Ministries of the Holy Spirit 2
The Ministry of Exhortation
by Pastor John Hamel


“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; OR HE THAT EXHORTETH, ON EXHORTATION: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8)


We are studying the Ministries of the Holy Spirit.  


In our last lesson we studied the Ministry of Helps.  Prior to that lesson we covered the Apostle, the Prophet, the Evangelist, the Pastor and the Teacher.  


We have also covered “governments” and “diversities of tongues” in other lessons.  


To date we have used Ephesians 4:11 and First Corinthians 12:28 as teaching texts.


We will now change Scripture texts and use Paul’s listing to the Romans.   This is because he lists Ministries here that are not mentioned in his other listings to the Ephesians and the Corinthians.


Here in Paul’s letter to the Romans he mentions “prophecy.”  This is clearly a reference to the Office of the Prophet as well as the simple Gift of Prophecy.  


In verse seven Paul refers to “ministry.”  This is clearly a reference to all Ministry offices.  The words “minister” and “ministry” are used in a general sense throughout the New Testament.


We have previously covered all Five-Fold Ministry Offices, so we will not take further time here, other than to say that all Ministers should “wait” on their Ministry.  This means to slow down, take the time to prepare yourself through the written Word of God and to be sure to get the Holy Spirit’s plan and purpose for your particular calling.  


There are many full time Ministers who are doing their own thing for Jesus and are completely out of God’s perfect will for their lives.  This means that all who follow and support them are out of God’s perfect will as well. (Romans 12:2)


Paul also makes specific reference to the “teaching” office in verse seven of our text.  This is because Teachers must be ever so watchful to present accurate doctrine to those who receive from them.


In verse eight Paul refers to “he that exhorteth.”  The Ministry of Exhortation will be the subject of this entire lesson.


Paul also refers to “he that giveth” in verse eight.  The Ministry of Giving will be the subject of our next lesson.


Paul then moves on to “he that ruleth.”  Ruling, of course, is synonymous with the Apostle and the Pastor who rule, govern and steer the Body.  We have seen this in previous lessons.


Finally Paul refers to “he that showeth mercy.”  The Ministry of Mercy would come under the Ministry of Helps.  We will not have a separate lesson on this but we will say that those who are involved in the Ministry of Mercy would be those who visit the sick, the infirmed, the elderly, the confined, etc.  These individuals have a special grace to be cheerful, sympathetic and knowledgeable of God’s compassionate love nature, His Word and His will.


There are actually two different Greek words being used to describe the Exhorter in our text Scripture.  One is the Greek word for “exhorteth,” which is “parakaleo.”  It means “to call near, to invite, to invoke, imploration, consolation, beseech and call for.”


The other is the Greek word for “exhortation,” which is “paraklesis.”  It means “imploration, consolation and entreaty.”  I believe that this is because the Exhorter has two primary jobs to perform.  Let us look at them separately.


The Exhorter Calls the Lost to Salvation in Christ 


There is a burning in the heart of the Exhorter to call, to invite and to invoke (summon) the lost to Jesus.  Granted, this desire is in the heart of every Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher.  


However, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that the Ministry of the Exhorter is an actual office that stands apart from these other Five-Fold Ministry Offices.  One can be an Exhorter who stands in a Five-Fold Ministry Office, while another can be an Exhorter who does not.  


Either way, the Greek word “parakaleo” describes the Exhorter best.  This is because they so strongly desire to plead with the lost to come to Jesus and to come to Jesus now.


Although Evangelists can be Exhorters, an Exhorter is not an Evangelist unless the Power Gifts accompany their Ministry. This is clearly explained in our study on “The Evangelist.”  


In that lesson I refer to a great man of God who has led untold millions to Jesus in recent decades.  Yet, the Power Gifts, the Gift of Faith, Gifts of Healings and the Working of Miracles, do not follow this wonderful Brother’s preaching.  Although this individual is known worldwide as an “Evangelist,” I respectfully submit to you, according to the written Word of God, that he is not an Evangelist because miracles and healings do not accompany his preaching.


Let me reiterate, this individual is a wonderful man of God.  I would consider myself fortunate to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and be rewarded for bringing as many souls into the Kingdom as he has.  He is a true man of God, an example of a true Christian and a tremendously powerful Exhorter.  


However, he is not a New Testament Evangelist because Gifts of Healings and the Working of Miracles (Power Gifts) do not accompany his preaching.


God is a God of love and a God of mercy.  He understands that some individuals do not believe that miracles and supernatural healings are still for today. (Hebrews 13:8)  He understands people’s skepticism and fear of the supernatural.  


So, in His great love and mercy, rather than allowing people who are afraid of the signs that follow the Evangelist to go to Hell, He has designed an office specifically to reach them.  This is the office of the Exhorter.


Jesus died for people who are skeptical of the supernatural, too.  Jesus died for people who have no faith for miracles, too.  Jesus wants them saved at all costs, too. (2Peter 3:9)  


This is why the Bible does not say, “Whoever shall believe that miracles and healings are still for today and calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”  


Rather, the Bible says, “Whoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) 


You miss out on God’s best when you reject miracles and healings.  But just because unregenerate human beings reject miracles does not mean that Creator God will reject them.  


No one ever went to Hell for rejecting miracles and healings.  People go to Hell for rejecting Jesus. (John 3:15-17; 8:24


The office of the Exhorter is unique because the Exhorter can go where Evangelists cannot go.  Traditional Churches reject the Evangelist’s miracles but welcome with open arms the office of the Exhorter.  What does it matter if traditional people call the “Exhorter” an “Evangelist”?  They are mistaken and the Word of God proves that out. 


Let us just cooperate with getting as many people into Heaven as we can and let the Holy Spirit correct everyone when we get there.  Exhorters can go into traditional Churches and get multitudes of people saved without anyone coming away complaining that miracles happened. 


The world cannot be saved without the Office of the Evangelist but neither can it be saved without the Ministry of the Exhorter.  How wonderful that our God is not so firm fisted that He would reject individuals who reject His miracles.  He just makes a special way to bring them in as well. That’s our loving Father!


Evangelists & Exhorters Alike Must Develop a Prayer Life


"Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? FOR AS SOON AS ZION TRAVAILED, SHE BROUGHT FORTH HER CHILDREN." (Isaiah 66:8)


Zion has two meanings in this verse, a physical meaning and a spiritual meaning.  Isaiah is referring to the remnant of physical Israel that will remain in the Earth after the Tribulation period. (Zechariah 12:10-13:1; Matthew 24:15-22)


He is also referring spiritually to the New Testament Church.  We know this because the Apostle Paul called the New Testament Church, “Mount Sion” (actually Zion). (Hebrews 12:22,23)


So, we see from Isaiah’s prophecy that spiritual babies will not be brought into the Kingdom of God unless the Church travails in prayer.  Evangelists and Exhorters, in particular, can increase or decrease their effectiveness in bringing people to Christ through prayer or the lack thereof.  They will have rewards given or taken away when they stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ based upon how effectively they fulfilled their calling during their probationary period on the Earth. (Romans 14:10-12; 1Corinthians 3:9-15; 2Corinthians 5:9-11)


Prayer, consecrated, believing prayer determines how many or how few the Exhorter or the Evangelist are able to persuade to come to Christ.  Prayer increases the Anointing.  Lack of prayer decreases the Anointing.  


The wise and powerful Exhorter and Evangelist make much of both prayer and Holy Spirit led fasting.


The Exhorter Comforts & Encourages the Body


"And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed BARNABAS, (WHICH IS, BEING INTERPRETED, THE SON OF CONSOLATION,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet." (Acts 4:36-37)


Joses was given the surname “Barnabas” which means “the son of consolation.”  


The Greek word for “consolation” used here is “paraklesis.”  This is the second definition of the word “exhortation” that I referred to earlier.  “Paraklesis” differs from “parakaleo” (to call near, invite, invoke) in that “paraklesis” means “to bring solace, comfort and consolation”.  This is the second job of the Exhorter. 


The Exhorter not only invites individuals to come to Christ, the Exhorter also brings encouragement and comfort to the Body of Christ.  


Apparently Barnabas was so recognized for his anointing in this area that it rendered his name being changed to “the Son of Consolation” which is actually “the Son of Exhortation.”


Barnabas is another classic New Testament example of an individual being so faithful in one area that he was promoted to the highest of all offices.  Barnabas actually became both a Prophet and an Apostle. (Acts 13:1; 14:14)  


Barnabas was so effective as an encourager and comforter that he was actually able to cause the Apostles to accept Saul of Tarsus after his conversion when they were so completely skeptical of him. (Acts 15:36-41) 


Although Barnabas and Paul did have their differences, they managed to form a Ministry partnership producing tremendous results. (Acts 11:30; 12:25; 13:1-15:35)  They locked horns over some issues to where they became temporarily separated from one another. (Acts 15:36-41)  That's not all that unusual.  When God makes Apostles and Prophets, He doesn't unmake human beings.  They remained friends and were ultimately reconciled. (1Corinthians 9:6)  


It's possible to disagree without being a disagreeable ... well, you get my point.


You do not have to be perfect to stand in the Ministry of the Exhorter, or the Offices of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher.  You just have to be willing to admit when you are wrong and keep moving forward, yielding to your Gifts.  


As I said, when God makes a Minister, He does not unmake a man or a woman.  Ministers must learn to live with their humanity, repent and apologize when wrong and move forward constantly. (Romans 11:29) 


Exhorters are wonderfully gifted of the Holy Spirit to stir up the faith of Believers, to encourage and to bring great comfort to them.  Exhorters can minister to local congregations as well as to individuals.


Some Exhorters are gifted of the Holy Spirit to minister to the Body through music and the Word of God.  These individuals must take extra care to never attempt to stand in the Office of the Pastor through pride.  Just because you are gifted in one area, does not mean you are gifted in all areas.  


Just because carnal people have a tendency to exalt individuals with musical gifts that is no reason to believe that you can Pastor your own congregation.  You might be able to draw a few dozen deceived individuals, put a building up and pave a parking lot with the help of those who exalt you, but this does not make you a Pastor.  You could die prematurely for pulling such a prideful, carnal, unscriptural stunt.  Many have.  


Pastors are called and anointed of the Holy Spirit, not of man.  If this happens to be you, you would do well to read “The Ministry of Helps” in this series of web studies.  It could save your very life or the life of someone you love. 


Other Exhorters are able to stir up the Body without music but the end result is always the same.  Believers are edified, encouraged, comforted and stirred to faith.  Musical and non-musical Exhorters can also have Utterance and/or Revelation Gifts following their Ministry to the Body.  These Gifts are covered in detail under “Holy Spirit: 9 Spiritual Gifts ” at our JHM Online Bible Training Centre.


Although the actual Ministry of the “Exhorter” or the “Ministry of Exhortation” is only listed as a Ministry Gift in Romans 12:8, it is of no less importance than any of the other Ministry Gifts that are listed more frequently elsewhere.  It is different, yes, but it is a powerful, unique and necessary Ministry that easily adapts to its environment and is well able to stand on its own two feet.


If you are called to this Ministry, you are a blessed individual, indeed.  We have a dear friend who is called to the Ministry of the Exhorter.  Words cannot express how the Lord has supernaturally used her in our lives and always at just the right time.


The actual Ministry of the “Exhorter” may only be listed once in the New Testament, but the word “exhortation” is used approximately two dozen times in the New Testament.  


It is translated “intreaty” (2Corinthians 8:4), “comfort” (Acts 9:31; Romans 15:4; 2Corinthians 1:3,4; 7:4,13), “exhortation” (Acts 13:15; Romans 12:8; 1Corinthians 14:3; 2Corinthians 8:7; 1Thessalonians 2:3; 1Timothy 4:13; Hebrews 12:5; 13:22) and “consolation” (Luke 2:25; 6:24; Acts 4:36; 15:31; Romans 15:5; 2Corinthians 1:5-7; 7:7; Philippians 2:1; 2Thessalonians 2:16; Philemon 1:7; Hebrews 6:18).


The Exhorter invites individuals both to be saved and to stay joyfully saved!


Be Blessed … John and Barbara Hamel



How to Be Born Again (Receive Christ as Your Savior)


How to Receive The Holy Spirit & Power



Home  l  Bible Training  Top  Beliefs  l  Contact