FIVE-FOLD - Several strong emphases came out of the 1948 Northern Canada Visitation. The Presbytery Concept based on 1 Timothy 1:18 was the first and immediate one, but close on its heels was the teaching on the necessity to have all FIVE-FOLD ASCENSION GIFTS of Ephesians 4:11-12 in operation in a city, especially the foundation gifts of the Apostle and Prophet.
It was not as though these Scriptural truths did not find previous expression - for they did; rather it was that IMMEDIATE EXPRESSION of these Gifts took place in 1948. This was the unusual aspect of this revival - Bible truth taught found immediate proof caught. The first three Gifts were an accustomed feature of church life up to 1948 - the function of Apostles and Prophets in a Scriptural manner in harmony with the other Three was something that caught much attention.
Day One. FIVE-FOLD: EPHESIANS 4:1-16, GEORGE R. HAWTIN AND 1948.
George R. Hawtin was the human key instrumentality that God chose to use in the 1948 Visitation. But this life did not suddenly appear on the scene. Rather, circumstances, people and Providence wove together a life that was 39 years in the making.
Pastor Kelley Varner recognized the above truth. And he believed that my relationship with Brother Hawtin was a key to tell the story of the divine preparation.
I have read over 30 books written by GRH the author, and made notes on those circumstances designed by God to weave together the 12 Embryonic Revival Principles that proved to be the womb from which this Visitation burst forth. At Brother Varner's nudging, I am at present engaged in writing the saga of a man prepared for a day and an hour.
I had heard of President Hawtin of the Bethel Bible Institute of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1944. Then in 1945 a Word of the Lord came to me to seek discharge from the Canadian Navy following the successful Allied conclusion to World War II. It further instructed me to write George R. Hawtin, BBI, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and apply as a student. I had no address, but my letter was answered, my application accepted, and my discharge from HMCS Cornwallis, Digby, Nova Scotia granted. I arrived in Saskatoon 8000 miles later 2 hours before registration closed, and saved a $5.00 late registration fee!
I struck up an acquaintanceship and friendship with this principal - and when the February 13, 1948 Visitation took place, I followed with interest what God was doing in my old Alma Mater, now moved to North Battleford, Saskatchewan, and renamed Sharon Orphanage and Schools. Brother Hawtin asked if I would serve as one of the 7 elders during the July Camp Meeting of that year, and later in Edmonton in October. I also taught a number of times in the Bible College of some 80 students.
But of the 12 Revival Principles that came to the fore at that time, the Five-Fold Ministries of Ephesians 4:11-12 seemed to hold a particular grip upon this leader. Again and again during meetings he preached expositorily through the first 16 verses of that chapter, invariably majoring on the Apostles and Prophets, the foundations God chose for His church. He seldom preached and taught less than two hours - and those in the audience wondered why he quit so soon - until they checked the time and to their amazement found how it had flown! My wife Marie was one of those in North Battleford in July and later in Vancouver, BC in November/December for 6 weeks of meetings.
It is important then to note that the “Five-Fold Ministries” held special importance in the preaching and teaching of George R. Hawtin.
Day Two. “FIVE-FOLD” VERSUS “FOUR-FOLD” AND THE HAND.
According to the grammatical construction of Ephesians 4:11, some reason that pastor and teacher are linked so that they could be counted as one office. Others point to Isaiah 9:6, where the Hebrew construction describes the Pre-Incarnate Messiah in 4 couplets: Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity and Prince of Peace. Because the Ascension Ministry Gifts of Ephesians 4:11 reflect how the Ascended Lord divided Himself into these offices, then His Names of Isaiah 9:6 correspond with this Four-fold division.
But other Bible students point out that in 1 Corinthians 12:28, the Holy Spirit leads the apostle Paul to separate the Teacher as third in this list as separate from the Pastor - so that the Five-Fold division does have a solid case for it.
Then there are those who like to use the “hand” as an illustration of the Five-Fold Ministries. They point to the thumb as representing the apostle, and show how it is able to contact the other 4 fingers representing the 5 ministries of Ephesians 4:11. The “pointing” finger is the Prophet, and is next to the apostle as indicated in Ephesians 2:20. The second finger, the longest one, represents the Evangelist who is ever reaching out to bring others into God's Kingdom. Next is the Pastor finger, and lastly the fourth finger represents the Teacher.
Because of the 1 Corinthians 12:28 passage, I have no problem accepting the “hand” illustration for the “Five-Fold” Ministries.
Day Three. FIVE-FOLD: LEVI - STEVE LAMBERT.
In 1995 Dr. Lambert wrote a book entitled, “Charismatic Captivation.” He authored this text to help free those imprisoned by the Discipleship/Shepherding Movement of the '70's and '80's.
To do this, he carefully set forth Five Erroneous Concepts taught by this movement. The fourth and fifth errors: “Role of the Laity” and “Role of Five-Fold Ministers” especially deal with our subject at hand. He concluded that the tribe of Levi was the Old Testament Foundation setting forth an accurate understanding of the Five-Fold Ministries.
I am quoting some from his text to illustrate his reasoning. Many of you may wish to purchase his book to read his full presentation. It is published by: Steve Lambert Ministries, Inc. PO Box 744, Jupiter FL 33468-0744 - Tel: 407/575-5584 (ISBN 1-887915-00-1).
SATAN'S STRATEGY, p.224. One of Satan's greatest accomplishments during the spiritual eclipse of the Dark Ages was the abrogation and nullification of the anointed gifts which Jesus gave to the Church for the building up of the Church - the Five-fold Ministry Offices (Ephesians 4:7-16). He knows that as long as he can keep these anointed gifts non-functional, he can preclude the building up of the Body of Christ unto the full stature of Christ, thus delaying the eradication of his own kingdom of darkness on the Earth. Satan knows that when the Church truly matures into the Image of Christ, he and his kingdom-reign on this Earth will be brought to an abrupt end in short order, and he along with all his cohorts will finally meet with their destiny and just desserts in the Lake of Fire. Thus, his greatest fear, and the thing he fights the most, is the restoration of the remaining Five-fold Ministry Offices yet to be restored to full function and fruition in the Body of Christ - the foundation ministries of the Church to whom the Cornerstone is attached - the Apostles and Prophets (Ephesians 2:20).
LAYMAN VERSUS LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD, p.234. However, having said all this concerning the reality and validity of the priesthood of the believer, it must likewise be understood, that notwithstanding the fact that all believers are now “priests unto GOD,” not all believers have been made priests unto the PEOPLE, to minister people-ward. Primarily, Five-fold Ministers are appointed by God as “priests unto the PEOPLE,” to be His stand-ins,His proxies, His surrogates, to minister on His behalf unto His people in the form of spiritual edification and education, or spiritual construction and instruction - all of which will be elaborated on in the next chapter. Moreover, the clear and unequivocal testimony of God's Word is that “NOT ALL” (1 Corinthians 12:28-30) believers have been anointed by Jesus with Five-fold ministry gifting, but only “SOME” (Ephesians 4:7-11).
As it is explained in several places within this book, the Old Testament Levites typify the Five-fold Ministers in the New Testament Church. To put it the other way around, the Five-fold Ministers are the New Testament counterpart of the Old Testament Levites. God established the priesthood of the Levites as a special and set apart priesthood, juxtaposed to that of the rest of the Israelites, as the Old Testament account explains.
SUPPLANTING OF FIVE-FOLD MINSTRY OFFICES, p. 244. You see, when lay-persons are appointed to perform ministry functions that only Five-fold Ministers have the supernatural enablement and anointing to perform, the net result is the supplanting of the Five-fold Ministry Offices. So also, when lay-persons who have not this special anointing from Jesus presumptuously intrude and interlope into those offices and attempt to perform the spiritual functions of those offices without the requisite consecration, dedication, sanctification, preparation, and training by the Lord, the Five-fold ministry is devalued, degraded, debased, and the recipients of that “ministry” are receiving a debauched, defiled, and even desecrated counterfeit of the genuine. To say it concisely and bluntly, this intrusion and interloping of laymen has produced a bastardization of the ministry.
CRYPTIC CORROBORATION, p. 257. The first division was the “sons of Aaron,” of which there were two, Eleazar and Ithamar. They were the chief priests who alone were consecrated by God to enter behind the veil in order to perform the services of oblation, and to touch the Holy Objects (Numbers 3:2-10, 38). They were also the overseers over the Levites, and were responsible for seeing to it that the collective duties and responsibilities of the Levites were carried out and performed precisely in accordance with the specification of the ordinances God established for those duties (3:32; 4:16-32). This division typified Apostles (Eleazar) and Prophets (Ithamar).
The second division was comprised of the “sons of Levi,” of which there were three, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. It was this division who actually performed the various duties of tending to, assembling, disassembling, and transporting the furnishings and articles of the Tabernacle. Respectively, they typified the remaining Five-fold Ministries: Evangelists (Gershonites), Pastors (Kohathites), and Teachers (Merarites).
THE LEVITICAL NEW TESTAMENT COUNTERPART, p.270. Thus, the class of leadership within the New Testament Church which the Levites and the seventy elders in “the church in the wilderness” typified are the spiritual impartational and governmental offices. The Apostle Paul referred to this class of leadership as the “overseers,” distinguished from the “deacons” and “saints,” in the Philippians 1:1 text we examined in the previous chapter. The Five-fold Ministry Offices and the local church presbytery of elders comprise those offices of “overseers.” The Five-fold Ministers impart spiritual construction (edification) and instruction (education), and are part of the local church presbytery of elders, which provides government with the local assemblies.
THE OBJECTIVE OF FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY, p.272. As the foundational Ephesian text indicates, the ultimate objective of the edificational and educational impartation of the Five-fold Ministry is two-fold. First, to bring the true Body of Christ into “unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God,” which means complete and universal compliance with “sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 6:3; 2 Tim. 4:3; Tit. 1:9; 2:1, 7, 10). The Living Bible's rendering of this portion of the text makes the goal of doctrinal maturity and accord even more manifest: “until finally we all believe alike….” The second main objective is to bring the Body of Christ, individually and collectively, into conformity with the Image of Christ, who is the Head of the Body, which means spiritual maturity. In other words, the final product of the proper functioning of Five-fold Ministry is that the Body of Christ will become the exact representation and manifestation of the Head, who Himself is the exact representation of the Word of God (Heb. 1:3; Jn. 1:1).
FUNCTION OF ALL FIVE OFFICES REQUIRED, p.274. It is only when each of the Five-fold Ministry Offices are functional and making their unique contribution that the Body of Christ shall be truly and fully conformed into the Image of Christ, having become that Church “without spot or wrinkle in all her glory” Christ is returning to claim as His Eternal Bride. Therefore, the restoration of the prophetic gifts and office as well as the apostolic office unto their rightful place of function in the Church which God is now bringing about is absolutely essential to the Church becoming fully conformed into the Image of Christ. It is only as the prophetic and apostolic offices are restored that the requisite spiritual restorations and structural reformations will be effected. Only then will “the periods of restoration” be complete, and Heaven will no longer “retain” (Acts 3:21) the Christ, but He shall be released to return, appearing first in the clouds in the air for the great gathering together unto Christ. Then, when we see Him, we shall have truly become like Him because our spiritual myopia will have been cured, allowing us finally to “see Him just as He IS” (1 John 3:2), instead of as we have for so long erroneously perceived Him to be.
GOD ANOINTS WHOM HE APPOINTS, p.281. In the case of the local church God always calls, appoints, and anoints, in a preeminent and distinguishing way, one man as the predominant and presiding leader among the presbytery of elders, who is esteemed and recognized as such by the other leaders. His role is not one of a dictator, but rather to preside over the leadership much like an orchestra conductor. The wise and obedient presiding elder has absolutely no interest in imposing his own will, but is forever in search of the perfect Will of God; he is not a detached and insecure, loner autocrat, but surrounds himself with trusted and loyal advisors, being very much cognizant that “in the abundance of counselors there is victory” (Prv. 24:6), that “without consultation plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed” (Prv. 15:22)), and that it is the collective “WE” who “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16); thus, he consults and collaborates in earnest with fellows and colleagues to ascertain God's explicit direction, seeking confirmation of each prospective word of Divine guidance by consensus from other witnesses. So, though there is a plurality of leaders, there still is one prominent individual who stands out among the plurality and is recognized by God and his colleagues as the chief leader of the group. The anointing is always the primary indicator of God's election in this regard, rather than age, education, experience, tenure, status, or any other carnal criteria, for God always anoints those whom He appoints.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: It is necessary to distinguish between the Local Church and the City Church. The whole of the New Testament is to be formatted into the City Church, not the Local Church. The 7 Jerusalem deacons served the entire City Church composed of perhaps 300 local churches. Look at the breakdown of the word church (ekkleSIa), 114 times: once, Israel in the wilderness, Acts 7; 3 times the Ephesus secular city state; 14 times a local church; 15 times the universal church; BUT 81 TIMES, THE CITY CHURCH!
Day Four. FIVE-FOLD: PHINEHAS VERSUS SIMEON.
Both Levi and Simeon sustained heavy words from their father Jacob in his dying blessing (Genesis 49). They had together committed a dastardly deed. However in the Providence of God, Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, saw a Simeonite enter the camp of Israel with a Midianite woman, brazenly ignoring the judgment such an act would bring upon his nation. Phinehas in righteous indignation and zeal for the Name of God, immediately executed judgment upon them both. God signified his approval and pleasure upon this act, by giving His “Covenant of Peace” upon him, and promising a perpetual Priesthood upon Levi.
The scattering of judgment upon both tribes remained, but the scattering of Levi now turned out to be a blessing to the other 12 tribes. Levi became the glue that bound together all 12 tribes of Israel.
Simeon on the other hand failed to repent, and remained scattered in judgment in the tribe of his younger brother Judah.
Day Five. FIVE-FOLD: LEVI AND HIS PROPHETIC MINISTRY.
Of Levi he said: “Let your thumim and urim be with your pious one, whom you tested at Massah, with whom you struggled at Meribah Spring. … Of his father and mother he said, 'I don't know them'; he didn't acknowledge his brothers or children. For he observed your word, and he kept your covenant. … They will teach Jacob your rulings, Israel your Torah. They will set incense before you and whole burnt offerings on your altar. … Adonai, bless his possessions, accept the work he does; but crush his enemies hip and thigh; may those who hate him rise no more” (CJB, Deuteronomy 33:8-11). See the unusual blessings that came upon Phinehas for his obedience, and the manifold blessing upon his tribe that flowed forth on all the tribes. God used Levi in a Five-fold form of blessing in a priestly, manward manner. It typifies and looks forward to the Five-fold Ascension Ministries recorded in Ephesians 4:11.
Guidance in a prophetic manner flowed from Levi. As a Teacher he taught Israel the Torah. As a Pastor he led Israel in worship. As an Apostle he separated himself to God alone. As an Evangelist he welcomed the proselyte of the Gate.
Day Six. FIVE-FOLD: GEORGE MULLER AND MEDITATION.
Consider how Levi led Israel in worship; and enabled her to turn the word of the law into the Living Torah, the Lord Himself! Meditation was a Key mark in the life of Israel through Levi. See Moses the Levite instructing Joshua to meditate on the Torah audibly day and night; then walking in it; then obtaining spiritual prosperity and success. Through the Urim and Thummim the Kings and Governors of Israel had infallible guidance through Levi. (My son, obey your father's command, and don't abandon your mother's teaching. … Bind them always on your heart, tie them around your neck. … When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you wake up, they will talk with you. … For the mitzvah, command, is a lamp, Torah is light, and reproofs that discipline are the way to life” CJB. Proverbs 6:22-23. Note how exactly this description parallels the placing of the Urim and Thummim upon the High Priest in the Breastplate of Judgment!)
George Muller in his “Answers to Prayer,” a Moody Colportage Publication, was a true Spiritual Levite. He too taught vocal meditation - and he too showed the way through the Spirit, Word and Providence to sure Guidance.
Day Seven. FIVE-FOLD: JAPAN.
Dr. E. Stanley Jones had extraordinary evangelistic success in the nation of Japan. He had a deep love for its people, and for their land. Before the Second Coming of Jesus, an unusual Visitation of God is predicted for Japan. The resurrection of the Five-fold ministry in power in all of its major cities has been foreseen. This nation can be a light and example to the nations and cities of the world. It can show forth a powerful manifestation of an effective, unified operation of the Five-fold ministries.
CONCLUSION: The Five-fold ministries of Levi as a past example of this? Japan as a future example of the same? May it be so, and may this third embryonic Revival Principle seen in the 1948 Canadian Visitation be brought to maturity and effectiveness prior to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.