Every follower of Jesus is given one or more gifts to enable and focus his or her service and work. My Complete list is twenty gifts. The first four are:
1. Apostle (apostolos). The Greek word means "one sent forth" (on an official errand), i.e., an ambassador. In addition to the twelve original disciples who became apostles, Paul was added to the list of those commissioned by God to lay the foundations of the Christian church and impart a full body of truth which would guide Christian faith and conduct. There were also other apostles, for example, Barnabas, Acts 14:4,14; Andronicus and Junia, Romans 16:7, 2 Corinthians 8:23; Philippians 2:25. The need for apostles diminished as the church became established. If there are any apostles today they might be found among pioneer missionaries who establish churches in foreign lands where the gospel has not yet been proclaimed. Christians today are under apostolic authority, however there is no Biblical reason to believe in the so-called apostolic succession of authority in the church. Ray Stedman likens the apostles in the Body of Christ to the skeleton and musculature of the human body.
2. Prophet, prophecy. (prophetes), lit: "to speak forth," to proclaim the mind and counsel of God, i.e., the gift of preaching. Differs from pastor-teacher in scope. Ray Stedman compares the role of the NT prophet to the nervous system of the body. NT prophets do not make predictions about the future as the OT prophets did, but they gather their message from the Scriptures. Nor is God giving the church new revelation through such individuals today. The gift of prophecy is likewise not for giving secret messages from God to individuals in the church. Prophets vigorously stimulate and challenge the Body of Christ, pastor-teachers patiently feed the sheep and care for their needs. Prophets are to edify, exhort and console, (see 1 Corinthians 14:3).
3. Evangelist, evangelism. (evangelistes) from eu = well, plus aggelos = messenger. The gift of bringing the good news of God to unbelievers individually and in groups. The content of the message is outlined in 1 Corinthians 15. Ray Stedman compares this gift to the digestive apparatus of the human body which has the ability to take material which is not a part of the body and transform it into parts of the body. Evangelists are also to teach other believers how to lead people to the Lord Jesus. Timothy evidently did not have this gift but Paul nevertheless urged him to "do the work of an evangelist".
4. Pastor-teacher (poimenes kai didaskalos), shepherd and teacher. Ray Stedman describes this gift as analogous to the circulatory system of the human body which "cleanses and feeds" the members of the body. Ray Stedman once said he believed this was a this is a common gift, given to perhaps a third of Christians.
The Canon of Scripture is closed. Therefore no new predictions of the future are now being made. Those with the New Testament gift of prophet are not called to predict the future. They are Bible expositors who explain and amplify the existing Old and New Testaments.
Few churches today recognize any spiritual gift except a pastor. This deficit leads to a passive audience ruled over by a paid professional clergy. This old heresy is called out in the last book of the Bible, the Book of the Revelation: "Yet this is to your credit: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate." (Revelation 2:6) and "So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and make war against them with the sword of my mouth." (Revelation 2:15,16)
New Body Life
Guidelines on Gifts by Ray Stedman
Body Life by Ray Stedman
The Church Papers
The church Jesus is building has a different calling and is differently gifted compared to the calling of Israel. The books of the Bible were assembled over many years yielding our modern Bibles. The subject of the Canon of Scripture and how we got there is both fascinating and complex! Which version is also worth investigating.
Amos the Prophet
3:1 Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel,
against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt:
2 You only have I known
of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
for all your iniquities.
3 Do two walk together
unless they have made an appointment?
4 Does a lion roar in the forest,
when it has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from its den,
if it has caught nothing?
5 Does a bird fall into a snare on the earth,
when there is no trap for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground,
when it has taken nothing?
6 Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster befall a city,
unless the Lord has done it?
7 Surely the Lord God does nothing,
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared;
who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
who can but prophesy?
9 Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod,
and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
and say, ‘Assemble yourselves on Mount Samaria,
and see what great tumults are within it,
and what oppressions are in its midst.’
10 They do not know how to do right, says the Lord,
those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.
11 Therefore, thus says the Lord God:
An adversary shall surround the land,
and strip you of your defence;
and your strongholds shall be plundered.
12 Thus says the Lord: As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece
of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who live in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.
13 Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,
says the Lord God, the God of hosts:
14 On the day I punish Israel for its transgressions,
I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
and fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end,
says the Lord.
The Ten Israel Tribes of Carried Captive to Assyria
The Kings of Israel and Judah
Amos the Prophet
Jesus, our Greater Moses
Isaiah and Micah
The Temple Cleansings by Jesus
Isaiah as a Young Man
Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem Web Site
God's Long Term Purpose for Israel
Israel is the Key to World Peace
The Ruthlessness of God
Israel My Glory (Aliyah)
Entering God's Sabbath Rest
Jesus, the Avenger of Blood
The Terror of the Lord
Tyre and Sidon
Jesus our Jubilee
The Day of the Lord
Jesus, Greater than Moses
The Wife of Jehovah, The Bride of Christ
The Last Church Before the Rapture
The Gog/Magog Invasion
God's Land -- God's People
Strike the Shepherd