Offices of the Holy Spirit 6

The Teacher

by Pastor John Hamel

 

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and TEACHERS;” (Ephesians 4:11)

 

In this final study of the offices of the Holy Spirit, we will look at the Teacher.  The Apostle Paul referred to this New Testament office in all three of his Ministry office listings. (Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11) 

 

The Greek word for Teacher is “didaskalos.”  It means, “Instructor, teacher, Master and Doctor.”  In the Gospels alone, this word is used in reference to Jesus forty-seven times.

 

It is not uncommon at all for a New Testament Teacher to stand in more than one Ministry office.  Jesus did.  The Apostle Paul did.  Some who were involved with the Church at Antioch did so as well.

 

“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.” (Acts 13:1)

 

It is possible for one to be an Apostle/Teacher or a Prophet/Teacher or an Evangelist/Teacher or a Pastor/Teacher.  One may also stand in the office of the Teacher only.  Those who have only a teaching Ministry usually travel frequently.  Some Pastors may also serve as itinerate Teachers, as well.  Those who do must always keep their home flock as their priority.  During the years I have Pastored, I have often taught and preached for other Pastors.  However, my own flock is always my priority.  They are where my heart is. (Matthew 6:21)  A Pastor/Teacher could easily lose a congregation by not keeping them their number one priority.

 

Excellent Teachers are always excellent students.  This is the only way to excel in this supernatural office.

 

“And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.  This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.  And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” (Acts 18:24-26)

 

Obviously, when Aquila and Priscilla approached Apollos, he was humble enough to receive their instruction.  They had the further revelation of the New Testament he needed and he was willing to pay the price to get it.  No doubt, they shared the “Foundational Doctrines” of Christ with him.  The Apostle Paul refers to these Doctrines in his Letter to the Hebrews.

 

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” (Hebrews 6:1-2)

 

These are the Foundational Doctrines of Christ: Repentance, Faith, the five Baptisms, the three Resurrections and the five Judgments.  An excellent Teacher is grounded in all of these.  An excellent Teacher is also grounded in the Major Bible Doctrines.  For example, the Oneness of the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, Fall and Redemption of Man, Church Ordinances and Government, Ministry Offices, Scriptural Gifts, Faith, Divine Healing and Prosperity, the Rapture and Second Coming of Jesus, the Millennial Reign of Jesus, the Final Destiny of the Righteous and the Wicked, the New Heaven, the New Earth, the Nation of Israel, etc.  Revelation in all these areas and more are the marks of a true New Testament Teacher.

 

The teaching office is supernatural.  Just because someone is a schoolteacher does not mean they can teach the Bible.  No one calls himself or herself to any of the Five-fold Ministry offices.  There must be an anointing from the Holy Spirit to stand in any of these Supernatural offices. (Romans 12:6,7; Hebrews 2:4; 5:4,5)  There must be a Divine calling.

 

From the day I was first saved I considered myself to be an Evangelist only.  That was all I wanted to be.  However, after a few years in Tulsa under the Ministry of the Prophet/Teacher, something happened inside of me.  A Divine enabling attached itself to my spirit.  Whenever I would try to write out an evangelistic, preaching outline, it would come out as a teaching outline.  A teaching anointing had come upon me that I had never wanted or asked for.  It was supernatural. 

 

One day while crossing the 21st Street Bridge in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Holy Spirit said, “Pastor.”  That was one of the last things in the world I ever thought of doing.  However, I began to cooperate with what had happened inside of me.  Since then, Pastoring and Teaching have actually become “normal” to me.  It became something more natural and satisfying than anything in life.  I still preach evangelistically, of course.  That is still a passion.  But even when I preach, it comes out like teaching.  I call my combined teaching and preaching Gifts “Treaching.”  My point is that standing in the office of the Teacher is a supernatural ability. 

 

In the same way that Evangelists are gifted to “proclaim” the simple truths of Redemption, Teachers are gifted to “explain” the more complex truths of Redemption. 

 

Some call Teachers “dry” and “wordy.”  That is because they have not been exposed to Holy Spirit anointed Teachers.  Holy Spirit anointed Teachers can be as dynamic as any Evangelist.  They can be equally as powerful and refreshing, as well.  Particularly when their bold teaching is confirmed by the operation of the Revelation Gifts of the Spirit.  These would be the Word of Knowledge, the Word of Wisdom and the Discerning of Spirits.  This is quite common with the New Testament Teacher.  The Holy Spirit uses these three Gifts in the life of the Teacher to meet the emotional, spiritual and practical life needs of his/her hearers supernaturally. 

 

The New Testament Teacher should always remain sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit both while and after teaching.  After all, the meeting belongs to the Holy Spirit, not the Teacher.  The Holy Spirit should always be allowed to minister to individuals as He wills. 

 

When the Holy Spirit moves on the Teacher to minister individually or corporately through the Gifts, it is never an interruption.  It’s part of His plan for that specific gathering.  The Teacher should never be nervous about yielding to the Holy Spirit in this way.  He always makes us look good while bringing Glory to Jesus.  

 

The New Testament Teacher also frequently operates in the Utterance Gifts, even as the New Testament Pastor does.  These would be the Gift of Prophecy, the Gift of Tongues and the Interpretation of Tongues.

 

A final word about teaching and miracles.

 

“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:28)

 

Here Paul lists teaching before miracles for a reason.  Teaching is more important than miracles.  Miracles cannot establish anyone in Foundational or Major Bible Doctrines.  Miracles cannot establish anyone in faith. (Luke 16:24-31)  That is the job of the diligent Teacher.  Baby and mature Christians alike need information as much as they need inspiration. 

 

The Evangelist has Power Gifts following their preaching to catch the attention of the lost.  The Teacher has Revelation Gifts following their teaching to hold the attention of the saved.  It is like working as a team to catch fish.  As a Pastor/Teacher, I have always told the visiting Evangelist, ‘You catch ‘em.  I’ll clean ‘em!”

 

Whatever office you may be called to, one fact remains true all across the board.  All of us who stand in Ministry offices must remain humble, acknowledging our dependence upon the Holy Spirit and one another. (Acts 10:38; 1Corinthians 12:27

 

Operating in pride is a slippery trip down the one-way slide. 

 

Be Blessed … John and Barbara Hamel

 

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