can breathe in the fresh air of the Kingdom of God, take a look at freedom, know the heart of God, and desire freedom. In addition, he also has the keys to the secret entrances to the offices and cells, so he can be in the role of a scout or an informant who learns something in advance.
In this way, he provides important information to other team members, telling them where the doors are in the dark prison, how to deceive the guards, and how it is better to act. His messages make the service of the whole team more effective.
Then they will help the former prisoners get to know the beauty of the Kingdom of God more and more fully and orient themselves in it. They will open beautiful corners in the city and show them the royal treasures.
Pastors and teachers are waiting outside, the irons. They have very significant keys in their hands.
Pastors open the doors of houses where former prisoners who have just been released will be able to live so that they can settle down in a new environment and not go back to prison. Without them, the freed people would have become vagabonds on the city’s streets.
Each released person receives a guide to the city where he may now live. In this book, there are stories on local lore, the constitution (the basic law), and many stories about the tsar and the city.
The teacher opens this book to them and explains how to understand it deeper and better.
Of course, this image of God’s “key service” is imperfect. This is a parable, and every parable has its incompleteness. But I think we can guess how many people will be free if this team works in unity and loves hand in hand.
The gifts of the Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers all serve distinct purposes for the universal Church. While we often focus on the differences between them, it is important to recognize their essential similarities as well.
So next time you’re at your Bible study or Christian gathering and the gifts are being discussed, you’ll be prepared with a better idea of what’s going on!
If anything, the abilities of three different roles are complementary. We need all of them to have a complete understanding of what’s going on in the world today and in the future. Their gifts provide a balance mechanism between the other gifts.